Thursday, January 07, 2010

An expat settles in

Another of June's foreign contacts dropped in from Germany. He'll be staying in S'pore for half a year and needed a place to rent. We spent this evening taking him around to view a couple of rental units that June could scrounge up at such short notice.

The first one was in Potong Pasir. A tiny, cramped shophouse apartment that smelled funny and was asking 2.6k per month. For a foreigner, it would have been quite exciting to live like a heartland S'porean. To eat for cheap at the kopitiam downstairs, to go marketing at an NTUC, to mill about with aunties and uncles and listen to the cacophony of a milieu of incomprehensible languages and dialects from day to day, that's learning to be a true S'porean while simultaneously studying at at NUS on an exchange programme. But the asking price was way too much for the experience so we moved off to the next prospect.

Staring out of a 30th storey window of the Plaza Apartment, the view was absolutely stunning. The panoramic windows put the entire city on display. At night, it's a fully dynamic light show of buildings and traffic that never sleep. Just slightly left of centre is the S'pore Flyer and Marina Bay lies beyond. That promises a fantastic view of the occasional firework display, the next one probably being at CNY, just around the corner. Food around here is still relatively cheap in the Arab Street area, while the heart of downtown is within walking distance, as is the MRT if he wants to go further. Jacuzzi bathtub in the bathroom. Asking price (after June got through negotiations) 2.8k per month, pro rated.

No prizes for guessing which apartment won the contract. Our friend is going to live like an expat and not a heratlander after all.

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