SINGAPORE: Tragedy struck the international geocaching community when one of its most sought after Singaporean containers was whisked away to a Chinese railcar factory in the middle of the night.
‘What is geocaching?’ you ask? It’s ok, I had no idea until a Dutch couple shared their passion for this GPS treasure hunting hobby with me. The official website explains it as “an outdoor adventure where players use our free mobile app or a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers around the world.”
OK, so what’s the ‘disaster’?
Good question. That’s the whole point of this story.
What’s gone wrong is that some geocacher decided to cleverly hide a geocache container under a seat on one of the 26 Singapore MRT Trains that have been sent back to China for repairs.
Millions of Geocahcers have recently arrived in Singapore seeking to locate the hidden container. Not knowing that it is on board a train that is now on the Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company (CSR Sifang) factory premises, they are wandering aimlessly back and forth on Singapore’s North South East West Line.
Not only can such activity cause delays with the few non-defective trains that still operate on these tracks, it also means that these tourists are not spending money at Singapore’s Integrated resorts, shopping malls, theme parks or zoos.
“They might as well have taken holiday on a foreign entity” said one anonymous agency spokesperson.
Ok, there is some good news. A few of the geocachers read an article in a Hong Kong newspaper that identified the location of the train containing the sought after geocache container. These geocachers obtained funds from an ang moh bank robber and have made their way to Qingdao, where they can also enjoy the largest bathing beach in Asia.
Such disasters will not happen in the future as all trains will be phased out of the city-state.