What sold us on our apartment here in Singapore is the location on the Singapore River. At all times of day or night, the view of the River from our living room is always a pleasure.
The location on the River is highly valued, so apartments here are pretty expensive, even by Singapore standards. Our place hasn’t been renovated in recent years so we were able to afford a two-bedroom unit with some storage space for luggage and the usual junk we accumulate wherever we go. It’s certainly comfortable! We’ve already added a jumble of wires to our living room so we can connect a computer to the big-screen TV and watch whatever we like. The kitchen is quite spacious and kitted out nicely with appliances. If you remember my kitchen in Karlsruhe (My First Kitchen by Fisher-Price!) you’ll understand how pleased I am to have some counter-space.
On our back balcony are two favorite features: our own washer-dryer combo, and our trash chute! Like our German washer, this one takes two hours, but at least I don’t have to run up and down stairs to check on the progress, and share it with all the other building residents. We love the trash chute so much we’re trying to figure out how to install one in our Acton home. When we leave, however, I think it’s the river view we may miss most.
Our neighborhood is crammed with other buildings. A view from across the river shows our sunny yellow building dwarfed by the next-door condos. Our nearest mall, Liang Court, is six stories with two 25-story hotels plunked on top of it. Not everything down here is a skyscraper; nearby side streets include some lovely older conserved two-story row houses. There’s even a large grassy lot occupied by a numbered and protected Heritage Tree. This Rain Tree provides lodging for dozens of ferns and is simply awesome when viewed from below.
The one drawback to our neighborhood is that it’s not terribly Singaporean. By that I mean that many non-Singaporean families live here, and also that most of the restaurants nearby, and there are lots of them, sell foreign food. In fact, Japanese food is most common here, followed by Italian! When we want Singaporean food, we walk to Chinatown across the River, or take a taxi someplace else. And we usually want Singaporean food in its endless varieties.
Still, we’re not complaining. We’re very comfortable, are well looked after by a friendly staff, and have high-speed internet. I can buy a fresh bouquet of orchids for a few dollars, and I do so every week! The “air-con” is so effective that we welcome the outdoor heat and humidity after a few hours working indoors at our computers. Readjusting to our Acton life without resident maids and repairmen, not to mention central air, may be a lot more difficult.