i don’t even know where to begin!
i’m slouching on our new paprika-coloured sofa, a metre from the computer, still cloaked (or rather, barely decent) in last night’s green t-shirt which still smells of 8 hours of sleep and a pair of faded green boyshorts topped with a pink ribbon.
sounds like my daily routine in Dubai, except we’re in Singapore!
3 weeks in Jordan and Egypt, 3 in Singapore and KL, another 2 in Dubai, and now we’re back to Singapore. we’ve tied up all thinkable loose ends in Dubai and have moved back here. i’m gonna miss all that airplane food. plastic food in little boxes? how can i resist!
there are two main phases to any inter-country move. settling down and settling in.
settling down. looking at classified ads for rental apartments daily, running around Singapore looking at apartments and meeting agents with dollar-signs in their eyes. all this, in one of the wettest months of the year, August, is hardly a walk in the park.
more like a dash through soggy parks with a pair of flip-flops.
while looking for a more permanent pad, my granduncle and grandauntie were generous enough to put us up. grampies are the best. they have funny stories, they are loving and they repeat everything they say. we even managed to squeeze in an excursion to Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve where we faced off with what looked like a giant monitor lizard. more of that next time.
rentals in Singapore are absolutely insane. we knew from looking at online ads 2 months ago but we couldn’t really believe it, or at least, we were in denial.
HDB (Housing Development Board – government flats for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) flats going for above 1K, private apartments for above 2.5K. the owner of a crummy 3-room (2 bedrooms + 1 hall) HDB for rent on Zion Road was hoping to bank in 1.7K just on the apartment’s central location! i’d rather pay the same for Redhill or Tiong Bahru apartments which are far newer and only a few MRT stations away.
understand the general rent increases but some landlords are plain greedy (and ridiculous!) and while some agents can barely convince the landlords of how stupid some of the insisted rents are, i believe a good bulk of agents are happily cashing in.
selling prices are even more ridiculous, especially with regards to HDB units. some owners are asking for $100k in cash. young Singaporean couples can only opt for new HDBs if they don’t have ridiculous amounts of spare change lying around.
this needs to be plugged – HDBs are supposed to be affordable housing for Singaporeans, not money-making schemes for greedy owners or for PRs who’ve left Singapore for good but are renting out their HDB units to genuine Singaporeans/PRs who really need a place to stay.
mass hysteria, this is what it is. greedy hysteria on the part of some HDB owners. i’m relieved we purchased our Pinnacle unit 2 years ago, the only headache we have to deal with is the ant problem in this house we’re renting! i am being eaten alive by tiny black ants! can’t leave a mug of soya milk out unattended longer than 15 minutes.
and now, settling in. we moved in on sunday. cable tv up on sunday. Ravi started work on monday. sofa arrived on monday. internet connection finally rectified wednesday. now we’re just waiting for our container to arrive from Dubai. can’t wait to be surrounded by familiar things.
we live in Bukit Batok now and i have to confess i’m absolutely lost, geographically. drop me anywhere in the west or north of Singapore and i’m a lost chicken. although the housing agent arranged for the house to be cleaned before we moved in, it just looks clean and is nowhere near clean. the previous tenants were somehow living in filth and did not really care for the apartment as much as they should.
this is what i don’t get. many tenants barely care for the house they live in for whatever reason they think is fair e.g. “i’m paying what, i can do whatever i want.”, “these aren’t my things, so whatever.”
when we borrow a book from the library, we do not exactly rip its pages out, do we? or maybe some of you do, the same ones who never scrub dishracks or the kitchen stove.
we’re treating the kitchen with Body Shop’s Passionfruit to get rid of the strong curry smell we were initially bowled over by when we viewed the house. it’s working out nicely – save for the ants who’ve been zooming in on the vegetable tealight candles. go pick up some cockroach leg or something! leave me and my candles alone!
now, all that’s left to do is scrub the kitchen grease, sanitize all the cupboards and sparkle the bathrooms! oh, and gotta find me a job.
my extended holiday is over. damn.