The Singaporean Roller Coaster Trip

After almost two years being quiet and not posting anything related to travelling, I am now back again with another interesting, stupid, yet funny stories. As you all the readers of this blog understand, I had been going here and there with stupid stories. I thought travelling together with friends will help me pass through that phase, but I've never been so wrong in my whole life LOL. Turned out, having travel companion doesn't prevent me in getting involved in such a dire, funny, and strikingly foolish actions. This year Singapore trip proves that.

I deeply understand that I usually missed a lot of things when travelling, so since I am back to Indonesia I'll always feeling anxious before departing to somewhere else, be it business trip or just simply back home. Therefore, when I was informed we were going to Singapore this August I prepared myself better than anybody else, including how I became so prepared for my Korea trip later by the end of this month. I kept double check everything. The plan was in-line with our business trip schedule to Batam. So we thought of taking ferry from Batam to Singapore. I thought everything's gonna be fine since I had listed the budgets, the items I should bring, and my friends were already done with the itinerary as well as the booking. Everything seems fine at first.

But... what I've been getting anxious is eventually came at me and the whole trip one by one.

First one before departure, one of our friend was bailing out since she was detected positive from antigen test. So she couldn't even make it to go to Batam for the business trip. There's that. The D-day of Batam departure, I experienced the unpleasant journey to the airport. I went to the airport circa 2-3 AM, I had scheduled the pick up since the day before using Go-Car. Turned out the scheduled pick up didn't even work. So I canceled my booking and decided to book manually. Thank God, I got a driver to pick me up. The weather wasn't really nice, it was drizzling. But I thought it's gonna be okay since I'll be in the car. First few kilometers, things still fine. It was when we were half-way to the airport, the car got a flat tire! I almost get panicked.

I calmed myself down, It's okay don't be panic in situation like this. I took a deep breath and look at my watch, I will still have time even though I need to drop my baggage. So I didn't complain the driver at all. What concerns me was the condition of the driver. I mean it was raining so hard outside and he had to change the tires. I almost thought that I need to book another car if this drive didn't successfully change the flat tire. I almost got angry too since the driver didn't checked the car thoroughly before taking off. But I tried so hard to set my mind in more positive way: what does the universe try to tell me on that moment?

After that, everything went well again. I finally arrived at the airport though the queues actually made me shiver down to my spine. That by far the most crowded morning flight I've ever witnessed since the last 2 years. Next thing, I happened to left my backpack in the first airport scanning machine. I saw the queues and suddenly get panicked, so I rush by only taking my luggage. When I wear my jacket again, I feel too light wondering what's left? That my friend, when I realized I didn't take my backpack with me. So, I left my luggage where I stood then rushing to get my backpack and came back to fetch my luggage. Sigh, first stupidity check point unlocked!

When will I ever had a smooth and unworrying travel in my life?

Thanks God, after those two incidents I got a smooth sailing trip. I got more relaxed when I found out I didn't travel alone, several colleagues took the same flight with me. So if I ever made any stupid or foolish actions, that's not just on me. And yep, it happened in the day we board to Singapore.

The friends that are going with me to Singapore are: Nanda, Namira, Mas Fajar, Mbak Menik, and Balindo. Remember there are 6 of us, with me the most unlucky yet the luckiest bastard when it comes to travelling.

The day we board to Singapore, we had prepared quite well. We had breakfast in the hotel before we checked out on our business trip. We had the hotel shuttle picked us up to the Ferry Terminal. So it was okay and worry-free morning. We arrived at the terminal circa 8 AM. We observed which departure is the closest to our arrival, it was 8.40. So we went to the ferry provider and tried to buy tickets. In the cashier, we pooled our passports and the ferry provider is ready to proceed. However they suggested us to take the later departure since 8.40 departure is too close and it's already boarding. So we agreed. Here we experienced the first stupidity ever: one of my friends' passport is going to be expired in less than 6 months!

The ferry provider suggested us to bail out, saying "One of your friend's passport validity is less than 6 months, we worry that he won't get permission to enter Singapore." But they were trying to ensure whether there's another way to get pass through Singaporean's immigration. That's when all of us almost get panicked. Later, the ferry provider suggested us to ask the Indonesian immigration about the possibility. And after we asked here and there, the conclusion is the same: no guarantee of enter permit with passport validity less than 6 months.

But me, as a person who ever encountered the similar issue previously, confidently saying to my friend "Just go with us, I am going to share my luck when it comes to travelling. I am sure you'll get the permission to enter." While another friend thought of ways to get away from the immigration security. They thought about the scenarios and etc, including to come back to Batam if our friend get rejected, until we won't stay a night in Singapore if that worst scenario happened. We even had the simulation for him to do if he were about to get rejected, we sent all the bookings and tickets itinerary to convince the border official. We also dictate on what to say or what to do if he were had to argue with the official. Turns out, it was either his luck is greater or his luck got additional luck from me, he can pass the immigration officer with notes. It suddenly took me back to 2018 where I was worried in passing the French border because of my visa validity is the next day or going back to UK due to that circumstances.

Lesson learned: always check your passport validity before going abroad, the international regulations for entry is usually 6 month passport validity. So if your passport is expired less than 6 months, please update your passport.

One drama had been passed. Will there be more drama and foolishness or not? Of course, there will.

We finally safely arrived in Singapore through thick and thin. Once we arrived, we were looking for a luggage left in the Ferry Terminal Harbor Front. I was right when I saw the "Luggage Left" sign on the left hand-side of 2nd floor. It's close to the waiting room, so whoever you are if you need the luggage left in Harbor Front ferry terminal please straight go to the kiosk near Toast Box. While I walked towards the luggage left, my friends directed me to the opposite way. We ended up walking around the VIVO City mall looking for this luggage left counter but we eventually went to the place where I was going before.

So much LOL.

Our first destination was Universal Studio Singapore. We had bought the tickets beforehand using Traveloka Xperience and the ticket holder happened to be me. Another bad luck that came to me is my inability to activate data roaming using my android phone. While to keep being online, I also made an alternate choice: buying the roaming data for my iPhone. The downside is, Indosat's data roaming was so slow that when I opened Traveloka to enter the USS was delayed. So I decided to open the email via android phone and present the tickets for entry. But my heart is almost dropped because I couldn't find my android phone, so I had to really take out everything inside my bag. Fortunately, this pass well. I can access the Traveloka Xperience and we can enter USS peacefully (re: with some adrenaline).

Not just me, Mas Fajar also experienced some bad luck. Mas Fajar is one who doesn't own any contactless card. I've lent mine to Balindo, while Mas Fajar borrow Nanda's Jago contactless debit card. While he was exploring and taking pictures in front of the Universal Studio Globe, the card was lost. It was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, it only has IDR 100K balance and it can be withdrawn anytime from the app. So far, we made around 2-3 stupidity in our trip already 😵

Gladly we enjoyed our time in Universal Studio Singapore without further drama. It was nice, I mean my expectations bar for Universal Studio Singapore was low since I am not that thematic park person. I had a mindset that the place will be small and do not offer much, but I was wrong once again. Universal Studio Singapore is huge! It is not as big as Disneyland Tokyo, but still bigger than the thematic park I used to visit back in Batu, Malang. It also offers broad range of items and attractions, when you look it up on Google then someone will say there are 28 attractions, 6 roller coasters and such. For IDR 800K++ tickets, it was super worth the value of money!

The first ride we were going to go was Sesame Street Spaghetti Chase Attraction. However when we enter the attraction, the queues was too long so we bailed out and keep going. We ended up trying Transformers Ride as the first ride. This attraction too, the queues was too long but we stayed put. We spent like 30-45 minutes waiting in line to be finally seated on the ride. Out of all the attraction we had tried, we are all agree that the Transformers' ride was the number 1.

The transformers ride combines 4D CGI effect with roller coaster, so it gives you immersive experience. To think about it again, the ride is actually indoor and not that adrenaline-rushing, so it was good as a warm up before taking the more extreme rides. Once you get the turn, you will get provided with 4D glasses. Then the crew will seat you on the ride. I got the front row so it was really close to the CGI effect, not knowing that everyone will feel the similar experience be it on the front row or the last row. Basically the story of the ride is the battlefield between Transformers and Decepticons. Since it was an immersive experience, you will get to feel the real battlefield experience except on the hurting parts. When you are being dropped or swinged, you'll feel the real sensation. It was perfect and by far the most exciting ride ever!

Next we moved on straight to the roller coaster. There were two roller coaster we would like to try but we ended up trying just once, Human Battlestar Galactica. This roller coaster is actually the lame one compared to Cylon because it still had the step, while Cylon let your foot hanging free. Since I was convinced like that, I thought it was okay for me to get on the roller coaster. But damn! I was so wrong in my whole life (3). I couldn't open my eyes, I deliberately close my eyes and remember my God. The only thing came out from my mouth is istighfar. The sensation was there but if you ask me whether I wanted to do it again, I don't think I will.

After Human, we took a prayer break. Some of us pray then decided to move on to The Revenge of the Mummy. This ride located indoor, it actually a roller coaster but you can't see anything except the sensation and the visual. Though I have to admit, in this attraction I closed my eyes at the whole ride too. So I only can feel the dropping, sliding, and exciting sensation while saying istighfar. The Mummy's ride seems like a haunted house. The vibes it gives made my spine shivers. It was quite dark and uncomfortable for my eyes. So for you who have claustrophobia, I don't recommend this ride. The queues also being held in a small corridor. To be honest it was quite suffocating.

Next up we moved onto Jurassic Park theme. There are long queues for the Jurassic ride. This ride include water splash, so expect to be soaked in water and get yourself wet. Since the waiting time is 60 minutes, we decided to move on first to the Far Far Away section and watch the Shrek 4D cinema. After The Revenge of the Mummy, I think all the attractions are suitable for broad range of age. Started from Jurassic Park, they allow kids to ride the attraction and it is family friendly. Especially on Shrek 4D cinema. Nothing much happened in Shrek 4D cinema, they just played you a movie around 15 minutes long then you'll get the 4D experience from the glasses and the shaky chair. They also splash you with some water. The Shrek story was enjoyable but it wasn't that thrilling.

After Shrek we still explored the Far Far Away part. We took the lame roller coaster which was not actually lame. It seems lame but it still gave you surprise in the middle part. So it was thrilling approved! The Far Far Away section is also beautiful and shines in every aspects possible. It does feel like Disneyland but not a Disneyland. Since we came in a nice weather, the picture we took there was idyllic. 

The studio is almost closing when we turned back to the Jurassic area. We finally queued up for the ride since it gets shorter and faster. It became our habit to spend our time playing games. We lost in our own fun while queuing, we played Undercover. Undercover is a game similar to Werewolf or Mafia game. We also played the thumb game while queuing for Human roller coaster. We were having so much fun that we attract the Indian uncles to eventually join us in playing that game. Oh another fun story in the Human roller coaster, this one is also our lucky moment. We were queueing for 10-15 minutes until we almost halfway to the ride. Suddenly everyone backed up and left their queues, me and my friends were having no clue about what happened. We assumed that the ride was broken or something because we keep hearing the announcement that something was wrong. When everyone left the queue, we almost left ours too. It turned out nothing happened, so we skipped the queue line a lot. We suddenly get to the ride faster than we had expected.

Anyway, while queueing for the Jurassic Park ride we also lost in our own fun playing the Undercover games until we got our turn. Jurassic Park ride was quite slow and enjoyable, therefore it was recommended to be enjoyed with family. Basically you'll be brought along by the water stream in passing the dinosaurs park. Of course the dinosaurs are animatronic. They started you off slow until you get into a dark tunnel. There will be the head of T-Rex and thrilling vibes going on. Since you had seen the Jurassic Park, expect to get the suspense vibe of being chased by the T-Rex or feeling intimidated by Indominus Rex. At the end of the ride, expect to slide from the heights and get super wet!

Our fun in universal ended when it dawns. We had a terrific day there and we thought about buying the express ticket later when we want to visit Universal Studio Singapore again. The most memorable ride was the Transformers, no wonder it is listed as the top 10 attraction of the universal studios. The second one is the Human Battlestar Galactica.

After we exhaust ourselves in the Universal Studio Singapore, we moved on to our hotel. We stayed in 81 Hotel Dickson, the hotel located in such a vibrant space near Little India. There you only need one block away walk to the Mustafa Center as Singaporean's merch store and Haji Lane. Hotel 81 Dickson is also close to MRT stations around such as Jalan Besar, Rochor, and Little India. So for you who have the preference to look for easy halal food, being in a vibrant 24/7 open restaurant, and wanted to be close to Haji Lane this area might be a good reference to choose in looking an accommodation. Gladly, on the way to the hotel there was no more drama. Everything went perfect till the end of the day, including when we shop for carry on merchandise for loved ones.

The next day was our last day in Singapore. Since we already so exhausted and wasted too much energy in exploring Universal Studio Singapore, we decided to just strolling around the landmark and city center. Fortunately, we came prepared since we already bought merch the night before. Our itinerary on our last day had consider the time management for us to get back to Batam safely later on in the evening. Our flight was scheduled in 18.00 PM WIB and we had to be on the way approximately around 2-3 PM Singapore Time.

We started off strong by checking out from the hotel around 7 AM. We walked to get some breakfast at Nasi Kandar, it was still close to the accommodation. After having our breakfast, first destination was Haji Lane. The sky was quite dark, so I got uneasy feeling "It will rain". We eventually arrived and spend our time taking pictures in Haji Lane, but what I had thought earlier came true. It was raining. It wasn't raining heavily but enough to get us wet if we choose to keep moving. So again, we spent our time playing another Undercover games. This game is really addicting LOL.

After waiting for the rain to stop, we proceed to go to Merlion and the time is already passing so fast. We arrived at the Merlion around noon, 11-12 PM. And we still had to go to Orchard either to get more goods to buy or get some food before boarding to the ferry. We spent not much around Merlion, we only took mandatory landmark selfie together then we proceed to go to Orchard. That's where we get separated with Mas Fajar. Mas Fajar get off first since he didn't get any tickets left for the same flight. Luckily, once he got separated with us everything went very well for him. No more drama and he got to Jakarta safe and sound.

Once we got separated in Orchard, I actually looked for Irvins. But at that setting, I feel uneasy leaving everyone behind and I also had forgotten the place where I bought Irvins. It was either in Bugis or Orchard. Since I also forgot the place where I bought Irvins two years ago, so I just came with everyone who wanted to buy more merch for some people. Then not one of us ever thought about the place to eat. At first we saw Shake Shack and wanted to go there but we abort the intention since we had to run for merch and etc. We explore the plaza around Orchard until we got to find Food Opera. But Food Opera that day was too crowded and no place for us to sit and eat. So we decided to turn around then had meals in Five Guys. Turned out, only one of us had meals while the rest only ordered shake and not eating. We spent a lot of time resting our foot in Five Guys, waiting for Nanda to get back. Nanda said he wanted to get some football merch earlier so we let him go. And the rest, me, Balindo, Mbak Menik, and Namira just resting LOL.

Without us realising it, time passes so quickly. We had to go back to the hotel then we had to run for our ferry. In that condition, no one ever realize which ferry we would like to take. Yes, we already had our open ticket which allow us to go whenever we like. But no one was aware on the ferry schedule. This finally had been said by Namira when we were on MRT on the way to the ferry terminal. That also after we waited for Nanda to get back at hotel around 2 PM. That also when I had to be stopped by the station crew for a random bag check.

I mean, why do I suddenly get random check while we were on the rush in catching ferry schedule?

Lesson learned: always plan your journey beforehand and check the ferry departure before taking off. Batam - Singapore Ferry aren't always there every hour. So please check the schedule!

Once we arrived at the ferry terminal, we actually had some spare time to had lunch if my suggestion was taken care of. When we arrived, we decided to take 16.20 PM Ferry. We arrived around 3 PM. I had said to one of the member "To made the time efficient and effective, let's just split up here. Two people do the check in, while the rest get to the food court and ordered us meals." But someone answered "That's okay, we'll still have plenty of time to eat."

Then I didn't say anything and just proceed with the decision. So all of us were gathering, going upstairs, while me getting the tickets etc. We already got our ticket and we need to check our luggage. Idk why that time passes so quickly. Some people also get here and there, to the toilet, here and there. I don't know. I was last doing the luggage check in. While I checked my luggage, everyone was queuing in the Toast Box ordering meal. So I had to made sure I ordered some food too. Lalala dududu~ finally our food order had arrived and we had our lunch.

Until we hear an announcement about the last call of Ferry passenger to get on board...

Not realizing it was our Ferry.. While Namira realised it "That might be ours."

I said "That's okay, that might not be us since our departure is in 16.20 and it's still 15.05"

And I was never been so wrong in my whole life (3)


How do we realize that we were being left behind? It was me who suggested someone to check the tickets. It was a deja vu, the first time we're going to board a ferry in Batam we also didn't check the boarding time in our tickets. Nanda was the first to find out the boarding time while we were queueing in Indonesian immigration before departing to Singapore. Nanda said "Gis, the ferry gate closed in 09.15, while now (09.05) we're still queueing in the immigration." I calmly speak "That's okay Nan, if the ferry left us behind, then Immigration will be at blame because it held too long queue."

When in reality it was us who recklessly choosing the schedule without properly calculate the timing of getting on.

And it happened for the second time, no one ever checked the boarding pass nor the boarding/gate close time. Turned out, while we were happily eating the gate has already closed.

Lesson learned: always double check the time of your departure, boarding time, and gate close. It's really important!

So here we go, another day another stupid travelling story from Agista (and now with friends). This isn't happening just this once, this is almost always happened when I travel. It's either being left or couldn't make it on board. I thought I've been getting better when in reality not at all. I always had some problem with the scheduling and the funniest thing is everyone who gets on board with me in this trip also did the same. SUPER LOL!

What made the trip more thrilling compared to the Human roller coaster is when we found out the ferry left us, we had to delay our departure to Batam to 17.20 which was one hour later that we supposed to go. That also means we will arrive in 17.20 PM WIB and only had 40 minutes to board on our plane. While calculating the trip from the ferry terminal to the airport might take circa 28-30 minutes. So it was really a mission impossible.

This is my friend the part that you had to admit maybe I am the luckiest bastard on earth. Or maybe some of my friends also carry so much luck to get us through the dire situation.


We were already in a desperate situation that we had planned for another overnight stay if we couldn't catch our flight. We already understood that all the things we did might be impossible at any cost possible. But the universe was on our side. The universe didn't let us being stranded in Batam for another night. The universe delayed the flight for us. Never once in my life, I've been expecting delayed flights this sincere. Never once in my life, I arrived at the airport only few minutes before the boarding. Never once in my life, we escape the dire situation with so much luck on our side. And hopefully that won't take our luck in another place and circumstances 😂

To think about it again, It's just funny to not making any mistakes related to my travelling. I mean when you read the stories again in this trip, I barely made any mistake except the overall responsibilities part. But almost everyone who gets on this trip and everything that happened are all exactly things that I had experienced in the past. It's just funny if I really share my bad luck as well as my good luck with everyone who had trips with me LOL.

The trip is the literal roller coaster in life and gladly all of us not being petty, we were laughing at our own stupidity instead. Just like I always did when I was so stupid and foolish during my trip.

To conclude, this trip was another memorable trip that deserves to be remembered in my whole life. And another lesson learned: I might really need to check everything thoroughly again when it involves a lot of people in a trip.


Happy birthday to the both of you!

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