Sunday 22 June 2014

The fault in our Jem – here come the waterworks

Yes, I cried at the movie.

It was about two young people in love and one of them dies.

I am, of course, talking about The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Having teared up once (okay, maybe twice) in the cinema this year is more than enough. I have a manly man image to protect.

That is why I refused to watch The Fault In Our Stars with my teen daughter who is a fan of the John Green novel the movie is based on.

I saw the trailer. I read the reviews. And the spoilers. So I let her see the weepie with her mother.

Now that I think about it, The Fault In Our Stars and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are practically the same movie (except one of them has a giant metal rhino in it).

Both movies are about loving someone even though you know you could get hurt in the end.

Which sort of describes my relationship with Jem.

Yes, I’m talking about the incident-prone Jurong East mall celebrating its first birthday this month.

I love Jem. It’s near where I live and convenient to get to.

I just saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 there on Monday. No, I didn’t cry at that one.

I took my mum to the Din Tai Fung restaurant there for a Mother’s Day dinner. I cried when I saw the bill.

I know for some of you, it must come as a shock that Jem is even still around, considering all that has happened to the mall since it opened a year ago.

It’s a wonder the ground didn’t simply open up and swallow the whole structure by now.

If a meteor should hit Earth, Jem would be the point of impact.

If Godzilla should ever visit Singapore, Jem would be the first building levelled.

If Jem were in the World Cup, it would be England. (I’m not saying Spain because Spain were at least champions four years ago.)

To quote John Green: “There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”

And yet. And yet!

Like Tom Cruise’s movie career and the character he plays in Edge Of Tomorrow, Jem just refuses to say die.

You have to admire that.

To quote Green again: “Our fearlessness shall be our secret weapon.”

It’s going to take more than a delayed opening, two fires in four days, a false ceiling collapse, a broken glass door, a power failure and a Wikipedia page listing all these incidents to bring Jem down.

Not even a newer, sexier mall next door called Westgate, which opened about six months after Jem.

There was no delayed opening due to fire permits not being ready or other mishaps at Westgate.

The worst thing that happened there was when the resurrected Borders bookstore died (again).

Someone should shoot it in the head to make sure it doesn’t come back as a zombie (again).

But forget Westgate.

So what if it still has Isetan, Tim Ho Wan and the place in the basement that sells waffle burgers?

That’s right, these burgers have waffles for buns.

And you thought the new Burger King Transformers beef and chicken Whopper Bot was insane.

Waffle burgers are insaner.

Forget all that.

Jem is celebrating its first birthday and nothing is going to dampen the festivity, goddammit!

Not even waffle burgers.

Cue the indoor rain.

On Tuesday, it appeared to rain inside the mall.

Was it the urinating woman from Pinnacle@Duxton emptying a particularly full bladder in the Jem lift?

Or was it the tears from people watching The Fault In Our Stars in the Cathay Cineplex on the fifth storey?

No, it can’t be because the indoor rain happened on Tuesday and the movie opened only on Thursday.

And nobody’s bladder can be that full.

This is what Jem posted on Facebook to explain what happened:
“At 12:15pm, 17th June, the atrium side water sprinklers on level 3 in the mall were triggered, affecting a small section of the mall’s common areas on Levels B1, 1 and 2 and some tenancies in those areas.

“The water has been cleared from those areas by 4:00pm the same day. Jem remains open to shoppers and public.”
Did you read that?

“Jem remains open to shoppers and public.”

It wasn’t going to let a little water rain on its birthday parade. Sprinklers shprinklers.

I guess I should count myself lucky that for all the times I have been to Jem, I have yet to encounter a single mishap, although sometimes I feel like I’m missing out.

The worst thing that happened to me at Jem was when I went to buy movie tickets at Cathay last month and was told they only sold food and drinks at that counter. I had to go to another counter to buy tickets. I was so embarrassed.

But I suppose it’s only a matter of time that one day, the false ceiling would fall on me and I would drown in a flash flood and simultaneously burn to death at Jem.

And when that day comes, I would (mis)quote The Fault In Our Stars one last time: “You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world... but you do have some say in who hurts you.

“I like my choices.”


You need a tissue?

- Published in The New Paper, 22 June 2014

EARLIER: Jem’s jam more shocking than Wong Li-lin’s divorce