“Bongrace” ride in Singapore

Were our parents over cautious? Were they anti adventurous or they just didn’t want their kids to have fun? I found it hard to understand as a boy and I’m sure you did too. Growing up in Ghana in the 80s and 90s in the middle income and slightly educated family wasn’t an easy task. You were expected to study hard to become somebody. By somebody they meant a medical doctor, a lawyer of some profession of some repute. You dared not dream of becoming a footballer because our parents thought it was a game for rascals who didn’t want to achieve anything. I bet this upbringing curtailed the dreams and talents of many of my contemporaries.

There was this particular sledge ride (Bongrace) made of ball bearings and wooden slabs which was particularly prohibited. You were sure to receive a strong-worded reprimand, a beating or even forfeit dinner should you take a ride on the forbidden bongrace. The joy you experience on the ride knew no bounds not just because it was a forbidden sweet fruit but it also built bonds some of which have lasted till now as you could not enjoy the ride alone as you needed someone to push you and probably a percher sat behind the driver. The applause from friends who watched and enjoyed the ride was equally intoxicating. which adventurous African kid would say no to the sledge ride?

Fast forward to today and many of us who enjoyed the bongrace ride are matured and may have probably forgotten that such a pleasure even existed. I thought I had forgotten until I visited Sentosa Island in Singapore and decided to do the Skyride and Luge. The sheer numbers of people both adults and children waiting in line for their turn were indicative of something exciting. It was soon our turn after minutes in the queue. We sat in our seat and bundled in and we were drawn up-hill on cables. The excitement of taking pictures mixed with the fear of height and fear that your phone might fall was indescribable. We were uphill in a few minutes and that was when the luge ride began. You’ll sit in a small kart similar to my native sledge but a much improved. You’ll then be pushed and then rely on the slope to descend the slope. The thrill of overtaking others makes it more exciting. Bending and turning the curves can make one feel like a formula-one rider.

I’ve got many reasons to travel and one of them is to unlock memories and feel young again. I saw many men and women do this ride over and over again as if to agitate the anger of their overprotective parents. Whenever you travel to Sentosa Island, try the Luge Ride and feel young again!!!


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