01 Nov 2017 - 8:16
Singaporeans with appetite for destruction get 'rage room' relief
Singapore: Bad day at the office? In high-pressured Singapore there is now a solution -- a "rage room" that lets stressed-out people take a baseball bat to items ranging from glass bottles to televisions.
The "Fragment Room" consists of a bare, cell-like space with concrete walls, where customers pay to indulge in an unusual form of destructive stress relief.
After being given overalls, helmets, gloves and shoes, people proceed to smash up items ranging from plates to printers.
The set-up opened six months ago and inhabitants of the city-state have shown they have an appetite for destruction. Anxious office workers have given it a go, as well as students and retirees in their 60s.
While Singapore is ultra-modern and affluent, it is also notorious for the high levels of stress suffered by its citizens, from school children to adults, who are placed under huge pressure to do well from an early age.
"Everyone in Singapore -- no matter where you come from, what your background is, whatever you do, whatever age you are -- everyone is stressed out," Royce Tan, the founder of "Fragment Room", told AFP.
"Be it school, be it work, be it like your own personal relations, everything is stressful."
The set-up, one of several such "rage rooms" in cities around the world, has two main offerings: half-hour slots with a limited amount of items to smash for Sg$38 ($28), or the Sg$350 "annihilation pack" that lets customers smash as much as they can in half an hour.
Most items are provided by the "Fragment Room", located in a disused noodle factory in central Singapore, but customers can also bring their own.
And the most popular item to smash? Printers.
On a recent afternoon at the shop, four students, aged 18 and 19, who had just finished their exams were enjoying a session, and the thud of bat on printer was just audible through the concrete walls.
Law student Kylie Low, drenched in sweat and with her shoes covered in printer ink, described it as a "cathartic experience".
"When we're in school we're always printing things for class -- so to be able to smash up a printer, it feels amazing," the 18-year-old said.