Singapore Grand Prix 2009

Singapore Grand Prix 2009

The weekend of the Singapore Grand Prix 2009 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit has once again arrived. Fans from all over the world have purchased tickets since April this year. However, those without tickets would get to watch the cars too (not on television)!

Ticket Box


After leaving Clarke Quay MRT Station, one would find giant footprints in two colours, orange and blue, left by some large animal. If you follow the animal’s trail, you would end up walking past several bridges, indicating that you are on the right track to the Singapore Grand Prix.

Towards MRT

Coleman Bridge
Coleman Bridge
Elgin Bridge
Elgin Bridge
Caution Low Bridge
Caution Low Bridge

Gates are set up all around the circuit area, where ticket holders are able to enter and watch the cars up close. If you forgot to purchase a ticket, you may do so at any ticketing office located near each gate. Alternatively, if you walk around City Hall MRT station, you may find foreigners reciting the phrase “buy and sell F1 tickets, buy and sell F1 tickets”.

Gate 3

Gate 7

Ticket Office

However, those without tickets would have to find ways to catch a glimpse of the cars. Below are three of the many areas around Marina Square which are suitable for watching the Formula 1 race without spending a single cent. Of course, the view would be better with a ticket.


Gallery A – Marina Mandarin Seating Gallery

Marina Mandarin Seating Gallery

If you enlarge the photo above, you may see groups of people standing along the staircase well on the left of the picture. Although you are only likely to see the cars for only a fraction of a second at this seating gallery, it would be a place where you can go closest to the cars without paying for a ticket. Some people have brought cardboard there as picnic mats as well. In addition, you have a choice of seats on various levels on a first come first served basis. Bring a handheld fan along just in case.

Marina Mandarin Seating Gallery Interior

For those taking photographs here, remember to use maximum ISO and aperture, as well as a shutter speed of at least 1/2000 second to obtain the following:


Gallery B – Outside Marina Square, Beside Gate 7

Standing Gallery Next to Gate 7

This gallery is a popular spot among Singaporeans, regardless of age or gender. Out of the three galleries, this standing gallery gives the worst view. Firstly, there is a fence in front of you which blocks your view. Secondly, there are many people clinging on to the fence. However, due to its accessibility, it is a popular place to view the race. If you are heading towards this gallery, just locate Gate 7 on the map. Photographers should avoid this gallery due to the presence of a fence.

Gallery C – Marina Square Staircase Standing Gallery

Marina Square Standing Gallery


If you head further down from Gallery B, you would see another Standing Gallery overlooking Turn 17. As drivers negotiate this turn at a slow speed, you have a better chance of taking a photograph. However, there are two vertical beams present as seen in the photos below. Also, this gallery is located furthest from the track, so bring a binoculars if necessary. If it rains, avoid this gallery and head to the indoor Seating Gallery A, unless you do not mind getting really drenched.

Well, I may not consider the next one a gallery, but if you would really like to watch the cars drive in front of you for at least five seconds, you may wish to try nearby skyscrapers such as Bras Basah Complex or the National Library. Note that photography is not allowed at the National Library.

Top View of the Marina Bay Street Circuit

Enjoy the race!


Mail from Malta

Last week, I received some postcards and used stamps from Malta. If you take a closer look at the cover, the stamps were cancelled on 9 September 2009.

09 Sep 09 Cancellation

The postcard below shows St. Julians, the most popular tourist resort in Malta. This town is famous for its tourism-oriented businesses, including hotels and of course, restaurants. During summer, tourists and locals visit this town, which is located along the coastline.

Malta Postcard

Malta Stamps

The Restaurant

Timepieces in The Restaurant

Great September Sale Week 2

As the Great September Sale (GSS) enters the second week, The Restaurant is facing an ever-increasing amount of traffic at its outlets. Today, we have a record-breaking number of visitors as a result of the long weekend due to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, more commonly known as Hari Raya Puasa.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri Commemorative stamps from Singapore:

Hari Raya Stamps

Shopping centres and food outlets around Singapore are holding promotions for festive shoppers. Of course, that includes us! Now, scroll down a few pixels and you will see a 20.09% discount voucher. This e-coupon can be used at any of our outlets.

20.09% Discount Voucher

As the date today (20.09.2009) is really special as agreed by at least 300 others, we have decided to bring you some pictures related to time and date. Here are some timepieces found in The Restaurant:

Wooden Frame Clock
Wooden Frame Clock
DIY analogue clock - nice colour right?
DIY analogue clock - nice colour right?

iPod Clock

iPod Clock

Disclaimer: Analogue clocks, digital clocks or iPods are for decorative purposes only and are not included in the menu!

Last but not least, The Restaurant wishes all our Muslim readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!


Fortune Teller Genius

After a busy week in school, I decided to take a short break from studying and check for updates in my Facebook account. Many people who have an account in Facebook would have recently realised that a person dressed in orange floating in mid-air had been appearing all over their friends’ Walls. He describes himself as follows:

El Gurú Sabelotodo lo sabe absolutamente todo. Pregúntale lo que quieras y te responderá sabiamente.

This can be translated into “The Fortune Teller Genius knows absolutely everything. Ask him what you want and he will respond wisely.” With over 600,000 active users, I decided to give the Fortune Teller Genius a try.

Do you speak Spanish?

I asked if he spoke Spanish. He replied immediately with a triple no.

Do you speak Spanish? (Screenshot in Facebook English (UK))

Not even a little. Well, at least he knows the word ‘no’ in Spanish! Well, maybe it would be better for me to ask him questions in English instead of Spanish, hoping that he would reply ‘sí’ (yes) to some of my questions.

Not even a little bit?

Interested to know if the Fortune Teller Genius was interested in collecting stamps, perhaps maybe asking him to visit The Restaurant, I asked:

Do you collect stamps?

Really? I will only tell you after you become my fan.

Interesting guy, maybe we should add him (and The Restaurant) as a fan. Following that, I asked if he collected stamps from Singapore, and he replied:

The Fortune Teller Genius

How about stamps from Singapore?

Well, at least he collects stamps on the 13th day of each month!

Tan Wei Jie likes this!


The Machine Strikes Back

Due to the ongoing Great September Sale, the new (physical) mailbox at The Restaurant is once again getting filled up. From time to time, there will be one or two letters in my mailbox which seem to catch my attention. Last week, I received such a letter. It was an envelope with a postage stamp on it, without any of the wavy cancellations.


If you look closely, the orange barcodes which are used for the sorting of mail are printed right next to the stamp! Maybe that is a new cancellation barcode which contained information such as the time, date and machine number.

However, as I turned the envelope over and was about to open the letter, I noticed the postmark dated 7 September 2009 (Machine C2) at the back on the envelope as shown in the picture below:

Yes, it is upside down.
Yes, it is upside down.


This postage stamp used on the envelope was similar to that on the postcard from Singapore. This letter is of standard specifications as well. Indeed, the machines are really interesting!

The machine has struck off the invisible stamp pasted on the back of the envelope, once again!

The Restaurant

Great September Sale

9 September 2009

Today, The Restaurant presents to you three of our latest set meals at only 99 cents each for the rest of September, as part of the Great September Sale (GSS). Just come down to one of our outlets, or take a look at our lunch menu below.

Set Meal 1: Stamps

Postage stamps pasted on envelopes were postmarked at the Serangoon Central Branch, as part of the usual procedure. These postmarks are dated 09 Sep 2009. The stamps on the envelopes amount to a value of 81 cents each, as that number happens to be the product of 9 and 9.

090909 Cover with 81 Cents of Stamps

Set Meal 2: Banknotes

Exactly one decade ago, the latest currency notes (those that we see every day) were launched. Unfortunately, 9-dollar notes are not used, so a ten-dollar note above was chosen as a replacement. Does anyone know whether there happens to be 9-dollar note from any country?

Set Meal 3: Postcards

The 99th postcard for the year 2009 has just reached The Restaurant yesterday. Thank you for the lovely postcards from all over the world! However, please take note of the next paragraph.

We Have Moved

Please also take note that our headquarters has relocated to a new permanent address as of today. To prevent a hassle, our telephone and fax numbers are unchanged. Do remember to update your address book, handphone contacts and other databases.

You may also have found out that the text here does not make use of the 9th letter of the alphabet at all!


Malta Euro Coins

Malta Euro Cover

Here is a first day cover from Malta dated 1 January 2008. On that day, Malta started using the Euro currency. As seen on the cover, there are two values imprinted on the postage stamp. The value in red (43 c) denotes the old currency while the value in white uses the Euro (?1).

For a period of one month until 31 January, there was a dual circulation for Malta where the Euro and Maltese lira are used alongside each other. For accounting purposes, the usage of the Maltese Lira is still allowed but limited.

To commemorate the introduction of the Euro, Malta Post issued a colourful miniature sheet featuring the coin designs. Each miniature sheet comes with a unique serial number.