Gosh, Meimei, your house hunting seems like it has been rather a struggle! When the Barn Owl and I first got to Singapore, I did a little bit of house hunting on my own, as we were thinking of buying a resale HDB flat.
Well, it’s amazing the sort of homes exist and how much tastes vary across generations and cultures. I viewed one flat that seemed to be a mega-fengshui place, complete with translucent jade-effect tiles with the occasional mother-of-pearl inlay with gilded details and a large reflexology pebble path spiralling across the floor. It had gorgeous views over the Chinese Gardens.
I saw another flat that turned their bomb shelter (yes, Singapore flats all come with inbuilt bomb shelters for the impending apocalypse) into a shrine to Ganesh, and they were so devout that even the floor tiles had Ganesh’s likeness inscribed on it.
Yet another flat decided to embrace the industrial nature of the early flat designs, before the BTO “choose your own floor tiles” flats came into being. It was all unpainted cement floors and walls, bare light bulbs and Ducts, Ducts, Ducts.
I am really thankful for the flat that we are staying in now, with the large windows looking out into the trees, letting in lots of light. We did not need to do any renovations to it, just got our own furniture. It’s by no means perfect, and it’s not really the dream house that the Barn Owl and I had in mind when we first got married but we have been here for 6 years, which is the longest continuous length of time that I have ever lived in one place, in one house.
This house has seen us grow our family from one to three little ones. It’s seen the Barn Owl as he struggled to balance work, study and new fatherhood until he finally passed his postgraduate exams. It’s seen me on sleepless nights with pregnancy-induced insomnia, baby-induced insomnia and first-day-of-school insomnia.
We may not have found our dream house, but we’ve made our dream home here, and you’ll find yours too soon.