Friday, April 20, 2007

Boy our hunt for a house is turning out to be quite an adventure!

Yesterday we went to view a shophouse in Outram in response to an ad.
Looks harmless enough eh? We thought so too... -=My apologies, I have removed the ad as I thought it revealed too much information, but take my word that it did not have anything that could distinguish it from any usual "Apartment for rent" ad. I initially thought there might have been some lingo or code that discerning people would instantly recognize, but i've had a few more looks at that ad and i'm sure its legit, either that or i'm extremely dense, which is also a possibility=-

Shiv called the agent, and straightaway got bad vibes about the place.
"Hi i'm calling in response to this newspaper ad about a walk-up apartment on Outram Road?"
"Oh that place....."
"We would like to view the place, is that possible?"
"Erm.... i don't think its suitable for you... it's on the 4th floor, so have to climb a bit...."
"Oh that's alright, we don't really mind... is it possible to have a look at the place?"
"Err... actually its on the 2nd floor, but I don't think it's really suitable for you..." (I was like ?!? -_-")
"Oh 2nd floor? That's even better then, i won't know if it's suitable or not until i view it right?"
"Erm ya, you can view if you want, i'll be there around 3.30pm... you can come if you want...."
"Ok sure, we'll see you then!"
But by then this short conversation had set in motion a inexplicable fear in Shiv's heart, that i presume he was trying hard to quell by merely justifying it with a "I'm not having too high expectations for this place..."

The viewing was 3.30pm, but by then it was already almost 3pm, so we took a cab and rushed down to have a look at the place. The taxi driver was a prick as well URGH...
He found out I was Malaysian and that Shiv & Kart were Indians, so he kept going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how fantastic Singapore was:
Roads are clean
Buses are good
Singapore is fair to everyone
And he kept going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how India and Malaysia didn't have an MRT system that connected the whole country, that Chinese were 3rd class citizens in Malaysia behind the Bumiputras and Muslim-Indians blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.......
*roll eyes* Thank you for your inspirational insight uncle, do concentrate on driving instead of constantly turning around and giving me that smug look on your face.

Anyway we got to the place, and straightaway all 3 of us were like... hmmmm.....
It was this isolated row of no more than 15 shophouses, most of them had shops with commercial or retail purposes downstairs, while there were about 3 floors above of residential. Our apartment in question had a kopitiam downstairs.
Our taxi had stopped opposite the road, so we had to make a short detour to the traffic light to get across the road, so we had an opportunity to walk past some other shophouse entrances. My God the staircases were.... eeee.... dark, dank and dis-used.... and I don't know about the other 2 guys, but my heart sank lower and lower with each staircase we walked past. When we finally got to the staircase that would lead up to the apartment we wanted to see, voila! I was honestly surprised, it was well tiled and very well-kept, and i was like "Oh ok... this isn't too bad after all..."
We checked this was the correct staircase, i presume Shiv and Kart was just as surprised as me to find this staircase so much better than the rest, and after confirming that i was the correct one we started to climb the stairs.
About halfway up, we heard quite some talking upstairs, and we looked up and saw the thighs of a few young ladies in mini denim skirts standing just outside the doorway to the apartment we wanted to view. The 1st thought that came into my head was "Uh oh..." I walked past the ladies, and came to the doorway, and this stern Chinese bespectacled man suddenly materialized to block the doorway. Again the 1st thought that came into my head was "Uh oh..." I looked up and checked that this was the apartment i was supposed to view, and the Chinese man then said "Hello". When he said hello, i noticed he had an earpiece on, so i stood there like a jackass not knowing if he was saying hello to me or answering a phone call. Thank God Shiv came to my rescue and straightaway greeted him.
The doorway led to a corridor that forced you to turn either left or right, left leading to the living area and bedrooms, and the right leading to the kitchen and laundry area. Shiv went in before me to discuss some stuff with the Chinese man who i now presume to be the agent ( I presume, because he looked nothing like the other agents i've met so far and behaved like no other agent i've spoken to as well).
I looked left to the living area, and saw to my horror MORE young ladies seated. "Uh oh..."
Shiv proceeds to the kitchen to have a look and i quickly went with him, primal instincts taking over - the primal instinct of safety in numbers (you dirty-minded sonofaguns). We saw the kitchens, the toilets and the laundry area, all were very well-kept and renovated, but the minute Shiv mentions that we weren't allowed to view the rooms as he did not want us to disturb the people sleeping in them, we all immediately smiled, and proceeded to put our footwear back on with Shiv covering our hasty retreat with a nondescript "Thank you Mr. ***, we will call you..."
We came in and out of there in no more than 30 seconds - pun intended.

Dr@n|xX at 1:30 PM

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Well, i'm officially sticking with Shiv and Kart and the 3 of us are moving out together. Some reshuffling took place, and my decision to not find my own place has now made the 3 of us potential new housemates.

I saw a HDB in Bukit Merah, just to have a gauge of how it would be like. I wasn't impressed. The neighborhood was old, so it was comparatively more run down than the average HDB block, but I wasn't particularly worried about that. I saw the actual place, and I guess it was somewhat dis-used, but what really made my mind up was the locked room. I'm told there's a grey market of HDB flats that have a locked room whereby owners get around paying for a permit from HDB when they want to rent their flat out by claiming they still live in that flat from time to time, therefore they keep one room locked with their belongings in there. I found that particularly disconcerting that I would be living in a house that wasn't mine, that had an empty room that was always locked, of which i had no inkling of what was inside that room - made worse by the fact that i would be living alone.
A single bedroom flat was extremely hard to come by, and i was told by a few agents that technically single bedroom flats can only be rented out by HDB themselves to specific people who qualify, e.g. elderly folk without any family. So my best bet was either a 2 bedroom flat, with 1 locked room, or a studio apartment - of which i decided i could not afford.
So that was it, that summed up my options, so i decided i'd stick with Shiv and Kart.

Shiv has been hard at work the past couple of days looking for suitable apartments. He's facing the exact problems i faced - agents not bothering to call you back, apartments already taken by the time the print ad comes up, or the irritating problem when you call so many numbers that by the time one of them actually calls you back, you have no idea which apartment the number that's calling you back now would be regarding.
But anyway we've made a bit of progress, and we've viewed 2 apartments so far, one in Spottiswoode Park and one in Oxley. The 1st was an upgraded HDB, it was spacious, was on a high floor and in a very convenient location, but my God, the toilets.... the toilets.... were.... horrendous... old, tiles cracking, paint peeling, and dank...; the latter was an old walk-up apartment that was also in a very good location, the apartment itself was old but looked reasonably comfortable, but the problem was that the 3rd room was horrendously small, and that about settled it because none of us were willing to even accept staying in that room.
So we're still waiting for that perfect apartment to come along.
The 2nd apartment was a revelation as well, as i thought from there it was clearly evident the differences in priority between me and Shiv & Kart. Shiv & Kart would rather a livable place in an awesome location, so their expectations of the house was lower than mine, but for me i'd much rather a good apartment in a reasonable location, so my expectations of the house were significantly higher, but i was much more willing to accept longer travel times than the 2 of them.
My justification was that I'd much rather find a place that i want to come home to, and slightly longer travel times weren't an issue to me, as long as we were well connected and didn't have to change 3 or more buses or trains to get to work or home.
Hopefully we'll find a place that's good for all 3 of us, in a location that would satisfy the 2 of them, and a house that's habitable by my comparably lofty standards (gulp).


Dr@n|xX at 1:51 AM

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


*oH tHe NiGhTmArEs*.............................

Dr@n|xX at 5:12 PM

Boy, finding a new place to stay isn't fun at all....
Guess its a "Welcome to the real world" slap in the face, but gosh i used to think it was so much fun going around with my family looking at showrooms and showhouses, soaking in their design ideas and architectural innovations - it was fun because it was always nice to go around and comment on what other people have done, especially when you yourself have no pressing need for that place in particular.
"Oh that's an interesting way to arrange your sofa..."
"Oh that's a nice color to paint the ceiling!"
"Oh this room's far too small!"
"Oh this house will be extremely warm as it faces the evening!"
And the list goes on.

I used to grumble under my breath on my dad's comments too. I used to get extremely irritated when he goes into a big house and then complains that it was too big and that he'd be afraid to live in such a house, yet when he finds a slightly smaller house, he'd complain that it was too small and that he could buy a much bigger place for the same price. Which probably explains why we haven't moved from where we live in... 12 years?

As for me, i guess my contract is expiring at a somewhat inconvenient time now that the property market is bullish again. I was actually kinda worried when i got an agent to look for a place for me, as i was terrified that he would laugh out loud when i told him my budget :/ Thank God the agent was really down to earth and suggested that a HDB was definitely more suited for my budget, it was just a matter of finding one as it wasn't easy to find 1-bedroom HDBs out for rent these days, especially one that would fit my tight budget...
I found a few online property ads that sounded like really good deals, almost too good to be true, and was informed by my agent after he checked up on a couple of them that they may be dummy ads - and that kinda iff'ed me. I suppose there is no free lunch, but it sometimes irritated me the distance over-zealous agents would go to get any kind of solicitation, by quoting an ad that would undoubtedly catch people's attention with a fantastic price, and when people call he would take down their details but 'disappoint' them by saying the unit was already taken, but would offer his services to find other similar units or whatever the client so fancied.
Therefore, on the advice of my agent, I decided to rely more on the newspapers and print classified ads, as they cost more to put up so the likelihood of dummy ads was significantly lower. Unfortunately for me the only copy of newspapers i had sitting around was my recruitment section of papers i had from a couple of weeks ago, i thought i'd try my luck anyway. Lo and behold, my ego took a BIG hit when I called one of the ads to enquire, and the guy on the other end of the line must've been thinking "Which planet did you just land from?" when he didn't even wait for me to finish my sentence and replied "Oh that one ar? *snort* It's been taken LooooOOoooOOoooOOOoooOOoooOOoooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooOOOoooOOOng ago loh.... "
I made a quick, bashful "Oh thank you" and immediately hung up to save myself anymore humiliation. Affordable 1-bedroom apartment in convenient location from the classified ads 2 weeks ago, WHAT THE BLAZES WAS I THINKING?! -_-"

Better keep my fingers crossed i'll be able to find a good one before time's up, or i'll have to probably see if i can negotiate out some sort of deal with the guys and see if i can squeeze back into their plans - which i'm not that keen as though economies of scale with a few people in the house are definitely a plus, it might be back to square one in terms of privacy, cleanliness and freedom.
If anyone's got a genuine deal for a 1-bedroom apartment that's reasonably connected to the rest of Singapore, do let me know in the newly set up flooble chatterbox in the sidebar (I've got ample time, so i'll be checking back to my blog quite frequently - and i'll hopefully have the inspiration to update my blog too).


Dr@n|xX at 4:29 PM

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I stumbled on this online test.
Thought it would be fun to try out, but it only made me depressed.
Tried it a couple of times and got different options each time based on my choices as there were a couple of close choices, and here are the 2 most likely ones....
Sigh.... if only.....

You Should Drive a Lamborghini

A true daredevil, you're always in search of a new rush. Clearly, you're a total speed demon... just don't get caught!
What Sports Car Should You Drive?

Well no surprise i guess...

You Should Drive a Porsche

Flashy and a bit of a show off, you can't help but love a car that shouts your high status.
What Sports Car Should You Drive?

Ok THIS surprised me actually... Flashy? Show off? Really? -_-"

I then tried this test just for fun as it was one of the featured quizzes in the sidebar, and i know i AM a Sagittarius, but i didn't expect it to be THIS bad..... :/

You are 100% Sagittarius
How Sagittarius Are You?

Dr@n|xX at 9:36 PM

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm honestly surprised my blog is still up and running actually. I haven't updated it nor even viewed it for the past.... i forgot...

Busy job-hunting as usual - was disappointed that a couple of potential employers did not call me back, but life goes on. A few more offers coming up, so hopefully these herald a bit more potential, i'm beginning to lose faith as my standards and expectations keep plummeting. If this goes on I might just accept that janitorial position in the cinema doing midnight shifts...

My contract for my place is ending in May. The guys wanted to find 2 two-room apartments reasonably near to each other so that we did not have to worry about there being too many people in 1 apartment, yet at the same time we would also not be too far from each other and could easily keep in touch. The property agent gave a flat "That is impossible" answer to us - apparently she isn't familiar with the brand Adidas.
So here I am, hunting for potential new places that are convenient, affordable and habitable (by my ivory-tower-honed standards). I hear the property market has picked up lately, good for the market, bad for me as it would undoubtedly mean rents would go up - double bad that i'm not earning any income - triple bad because that would hurt my dad even more due to the exchange rate.
The property market has been so boisterous so much so my own property agent that i've been dealing with for my current apartment doesn't seem inclined to answer calls nor call back.

It's never easy to answer the question in an interview with regards to what i've been doing with my time so far. What have i been doing so far? Well, there's the Xbox360, there's the PS2 (Thanks Ron!), there's my PC, there's the internet, there's the job portals, there's the newspaper.... what else can i add to that list...
In one of my interviews i mentioned trying to keep fit since i have so much free time by playing badminton - speaking of which i finally was able to book a court at SPE on Sunday so the Gastronomy club can finally relive our glory days. I never expected that the courts were in SUCH hot demand over weekends. I've tried and failed for the past month to book a court for 2 hours.

Week 1
Called SPE to book - fully booked. Called a couple of other community courts, all booked.

Week 2
Called at 2pm when phone bookings opened to try and snap up the courts, all booked by 9am.

Week 3
Asked Al to help book over the internet since she had an account with the online booking portal. She checked it 1st thing when she got to office around 9 odd, fully booked.

Week 4
I made it a point to get the account details from Al, and made sure i was awake at 7am to book just as the booking system was activated. I was at the page at 7.05, but just as i logged in, the connection slowed to a crawl - even with my cable connection i only managed to secure the booking at 7.20. It took me 15 minutes to navigate 3 webpages just to confirm the booking and payment. Even then, after all that effort, i could only secure 1 court for 1 hour instead of my hopeful 2 hours. Well, better than nothing i guess. It would seem there were significantly more kiasu people than I had originally accounted for - Singaporeans have a reputation to live up to I suppose.

Sigh... its 5.15am and i'm still wide awake. I didn't even try to lie down hoping exhaustion will take me over tonight. I was tired the whole of yesterday staying awake at 7am to book the courts and that messed up my sleep cycle, but when night came somehow I woke up, senses heightened with the dawn of the nocturne.
It sucks when your fate is in the hands of someone else. I guess I'm a do'er, and I thrive on making things happen - this send in your resume and hope for the best s**t is getting to me because though i understand that there are no guarantees, it's frustrating when you are at the mercy and at the whim and fancy of the recipient of your resume.
Then there's the usual "Oh thank you for coming down for this interview, we will review your application and we will contact you again for another interview if you qualify for the next round."
I can already hear the song ringing in my head...

My friend's got a boyfriend and she hates that dick
She tells me every day (woo! everyday now)
He wants more dinero just to stay at home
Well my friend
You gotta say: (gotta say!)

I won't pay, I won't pay ya (woo), no way
(nana) Why don't you get a job (woo - hey now!)
Say no way, say no way ya, no way
(nana) Why don't you get a job
(oh yeah!)
I won't give you no money
I always pay
(nana) Why don't you get a job (get a job!)
Say no way, say no way ya, no way
(nana) Why don't you get a job!

- The Offspring
Why Don't You Get A Job

Dr@n|xX at 4:55 AM