It’s almost mid January of 2016 now.  It’s better late than never.  So, I wish all readers of this blog a very happy and blessed 2016.

My 2015 year-end, in fact, the last couple of months leading to the end of 2015, was spent preparing to move out of our home of slightly over 13 years.  What a way to end the year!  Nevertheless, I am glad and thankful that God has answered my prayers after a year of praying (persistence pays!), and hubby and I are looking forward to our new home in a few months’ time when the transaction is completed, in a new location near city fringe.  This will be the first time in our lives that we are going to stay so near the city area.  There will be no more sea view like in our previous home, but we are excited about the convenience of transports and amenities there.  I shall be writing more about it in time to come.

For now, hubby and I have settled down in a friend’s home in Marine Parade, also in the eastern region of Singapore.  We are thankful that this friend (in fact, more than one friends) had offered us temporary accommodation.  This has saved us the hassle of renting from a stranger.

A friend once told me that I may like Marine Parade after I moved over here.  I have been here for not even two weeks so far and I am already beginning to like this area.  Everything is within reach – transportation, amenities, food centres and coffee shops, shopping mall (Parkway Parade), banking facilities etc.  Although it is a very mature housing estate (some flats have already or are hitting the age of 40 years old), surprisingly it has an excellent and well maintained environment, something totally different from the estate which I came from.  I have also been impressed with a few things that I have come across so far.  I am sure I will have plenty of opportunities to explore more of this area in the coming weeks and months as a temporary resident.

Sculptures of sea creatures here and there

Quite a number of blocks have beautiful drawings on the ground-floor wall like the below

A roof-top garden/mini park on the multi-storey car park!

What a beautiful sight and how lucky the Marine Paraders are!

In the block next to my previous home, there is also a multi-storey car park.  On observing for a period of time that the top level of the car park had always been left vacant, I actually wrote in to the authority to suggest converting it to a roof-top garden/mini park and promote green environment.  It could also serve as a venue for the residents to have light exercise and socialise.  Unfortunately, citing reason of structural concerns, my proposal was not accepted.  Today, it is still a wasted space with hardly any car parked there.

Am I in Japan?  I spotted this vending machine in one of the blocks!  This is the first time I have seen a vending machine on the ground floor of a HDB (Housing Development Board) block.

Vending Machine.jpg

Bulky Disposal Bin on the ground floor of the block.  What a thoughtful and convenient arrangement by the Town Council!  Is this a privilege of Marine Paraders?

Disposal Bin

The housing estate that I previously lived in is also under Marine Parade GRC (Group Representative Constituency).  It really puzzles me why two different housing estates of the same GRC and managed by the same Town Council can be so different when it comes to maintenance matters.

I have had so many bad experiences and frustrations with my Town Council but this one last experience I had on the day of my moving is what I least expected.  I rang the supervisor for my block to request for help to dispose of a few pieces of old furniture that morning.  There were a sofa, a chest drawer, a washing machine and a mattress, to name a few.  Town Council provides free service for such disposal, up to 3 times a month.  Two cleaners came to do the job.  I prepared drinks and bread rolls for them as a small token of appreciation for their service.  The supervisor who came just to give order without giving a helping hand at all, openly asked me for “kopi money”(kopi is the Malay word for coffee)!  Any Singaporean would know what that means.  It means tips.   Excuse me, did I hear wrongly? No, I didn’t.  I wonder if they would still do the job if I had refused to give. Anyway, I offered S$10 each for the two cleaners in order to have the furniture cleared soon.  What I found even more shocking later was that one of the cleaners actually passed his S$10 note to the supervisor and she took it!  I had not wanted to give to her as I was not convinced that she deserved it.  All she did was talking.  It is hard to believe that in famously “clean” Singapore, such things do happen, and coming from someone in my Town Council!  That was quite an eye-opening encounter!


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