on expat living

we in Singapore live affluent lives. no surprise, given that the economy is strong and stable

what our countrymen don’t know is that, we really don’t LITERALLY live in luxury

let me explain

though technically we are “expats” in SG, we don’t live “expat” lives. most of us don’t live in “expat houses.” as in, we have to look for our own place without employer assistance, and we pay for it (it’s not subsidized by the company. and the rent is sky high)

labor is also expensive, so we have to do chores ourselves (unlike back home, where we have yayas). and since we work in advertising (=long hours), the only time we have to do grocery, clean up, laundry etc is late at night or during weekends. laundry and cooking have to be scheduled since a group of people need access to the same appliances

to manage our living expenses, we often have to share the flat with our landlord, or with a group of (sometimes not your) friends. sometimes you have to share a room with others (depends on which industry you work in—or how frugal you are). in my 5 years living there, i’ve never had my own room—i’ve always had a roommate (hence the distinction between a roommate and a housemate)

when i was still living with my aunt (i can’t afford anything in my first year there), i was sharing a small room with my cousin and a friend (my friend and i will rotate every week for our turn on the very thin mattress on the floor). but still, i was lucky; i always bunked with my friends. others had to live with strangers

having lived this way for 5 years, my jaw dropped when i arrived at my friend’s/pseudo landlord place here in Jakarta. huh, so THIS is expat living, complete with a driver and a helper. huh. i knew i went to the wrong country

she has her very own private elevator 😱
she has her very own private elevator 😱
hi Audrey Hepburn
hi Audrey Hepburn
kitchen and laundry get its own room, most likely to contain the smell (when cooking) and the heat (when doing laundry)
kitchen and laundry get its own room, most likely to contain the smell (when cooking) and the heat (when doing laundry)
SHELVES! WITH BOOKS! 😭
SHELVES! WITH BOOKS! 😭
the place looks like a home
the place looks like a home
see that flatscreen MOUNTED ON THE WALL?!?
see that flatscreen MOUNTED ON THE WALL?!?
with partitions!
with partitions!
of course mine is disorganized
of course mine is disorganized
she also has a balcony...
she also has a balcony…
with a not-so-bad view
with a not-so-bad view
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s