Paying A Price For Fitness

(Disclaimer: No offence to serious gym users and the like)

There was an offer which I saw from a website for a 10 day free trial at Carlifornia Fitness. And so I went to check it out, thinking that it was a harmless adventure to test out some professional gym equipment. I went to the Republic Plaza (Raffles City) branch yesterday afternoon and was greeted by the lady staff who called me. Firstly she gave me a tour of the luxurious premises. It was pretty impressive, 3 storeys of extensive facilities: the first with the huge changing room (which I almost got lost) equipped with lockers and steam and sauna rooms; the second with the usual treadmills and various other equipment, flunked by plasma TVs on the wall (actually what’s the point of watching those TV programmes without sound? Then I realised that you can tune your FM radio to listen a la TVMobile style); and the third level with a studio for classes and the weights training stuff. All very cool.

After the tour she sat me down and made a personal profile for me. There was a persoal trainer guy who came to assist me and asked me to step on a digital weighing machine-like thing, but in fact it was a high-tech fitness analysis system. By measuring my weight and sendin electromagnetic signals through my thumbs, the machine was able to detect health stats such as water mass, protein and mineral content, body fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, etc. After that, I was given a printout summary of the analysis, and the guy explained to me that I got a pretty good score of 80/100. He also commented that my body is quite well built, with a higher muscle mass than normal. The only gripe is that my waist-to-hip ratio was a bit high (signs of growing fat after army), and my lower body is less well built than my upper body. Very cool stuff.

After all that, being curious, I asked for the membership charges. I knew that it would be definitely expensive and I would not sign up. But I just asked anyway. She first presented to me the company portfolio (it originally came from 24 Hour Fitness in the US) and then standard Gold plan charges. It was $225 first time member charge, $99 processing fee and $99 per month. Then because I clicked on that website and it was my birthday month, the processing fee will be discounted by $100. She then asked me what ar3y concerns about whether I should sign up with a gym or not. Of course, other than convenience and commitment, price will be a factor. She asked me what’s my budget. I thought for a while, actually I don’t really a budget for this. I gave a rough gauge of $50 per month (that will be $5/session if I come twice a week). She then asked me to hold one while she went to consult anothe staff. Hmm.

Now here comes the interesting part. She came back with another staff member and she seemed very keen to find a price to suit me. She started by saying she can offer a ‘student’ discount by waiving off the $99 processing fee, and reducing the monthly fee to $89. I still said I was pretty expensive. She asked if I was working part time while studying and asked what is my eagerness how much will it take for me to commit to a gym routine. I said probably 6/10 eager to do so. She then tried to persuade me that I am still young and this is the best age to do so…blah blah. I then replied saying that this money could be better well spent for other purposes. She asked, like what, buy things for myself? I think that there are many people around the world, or even just in Singapore, who are struggling to pay their school fees. Even though I do not need to worry about my allowance since my parents will provide, I still think I should not misuse this money and plurge on such unnecessary expenses. Besides, I could exercise on my own or go the school gym sometimes (which I have not done). She then said if I exercise on my own, there will less motivation as compared to coming here, I will have a personal trainer and other people to help me etc. Oh well I am still not prepared to commit to that now.

Here comes the even more interesting part. In an attempt to entice me further, she said she could gave me a ‘staff corporate’ discount by reducing the monthly fee to $69. (I was supposed to say wow!) Now it sounds like selling insurance or multi level marketing in which the price keeps changing. And she also said I only need to pay the first two months and the rest can pay by installments which I don’t think really matters since the total amount paid is still the same. I replied and said maybe I would consider later. She then said (pointing to a sign at the back of the wall which says ‘Special Offer ends today’), “No need to do consider, today is last day. ” (One wonders if the sign is forever there to cheat people.) I said urmm okay. And she thought I accepted the offer and said, “Welcome to…”. I said, almost about to shake her hand out of courtesy, “Welcome means what? No, I’m not commiting to this!”

After some brief closing comments, she left me alone with the original lady. I asked her if they earn commission, she said yes and depends. Hmm. She then proceeded to process the guest trial pass for me while the other lady passed me a referral form and asked me to refer 10 friends. At first I refused to write any. She said my phone so big nobody to write? Apparently this is a common way which they get new members. I then reluctantly wrote some names, people whom I think would use gyms. She then gave me a towel as a token souvenir and said “Happy Belated Birthday”.

Interesting experience. I proceeded to use the gym facilities for a while. Coincidentally, I met my old friend who was surprised to see me here. I asked him how much does he paid. He said he’s under his mum’s corporate plan and they pay around $30-40 thereabouts, renewal at $50 or something.

Update: They just tried to offer me a new price of $59 without any admin/processing fee. Amazing.

Why collecting watches is meaningless

It’s amazing how the weather changes within 26 minutes of a train ride. Before it could be bright and sunny, after that it becomes dark and rainy as I type this on my phone. (oh my phone is more than one year old!)

Last Sunday I was at Covenant EFC and the pastor said something funny about collecting watches. Nowadays there are so many avenues to tell the time. More often than not, the places which you go have huge clocks (or screens) telling you the time, such as MRT Stations, lifts, classrooms in schools. Also, most of us have other devices such as handphones or mp3 players which also tell the time. So he can’t understand why some people collect watches. What’s the difference between a luxury watch and a normal watch? They still tell the same time! It’s not as if an expensive watch can tell a special time or can pause time. Store up your treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, your heart will be also.

Last Weekend: Watchmen, NUS Open House, Delirious, IT Show


Last weekend was quite happening. Friday I went to watch Watchmen with my friends at vivo. It was like our ritual to go out on alternate Fridays this term. Anyway, we watched watchmen, which is both interesting and also slightly disappointing to some people. In some way, it follows the graphic novel well, with the flashback way of storytelling pretty interesting. In the middle it gets a bit draggy and the ending is a little nuke-the-fridge in my opinion. It has quite a bit of sex also. (Why do all depressing films seem to have sex in them?) Actually the idea that the creation of an individual is a miracle is pretty good, because an individual is uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made, regardless of the chaos or peace of the parents. However, the way that it was presented in the story was a bit anti-climatic. But being faithful to the graphic novel, I guess I’ve to read it first before judging any further.

NUS Open House

On Saturday, I was in school the whole day for NUS Open House at COM1. Other than the students who came for the NOI Prize Giving, there were not much people. Managed to meet Mr. Gi and had a chat with him. Also, there were some returning NSmen who came for special term briefing, and I actually managed to find a “long-lost” junior from VS IT Club. It was pretty amazing. There were also many projects on showcase, such as a surface computer prototype, an interactive urinal which you play games while urinating (??), and various Wii-related projects for the Interactive Media Development module. Looks like I’ve to do something similar in future.

Symphony Orchestra Concert

In the evening, I was at UCC (again) for filming of the Symphony Orchestra Concert. As mentioned, filming at UCC is quite different from VJC PT as it is of a much grander and larger scale. Had to do some white balance calibration and setup the things and it was tiring to carry so much equipment to there. almost hurt my back. Besides, we had to run here and there as we forgot to bring something. On a side note, I think that a concert band is more interesting although violins and strings are quite nice sounding. Also, I think the CO concert last week was more exciting with the smoke and dark ghostly piece, and of course, SOKR. haha.


On Sunday, I went to FCBC with Angelica as Delirious was there and it was probably the last chance to hear them. They are “taking a break” after this year, and Martin mentioned he has 6 kids (!!!) and I guess he probably wants to have more family time now. They say quite unusual songs that morning (Shout To The North, Blessed Be Your Name, I Could Sing of Your Love, So Great, History Maker, Miracle Maker). One of the songs is from the CompassionArt album. It was also funny in that the pastor requested for a fast song to end the service, but they ended up singing Miracle Maker instead. haha. Also, first time see Martin having song sheets in front of him, and he was flipping through them and throwing them on the floor. The speaker on that day was Spanish, and it was quite interesting to have to keep hearing him through a translator.

IT Show

In the afternoon, I went down to IT Show. It was overwhelming crowded. The cars jammed from Suntec to ECP and Nicoll Highway until they blocked other roads. Inconsiderate drivers drove into the yellow box and prevented other cars from driving straight at the Nicoll Highway junction. An ambulance was trying to squeeze through the mess. Ugly Singapore(an). Heard that the police had to be called in to control the traffic, and CityLink Mall was made one-way. Luckily I didn’t walk through there. Wonder why this time so crowded, would never go on a Sunday again. There was also a funny incident…I was waiting at a booth to ask a question to one of the staff, and then there was this weird middle-aged man who stood beside me and tried to get the attention of the guy by repeatedly waving his hand oddly. So funny yet irritating. My friend mentioned he looked like he was like doing the Hilter salute. lol lol. So many people buy TVs, and LCD monitors now so cheap.

22nd Birthday

A few days after all the madness, it was my 22nd birthday, but it was school as usual. Many people wished me by SMS, and some wished me during lecture. Wx got me a card and chocs, my first present of the day, (besides the fish head steamboat dinner with my relatives last sunday). After lectures, went to nuSTUDIOS room and the usual people were there. After a while, I said that I would leave early today, then one by one they slowly disappeared from the room. I realised something was amiss. And then, suddenly, Pearl entered the room. It was quite funny. The conversation went something like this: I said, “Hi Pearl, why are you here?” “Why can’t I be here”? lol. She then wished me happy birthday while sab, zy, yishu and smint came in with the nice cake. However, they couldn’t find a lighter so we have to make do with none. sab kept emphasizing that pearl was helping me to find the lighter just now lol.

After that, I rushed down to City Hall to meet Louis and Jeremiah for dinner. We went to the Japanese Marche-style Shokudo restaurant, which is pretty nice but expensive. We ate a variety of things, like a mini-buffet, such as pizza, rosti, etc. The waffle with ice-cream is extremely soft and fluffy and nice! must try. I then suggested to play left4dead haha since louis hasn’t played before. I came home and ate the brownie cake which dad bought for me. And that was how I spent my birthday.


Thanks to the following people who sent me SMS wishes:
Victor, Yip, Halim, Pang, Jing-yi, my cousin Sheryl, Sujeeta, Daryl Gan, Terence Lim, Yanli, Xavier, Clarence, Aunt Jolleen, KX, Kevin, Edwin, Josiah, Weiyi, Jungang, ZY, Jere, and any other whom I’ve missed.

And to the nuSTUDIOS people who bought the cake for me!
And also thanks to everyone else who wished me on facebook! =)

Mid Term Madness

I have not blogged for so long thanks to the mid term tests and projects. The most hectic day of the term was the first day of school after the term break, when I had 1 test, 2 graded labs and 1 quiz. It was a stressful Monday as I was rushing from one place to another. As for the mid term tests, NM1101E was pretty enjoyable. In fact it was more computing than arts based. Which paper will ask you what is packet switching and moore’s law? CS1102 was challenging, MA1101R was horrible as expected, as I could not do one quarter of the questions. CS2100 was surprisingly easier than previous semesters’, and Mr Aaron actually managed to release the test results within 24 hours! Amazing. And most scored well, which is good and bad.

The most awesome mid term was my NM2216 presentation. So far, I found the module syllabus pretty messy and vague. It covers a wide variety of concepts of media design, but the project was on sustainable transportation? What’s the link? Nevertheless, my group, consisting of 3 other girls an one guy from pharmacy, managed to come up with an idea of Book-A-Bus. In brief, instead of using iris or GPS to plan your route, you book your buses in advance and the bus companies will allocate according to the demand. You can even select which seats you want to sit. My group then arrowed me to be the presenter as I was the main proponent of the idea, (and I was supposedly eloquent), and only one presenter was needed. Fortunately, our lecturers like our idea and the classes laughed at our picture depictions of Singaporeans boarding buses. It was quite a rewarding experience although I wonder why we did not get featured with the other 4 projects during lecture.

Let me try to showcase our presentation:

Amidst all the madness, there was the Chinese Orchestra concert, in which our video for the Song Of Kent Ridge will be played. The rehearsal was on Friday and the actual concert on Saturday night. It was quite fun to be part of such a great production, as it was much greater as compared to performances in VJC’s PT. UCC is pretty impressive and it was my first time entering the backstage area. It is huge, with two levels of long (hospital-like) corridors with many dressing rooms, big and small. The smaller ones even come with attached toilets. Being in one dressing room makes you feel like some broadway star with all the mirrors and bulbs all around! Lol. You can even hear what’s happening on stage through a speaker. While exploring the area itself we almost got lost. It was a good experience interacting with the stage managers and production staff. As for the concert itself, it went well and the CFA director liked our clip. Also, when we did the live feed of the piano soloist on the screen, the whole audience exclaimed “Wah…” and then they broke into laughter a the pianist’s hands were trembling. Haha. During the intermission reception, there was a funny incident whereby cucumbers carrots and thousand island sauce were placed in separate wine glasses. The funny thing was when some people took the glasses filled with thick orange thousand island, thinking they could drink it! LOL. Fortunately they put it back soon after.

That’s an exciting week. More to come.