Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What would you do for 50 cents?

These are tough economic times. Everyone's trying to save a dollar. Or in the case of some Singaporeans, 50 cents (US 30 cents actually). When you drive north on the CTE at night in Singapore, you pass through an ERP gantry. Said in plain English, when you take the highway you go under the equivalent of a toll booth that automatically sucks money off a cash card on your dashboard.

Last night when some friends were driving us home from Bible study, we noticed a number of cars pulling off on the left shoulder. What's the problem? Accident? The only time I see this happen is when motorcyclists seek the refuge of an overhanging bridge during rainstorms.

Then we realized what it was. They were approaching the ERP, which was set to turn off at 10:30. It was 10:28. So these people were pulling off to wait the remaining two minutes so they could save 50 cents. Really? With the price of gas in Singapore, aren't you using about that much just idling there for however long you've been there? I suppose when you have to do it consistently, it becomes about the principle of it - you get tired of Big Brother electronically zapping your pocketbook on a regular basis. We in the car debated how much money it would take for us to pull over for 2 minutes. We decided $2. I think there's a time/money ratio here that a geekier version of me would attempt to discern.

Fiona, Wei Han, thanks for taking the 50 cent hit for us.


Ashley L said...

Hey Gina! I love your new picture! Just stopping by to say hi and see what's new. God bless your day!

noble said...

Ah Singaporeans a penny wise a pound foolish.