Singapore Apartment Hunt: The Aftermath
By Dave Fox
It’s always weird moving into a new home. No matter how perfect the place seems before you sign the contract, surprises reveal themselves once you move in.
One of our two water heaters wasn’t working. A recently resuscitated light fixture conked out for good. And while we had reveled in the view from the living room, we hadn’t paid attention to the building across the way. Before moving in, we had only seen it in daylight. It hadn’t occurred to us that at night, some, not all, of the ancient neon letters would flicker and cast a jaundiced glow our way.
From my home-office, on the other hand, the view is pretty cool. Three months later, as I sit down to work each morning, I still get goosebumps. The room has floor-to-ceiling, corner windows. They look out over the Singapore skyline, and down at a palm tree garden. This is a rich-people’s view. I’m not sure how we landed here.
To reduce clutter, I bought a glass-top desk. That was Kattina’s idea. “If you buy a glass desk,” she said, “you can look right through it, down at the palm trees and the fountains. Maybe it’ll give you an incentive to be less messy.”
She was right. I love the view through my desk. So at the end of each workday, before I shut things down, I reach across my desk with an outstretched arm. As long as I haven’t let the piles get too high, one brisk sweep is all it takes to clean off my assorted bills, empty coffee mugs, random bits foreign currency, and anything else that might be an obstruction. I’m greeted with a fresh view every morning — and after three months, the pile next to the desk is high enough, it’s like extended table space.
Some of our furniture we had to buy here. Other items magically appeared from Seattle. Kattina’s contract included a shipping container -– not to keep, but we could fill it with 18 cubic meters of whatever we wanted, as long as it was legal. I normally travel light, which means not bringing furniture, but this time, we packed a dinner table, chairs, a dresser, and a bed -– all the way across the Pacific Ocean.
It’s weird having my Seattle furniture here. I have moments when I imagine my dresser is a mysterious portal back to America, and if I could just crumple myself into a drawer, I could pop out in my old Seattle bedroom, step over the dirty boxer shorts I left on the floor, spend 45 minutes searching for my keys, and then wander down to the Pig and Whistle for a local microbrew.
But we’re settling in nicely here in Singapore. And there’s lots more to blog about –- psychotic dogs and psychedelic birds, gravity-defying lizards and BDSM-loving cats. (If you don’t know what BDSM stands for, Google it at your own risk, and only if your virus protection is up to date.) There’s more to write about the Singlish dialect, tropical thunderstorms, my quest for the perfect local pub, and supermarket cart battles.
There are also travel tales beyond Singapore. I’ve been chased in the Andaman Sea by a venomous sea snake. In Kuala Lumpur, I spent the night in a shipping container. (Not the same one our stuff came over in.)
Many of these stories are coming soon, but this is enough for one blog entry. So if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for bed… right after I clean off my desk.