Friday, August 26, 2011

Living in a Serviced Apartment

The courtyard we look over.

2-weeks after we arrived in Singapore, people assumed I was moving out of our Serviced Apartment to a more permanent home.  Whether a condo/flat or an actual single-family house, they didn't really care or ask.  Little did they know (because nobody asked), we were actually on our way to another Serviced Apartment, because the first one didn't work out.

We have been in our 2nd Serviced Apartment for just over 5-months already and wow! does time fly!  It's been a rollercoaster ride, but I finally feel content staying in a Serviced Apartment for our two-year assignment in Singapore. 

It's so easy! I didn't have to find a helper (it is very common to have a live-in helper here), didn't have to find furniture to fit into a new home, I didn't have to worry about finding all new kitchen appliances with the correct electrical adaptors and most of all I didn't have to worry about getting along with our neighbors.  We unpacked our suitcases, in the small closets and we were pretty much set and relaxing on our nice roomy terrace!  Although, at the time, it was not that easy.

Of course we had a few hiccups, like requesting a new mattress, so I could actually sleep and by the 3rd or 4th mattress, they finally got it right :-)  I'm not picky about alot of things, but my bed has to be right!

People were telling us, we were crazy to stay in a Serviced Apartment for the duration of our stay, but we didn't have a choice.  The company had a policy that any assignment 2-years or less, stays in a Serviced Apartment.  That policy has recently changed and we may be up for a new home search, but at this time, I'm not sure I want to.  We would have to start all over and find furnishings for a place, that I wasn't prepared to look for.

I meet new people every month. This has been the hardest adaption to make.  People are constantly changing - coming and going.  As if we haven't already had enough changes, but I think this is just Singapore in general housing so many expats.  Some on their way out of Singapore, but most coming in search of a more permanent home.  The kids meet friends and just when they can finally pronounce their name, they move. 

Although, I love watching them interact with the new kids in town!  Most speak English, some as a second language and some speak absolutely no English. 

Watching the little minds try to communicate with another little person that can't seem to understand what is being said, is very entertaining!  They go through the typical steps of meeting someone, What is your name, do you want to play, do you want to go down the slide with me, etc, etc...but when the new little person keeps the blank look on their face, they begin pointing and nudging and using baby sounds.  Huh? So, that's how a baby feels!

One of Little Miss M's friends moved out of our Serviced Apartment building a few weeks ago, after about a month of playing and laughing together every morning after breakfast. Thankfully, he is still in walking distance, so he hasn't completely vanished. He moved here from Switzerland and upon moving here, spoke only Swiss-German.  We saw him a couple days ago and I was amazed by the English he has already picked up! Sponges, learning from other children!

The Outdoor playground

Where am I going with this??? Oh yah, Serviced Apartments...So ~ true, the space is less, than we are used to having , but we just don't keep as much stuff and we have adapted to the smaller space.  True, you can not decorate with your own style, but I have added personal pictures that make the space more homey.  True, there is absolutely no storage space for anything.  Luckily, we have an empty room for guests and we have those closets to store our suitcases, etc, so it works.  The kitchen is much too small to do extensive cooking, so we eat out...alot! and make simple meals at home.  We have no oven, well, they do consider the microwave an oven, but it sounds like it is cooking more on the outside, than the inside.  This Serviced Apartment, does not have a maid's quarters area, although I have seen a couple that do in other buildings.  Therefore, we depend on the cleaning staff here to clean and change the linens.  It's great!

I have all the amenities we could ask for in looking for a place and we don't have to supply our own tissues, dish detergent or soap.  The location couldn't be better.  So, I ask myself now, after being told by so many that we should definitely push to get out and into a regular house/condo ~ why? 

Well, I guess, most places would have more space, would most likely be updated and a bit newer and we wouldn't have to say goodbye every 30-days, but I am content with the ease of everything here, for now at least.  Ask me again in 9 months and there could easily be a different story!

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