Night Time Road Trip: Things To Do During Covid-19

David Foo
5 Jun 2020

Night Time Road Trip: Things To Do During Covid-19  

Through this little night driving adventure, you’ll be able to see some places in a different light and discover new and beautiful things, such as beautiful houses and mansions along the Dempsey Hill Estate.

With the Circuit Breaker ending and the nation entering Phase 1 (Safe-Reopening), we are taking baby steps toward recovery as a country. While we are now allowed some social interaction in the form of controlled visits to our parent’s or grandparent’s homes, I think most people will agree that life is pretty much the same as it was during the Circuit Breaker. For many me, the biggest struggle thus far has been keeping myself entertained outside of  office hours. Without access to my usual leisure activities, my nights and weekends spent stuck at home just seem like very long weekdays now. Moreover, there are after all only so many Netflix shows one can watch, or video games one can play before your back starts to hurt. 

Recently, my wife and I were watching Castle Rock on Netflix late into the night and all of a sudden, she sits up and says “I am hungry”. Problem is, we can’t call for delivery at that hour, because when the delivery guy hits my intercom, my dog will start barking, and my two year old will wake up screaming. If you are a fellow parent of a young child, you will agree that one should never risk waking a sleeping child. However, we spotted an opportunity and before long, we had grabbed the car keys and were out the door (my helper was at home with my two year old). This sparked the start of frequent night time driving excursions for my wife and I, to either buy some food, run some errand, or simply do some “sightseeing”. Little did we know that the initial predicament would lead us to the realisation that our night time driving excursions would prove valuable in terms of entertainment, provide a good way to maintain safety measures (there are generally less people out at night), and also allow us to engage in one of our favourite activities (driving) all at once. Here’s sharing some of the things that we got up to during our night time driving excursions ever since. Hopefully some of you can also find some joy, or at the very least, an excuse to take a drive. 

Buy Some Durians

Durians are in season (thank goodness) and there are actually numerous websites and places that do durian delivery nowadays. Truth be told, they can be quite convenient. However, most of these durian delivery sites require a pre-order a couple of hours beforehand, and are a little more expensive. Because of their online reach, they can also be sold out pretty early in the day. Personally for me, durians are a night time craving, and usually one that must be satisfied on impulse. I feel it is a little odd to make specific plans to eat durian, and arrange for a pre-order. The solution? Head out and buy the durians. There is perhaps something a little bit ritualistic about heading out to buy durians that I enjoy. First you have to deal with the intimidating shirtless durian seller, bargain for a good price, load the durians into your car, and then drive home to enjoy them. The end result is that the durian smell will linger in your car for a few days to a week thereafter. This is usually where I enjoy giving my car a good wash and detailing because I’ll know that my effort was worth the while. Even if the durians don’t inspire you to give your car interior a thorough cleaning, it will at least provide you a reason to charge up your car batteries during this period, which can get quite drained and depleted if you haven’t driven for awhile. If you should head out to buy the durians, it would be a good idea to call up your usual stall and check for availability as durians are hot in demand right now. Alternatively, you can just take a drive through Sims Avenue and hop between the numerous stalls located there. Parking is pretty easy along the side streets off Sims Avenue nowadays as there aren’t too many people out, but be careful not to park along the double zig zag lines on the main road itself. 

24 Hour Grocery Shopping

When i am not shopping for perishables and fresh food, I like to do this shopping late at night, at a 24 hour supermarket. There is something therapeutic about taking my time in a near empty supermarket, with not a care in the world. It is normally also during this time that I take the time to study new products, compare prices, and learn new things. This is something I wouldn’t normally be able to do during daytime supermarket shopping as it's crowded, and I normally just grab what I usually buy and move along. It is normally also during night time grocery shopping where I will pick up larger, bulky items such as cooking oil, rice, laundry detergent, shower gel, shampoo, or frozen meat. Buying bulky items late at night makes sense, because you get the best parking lots (less tiring to carry the items), and you can take your time to unload when you are back home as you aren’t trying to meet the timing for your next teleconference. 24 hour supermarkets aren’t available everywhere, so do check out online where your nearest 24 hour Cold Storage, NTUC or Giant supermarket is located. Because you might be driving some distance, and also because you’ll be carrying quite a heavy load of groceries, it is also important that you check your tire pressure before heading off. If you haven’t driven your car for some time, your tires may have deflated quite a fair bit from the last time you drove the car. If you were to drive a long distance or carry large loads on under-inflated tires, you may risk causing damage to the tire sidewalls. In some extreme cases, leaving your car unattended for too long can also lead to flat spots on the tire. So before you head out, be sure to check your tires and inflate them at your neighbourhood petrol station before being on your way. After all, night time is also the best time to inflate your tires accurately, as your tires are still cold. 

Grab Some Supper

Eating is a national pastime, and this will always be the case, virus or not. To me, there are few things more satisfying than satisfying those late night hunger pangs with some supper. It feels even more well earned when you have to drive out and get it yourself. Of course, there are delivery options available as well, which may seem more convenient. However, heading out to pick up your supper is probably one of the most frequent things you can do on this list of things to do, and it will go a long way in ensuring that your car stays in good shape throughout this period of lower usage. Some of my favourite supper options to pick up late at night include Dim Sum from Jalan Besar, Prata from Jalan Kayu, Chinese Desserts from Bugis, Nasi Lemak from Punggol, Mee Soto from Changi Village, Mee Sua from Kembangan, Wanton Mee from Joo Chiat, and of course, Chicken Nuggets from Mcdonalds. I think food is very personal, and everybody has their own favourites, thus, feel free to think about your own list of favourite supper spots. Aside from supper, it is also a good idea to drive out in the evenings to do takeaways of your favourite restaurants. I often head halfway across the island to take away Peranakan Food from a place in Binjai Park where I’ve been eating since I was a kid. The point is, food makes people happy, and in these times of crisis, go out and get it if it makes you happy. You can even take your child or dog for a little road trip for some rewarding family time. 

Do Some Sightseeing

Before I start on this, I am not asking anyone to go galavanting down Orchard Road during this period. However, as local residents we often forget that there are still many interesting places in Singapore that we may not have seen. Thus, a little driving excursion where everyone stays in the car, might expose you to quite a number of interesting spots around Singapore. Aside from giving your car the good run it deserves, your children will definitely appreciate it as well. Through this little night driving adventure, you’ll be able to see some places in a different light and discover new and beautiful things, such as beautiful houses and mansions along the Dempsey Hill Estate. A slow late night drive to see the lesser explored areas of Singapore - what’s not to love? Here is a list of places that I would drive by and explore at night:

  • Yishun Dam  / Seletar Aerospace Park

  • Jurong Hill / Tuas South

  • Dempsey Estate / Peirce Road

  • Changi Village / Tanah Merah Coast Road

  • Lim Chu Kang / Neo Tiew

  • Sembawang Park / Kampong Wak Hassan

  • Upper Seletar Reservoir / Mandai Road

  • Central Business District / Marina Coastal Drive

  • Turf Club Road / Fairways Drive

While exploring any place late at night, it is important that you do your best to be considerate by not making too much noise and to practice safe driving even though the roads are empty as some of the places mentioned include residential areas as well. Stay in the car and enjoy the experience from safety. Additionally, if you have extremely young children who might scare easily, I would advise against exploring overly secluded areas such as the Turf Club Road / Fairways Drive area late at night as it is very dark, and the Turf Club Bukit Timah Junkyard located there can feel quite eerie night. 

#Drive #Night #Supper #Food #Bored #PassTime

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