Ryan, my trusty co-driver, and I have been preparing for our 30-hour VW Polo Non-Stop Rally all week.
We will be driving the new VW Polo this Saturday and Sunday (21 to 22 November), all around Singapore, and we've been making sure that we are ready for this test of our endurance and ability to pack a weekend with as much stuff as possible.
Our first concern was gear. When you have to blog, video-blog, take photos and tweet the whole road trip, you have to make sure all the equipment is in place. We tried very hard to think of excuses to go to Sim Lim Square to buy new gadgets for the Non-Stop Rally.
I suggested perhaps we should buy a new Olympus EP-1 digital camera.
Ryan said, "Siao ah, we already have a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR."
So we decided to buy a new 16GB thumb drive just because we felt like it.
Even power was a concern. No laptop battery is going to last 30 hours on the road, so we had to get a Kensington Inverter that allowed us to draw AC power from the car's DC-powered lighter socket.
You may think tweeting and blogging on the move is easy but let me assure you that this is a task very few can accomplish without puking. Some of you have problems even reading in a moving vehicle without nausea, let alone writing and editing video.
No fear! I have gone through Shaolin-like training, and can now stare at my tiny mobile phone screen and peck away at the tiny keyboard at a ninja-like five words per minute, while on an MRT train, public bus and taxi. All without throwing up.
The second concern was the car itself. Will we like the new VW Polo? Will the car befit our dashing adventurer image? Will we be able to live with driving it around for two days?
We went for a test drive to find out for ourselves, and I am happy to report that we will be safe and comfortable in this car. I drove it in my usual Safe Uncle mode around the block, happily experiencing the acclaimed Volkswagen 7-speed dual clutch transmission known as DSG (Direct-Shift Gearbox).
The gears shift very fast and silently as a result of this technology and I strained to hear the gear changes. Quiet as a mouse. This kind of gearbox is rarely found in 1.4-litre cars, I am told.
A little annoyed with my rather safe driving style, Ryan took over for his turn and he drove in his Fierce Dude mode. He changed gears himself with the car's Tiptronic or manual mode and looked satisfied with the car's responsiveness.
Then Daniel, the sales trainer, gave us the extended tour of the car and its features. The first thing we wanted to do, of course, is what every Singaporean does when they check out new cars.
We opened and closed the doors.
The car gave a satisfying 'thunk' when the door closed and none of that tin can sound you get from other cars sometimes. Ryan and I looked at each other and gave our Satisfied Singaporean Car Tester nods.
The last concern we had was getting sufficient rest to build up enough stamina for the weekend drive. In order to get the ball rolling, we decided to go for a late afternoon screening of 2012 (nutshell review: effects very good, story very lame).
Yes, we played truant from work. And it felt good. It also helps that we are both our own bosses.
Hey, when you work hard like us, you need to play hard too.
As you can see, we have put in a lot of effort preparing for our 30-hour VW Polo Non-Stop Rally. The least you can do is come down to support us. Check out our route and checkpoints at www.polo.sg.
See you there, ok? On!