June 30, 2004

Austin – day six

Alright, if it’s still not that obvious enough, I actually went to Johnson Space Center at Houston on day 6. That’s right, I drove 4 fucking hours just to get a feel on how the congested traffic of Houston’s like… and then to visit the ever screwed up Space center.

Johnson Space Center is the place where those Americans launches all those rockets up to space (correct me if I’m wrong) – in case you wonder what the hell is the place all about. American space disaster films always show some hero astronaut chanting the magic words “Houston, we have a problem.” whenever they’re in trouble. This is the ‘Houston’ place.

So, was the place fun? Hell no. It was a big disappointment for me. Well… and my friends too. Even slouches like Cheecheongfun felt that the place sucked big time. Here are the reasons why :

1) the building looked chintzy (like Penang Komtar) from outside. It looked like some kind of factory outlet in some remote part of China that sells fake pearls to rip off tourists. Admission fee is USD22.50 – which is fucking expensive. I could have used the money to visit some titty bar (admission only 5 bucks and plus another 5 for a beer)… and yet, have enough money to call for a good lap dance from a busty blond.

2) my expectation was to see some space related items. Maybe a couple of moonrocks or perhaps some sort of weird minerals they found on a foreign piece of rock. But no. The first thing we saw was a commercialized lobby with kids screaming and running all over the place. No it didn’t look like a space center at all. It was more like a cheesy theme park.

3) Theme park it was – that kind of made us readjust our expectations. We hoped that it would be a GOOD theme park. Roller coaster ride on a space shuttle shaped cart or something. But again, hell no. What do they have there then? Some stupid guy boasting stories about their space program with a cheap 3D animated scenes at the background (it was animated using Corel’s Poser program… which, I could model WAY BETTER than them)… and some model interior of the shuttle cockpit. Then they have this stupid mini theater with a malfunctioned audio. Houston… we have a big fucking problem.

4) Alright. That was pretty much about the so called “theme park”. There was this tram ride to the actual Space center research facilities. Cool – we thought. We finally get to see some real spacecraft or maybe some cool exhibits concerning the space program. First, we had to endure the long queue of crowd waiting for the ride – waited for approximately 1.5 hours before we boarded the fucking tram. What took them so long? Well, it appears that the entire space center tram schedule was operated by a bunch of prepubescents aged between 12 and 15 (summer job or something). Hell, they were so screwed up, that it took them 20 minutes just to get a batch of passengers into one ride, because some of them could not figure out the seating position of the passengers. Tonnes of bullshit. It was kinda ironic to know that a supposedly high tech space center is actually operated by a bunch of imbecile kids… how thought provoking.

And then, when we finally got on the tram, guess where did the tram lead us to? To tour the parking lot of a few old and dilapidated buildings. “That’s building one fifty nine… it fucking does this… and that”. And that was basically all about it. No exhibits. Well, there were a few model space shuttle inside a fake hangar for us to photograph on (see previous entry). But those are pretty much plastics and rubber stuffs. They’re not real. What a disappointment.

So, that was how I spent my day in Houston. We drove (I drove) straight home right after the space center visit. The place is a total crap. If you happen to get a chance to visit the space center in Houston? Don’t go. It’s not worth it.

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