It was the end of the first week I was there in Connecticut and everyday I was living a relax style of life in Hartford.
However, the usual Singapore pace no longer works there for me.
You know how we Singaporeans are; waking up pretty early in the morning every weekend to get to the hawker centre, have breakfast, go to the markets or supermarkets to replenish our groceries, and the next thing you know it’s already 3:00 pm in the afternoon?
Well, over here in Connecticut, I got woken up by a woodpecker at 5:00 am.
(YES a lone woodpecker pecking in the woods)
How loud was the puny bird you may aask?
Well, you can try to imagine someone knocking a nail to the wall, say 2 storeys up in your flat.
And how far away was the woodpecker you may ask?
Here’s an overall picture:
You can go figure how quiet the neighbourhood is.
So after being woken up at 5:00 am, (yesh the above sunrise was taken at 5:00 am), I washed up and made breakfast. By the time I finish my breakfast, it was only 7:00 am in the morning. My cousin would leave house around 7:00 am in the morning for work and I have the entire house to myself.
The stores aren’t open yet, and since I was living in the countryside, the entire neighbourhood was still half awake in dreamland.
I would kick back on the couch and watch Discovery Channel and occasionally read a book.
Even I didn’t explore much, it was really a vacation.
So, during the weekend, the New York Car Show was in town.
Melanie and Darren took me to see the show.
Darren drove about 3 hours to the nearest train station: Union Station in New Haven to take a train to New York.
The Union station is just a very simple platform and you have the vending machine to purchase your tickets.
The train ride was another 2 hours to the Grand Central Station.
The exhibition hall was huge!
And many cars!
There were some places with photo booths where there will be a camera and a crew member stationed there and takes photo for you where you are then given a card with a barcode on it.
Then after the event was over, you logged onto the event website to download your photos.
And they came with a frame!
So the entire afternoon, we spend our time wondering around the exhibition and taking pictures of cars..
So many cars, so little time..
I don’t have much knowledge on cars, so I just snapped whatever car I like based on appearance!
Here are some of my favourites:
As I wasn’t an expert in cars, so I only went around taking pictures of cars that look good in my opinion.
There was this particular car brand that Darren has said that it is the most expensive car brand in the world, and literally “a mansion on wheels”. It is called the Maybach.
Besides looking impressive in the soft orange spotlight, I didn’t really thought of much about this car.
Only when I came home and research on this car then I realised that “woah~ this IS really expensive.”
It is one of the — get this — “Uber-luxury” cars in the market from Daimler.
Check out there website here: http://www.maybachusa.com/index.php
However, I also found this recent article: http://www.icars.sg/category/maybach/
I guess unless you are super-rich, this car can only probably be an eye-candy.
I also learnt from a well to do uncle that they prefer a car that is “good to drive” and not just “good to sit in”, since most of them bought the cars because they love driving it. That is why cars like BMW or Bentley are more in demand than the Maybach. Well, unless you are uber-rich and has a driver; then probably it’s a whole different story altogether.
Another memorable experience that left me with a deep impression was Jeep’s advertising and promotional methods. First they parked their Jeeps on the wall.
Yes, they did. And of course, who would resist taking photos of themselves lifting the car??
Then they build an all terrain course inside the exhibition. YES, THEY REALLY DID!!!! You got to queue up for the ride where you will be taken in a Jeep jeep driven by their experts all around the course. OMG, it was like an instant roller coaster ride!
I didn’t queue for it though, it was as long as Singaporeans queued for Hello Kitty, but I took a photo at their photo booth for keepsake!
The dirt terrain course behind me is that course.. I didn’t manage to capture the “hill” course though.
And if you notice in the above picture, the queue runs on the right side in the background.
I saw this van display that was really interesting because they ‘cut’ up the vehicle in half and left the engines and internals exposed.
They even have tags to pinpoint what the exposed areas are. It was really informative and at the same time interesting to look at. For a novice like me, it’s like an freeze frame of a “How it is made” episode right in front of my eyes. After a few rounds in the huge exhibition hall, I managed to find my favourite car!
It was, as usual, too many people around the car that I decide to just snap and go.
The whole exhibition was an eye opener for me then since my world prior to this trip was just, Singapore.
It is however, another experience that happens soon after the exhibition that have etched a permanent mark in my memory.
Have you heard of the word “spine-chilling”?? It is the feeling you feel when you are really scared and you gwt the cold spike of electricity travelling down your spine.
Or the Chinese phrase 冷到骨里?? It is also a phrase that describes the cold is so chilling that you feel it in your bones. Well, that was what I experienced walking 7 streets up to the Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
You see, I did underestimated the coldness I would really experience there. When I asked my cousin if the weather in New York would be cold, or chilling, she said it would be fine.
However, I forgot that me, a girl from the tropics would benchmark the term ‘cold’ very differently compared to her. She may feel fine, but I was shivering. Walking up 7 streets in New York in the cold is a no easy feat.
It isn’t like Singapore where 7 streets is nothing but over there it was easily an 30mins walk or 45mins when the strong winds were blowing.
Oh yes, brollies are no longer useful. Ponchos, wind breakers with hoodies are the most useful items there.
I can only emphasize: it was very very cold!
A hot chocolate was very welcoming when I bought it for our journey back on the train.
Didn’t take a picture of the steaming hot chocolate.
But I did take a picture of the grand central terminal before we head home to Connecticut.
It was about 10pm when we reach the train station where Darren had parked Melanie’s car.
One thing about cars in cold countries, they have heater.
It was the best thing about that very cold day!!
More stories to come!