As a theme park attraction, it’s a cool one because the stunts and special effects are awesome. I’m talking about the Water World attraction at Universal Studios Singapore, which is based on Kevin Costner’s movie, Water World. Costner’s Water World was a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi movie that was released in 1995. Costner played the Mariner, an anti-hero drifter with webbed feet and gills, who sailed the Earth in a boat and reluctantly helped a woman and young girl find land. The future was wet – the polar ice caps were gone and everything was submerged in water. A decade or so later, the film doesn’t seem like another Sci-Fi flick. It’s a reality given what’s happening around the world. Flood was big news in Singapore about a year ago because Orchard was partially submerged. Starbucks near Wheelock Place was destroyed as well as the newly opened DeliFrance. Maximo Dutti wasn’t spared either.
Flooding in the Philippines, sadly, isn’t news because it happens on a regular basis. The one image that has never left my memory bank is that of a jeepney sunken in an underpass and its roof was the only visible thing. Horror stories of people wading through flood waters to get from point A to point B are plenty too.
The floods in the Philippines and height of the flood waters that inundated the streets of Jakarta last week were what reminded me of Kevin’s world. The one boss that I truly enjoy working with was caught in traffic for three hours because the roads leading to her house had water rising up to waist level. On a normal, sunny day, it takes her about 30 minutes to get home from work. But that day was extraordinarily wet! And it seems that the wet spell isn’t going to end soon, which only means more traffic jams, submerged roads and leaking roofs (if they’re not blown away by the winds; a colleague told me that the roof of his house bade him farewell one stormy night) and endless bouts with the flu bug.
Unlike the theme park attraction Water World where you have the choice of staying dry or getting moderately wet or soaking wet (they have a Wetness board explaining the tiered seats and level of wetness), Kevin’s world in reality is no walk in the park. It’s annoying at one end and detrimental at the other end. Think of the germs and bacteria that have mixed merrily in the flood waters that people have to wade through. Think of the traffic jams and the effect on people with hypertension and those rushing to get to the hospital. Think of the displaced people because their homes were washed away or rendered uninhabitable.
Kevin’s world, on a sad note, has just left the cinema and buttressed by the creeping effect of global warming. It’s now available in your nearest clogged drains, crowded cities and barren forests.