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