Monday, February 22, 2010

Yet Another Apartment

If you haven't been on this site in a while, you'll need to check the last few posts for the whirlwind... no, more like tornado... that has hit my life in the last week.

So... presenting yet another apartment that I have moved into. HR has confirmed that this is the place I will be in for the rest of my stay here. The place opened up sooner than they thought and if they had known earlier, they would've sent me straight here from the hotel instead of making me take the detour to the corporate apartment first.

When I first walked in, I almost burst out laughing... the decor is... er... '80s BEIGE HEAVEN! All I need are a few gold statues (and throw on a shoulder-padded jacket) and I'll feel like I'm on the set of Dynasty. Or the Bold & the Beautiful. Or a very plebian version of those 2 shows.

The very nice landlord was there to show me around, and he was very pleased with himself, proudly explaining that the apartment had recently been renovated - new carpet, new kitchen, new toilet!

Er... OK, dude... I just couldn't get over why anyone would install brand new KHAKI shag carpet. But well... different strokes for different folks I suppose.

All I can say is... Thanks to Ikea and its global domination, you can pretty much walk into any fully-furnished rented apartment anywhere in the world and be guaranteed you're at least familiar with most of the decor in there.

It's an old-fashioned European apartment, where each room is in a separate room. Y'know, none of this "no walls", "open plan" thing us Modern Kids are into.

So you walk into the front door and into a hallway with 4 different doors around you. One of the doors leads to the bedroom.

And another door leads to the study (Hey, at least there's a half-room for a study!)

(I remember having this desk in a previously rented flat too, just in a different colour. Hehe.)

Another door leads to the kitchen.

(Even the microwave is a matching beige colour. Oh wait. I think it's just discoloured from age.)

And the living/ dining room.

(I have decided my practice space will be where the coffee table is. Will just push it aside in the mornings for yoga.)

And here's the loo. I found it funny how the landlord at least TRIED to beautify the tiny toilet. Notice the hanging fake green plant on the top corner.

...did you notice anything about this toilet/ shower?

Look again... what did you see? (Or not see?)

I mean, it's as tiny as a loo on a boat, it's hard not to spot that there's... er... NO SINK IN THE TOILET?!

I asked the landlord "Erm... where's the sink?"

He replied "Oh. Haha. It's a very Dutch thing. The only sink in the apartment is in the kitchen."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ...I'm still trying to figure out the best way to brush my teeth and put on my contact lenses in the morning. It feels weird to do it in the kitchen sink, but even weirder to brush my teeth in the shower (Hey Liz, I'll be just like Mike, but with a good reason why now), and put on my contacts over the loo.

I can't really complain. It's a sweet little place. It's newly renovated in an old-fashioned style (Oh, I didn't take photos of the porcelain squirrel and cat statues ON TOP OF THE WARDROBE. It's locco, man. Real locco.)

I haven't practiced here yet. I had to vacuum the entire carpet first, coz I have a thing with carpets (They're gross.) (Can you tell I am OCD. Plus, I have many sinus allergies too, so carpet is the No.1 enemy, so says my ENT Specialist).

Needless to say, I spent this weekend unpacking (then repacking for Singapore. I leave tonight). And also CLEANING. Most of the place was OK. The only gross thing I found was in the washing machine.

Are you ready for this?


I don't understand how anyone before me could've washed their clothes with this much MOULD growing in the dispenser. I yanked it out (with gloves. Thanks, Liz!) and you would NOT believe how much BLACK BLACK BLACK filth and mould was inside the dispenser and in the machine. It STANK too!!!!

It was so mucky, I forgot to take a picture before scrubbing the stuff out.

Thanks to Google, I ran out and bought white vinegar and ran a 90 degree hot wash with vinegar in it, then again with regular soap and I'm pleased to say all nasty smells are gone, and all black stuff is gone too. I even used Q-tips to get to the hard-to-reach corners (in the machine too).

I am still a little bit icked out by the carpet, I can't walk around barefoot on it. Did I forget to mention us Chinese walk around barefoot in the house? It's just cleaner and easier to maintain. But this shag carpet really gives me the heeby-jeebies.

So I ran out again and bought me the funniest house slippers. They're nice and soft and toasty too! Presenting my new fuzzy Dutch clogs! It says "Amsterdam Holland", with the country's crest on it. I figured I might as well go with the whole '80s apartment vibe so I picked slippers with a GOLD CREST on them.

(I look like Big Bird with those stripey socks. Haha!)

So... with the new-new place now kinda sorta set up, I can take off tonight with a little bit more peace of mind that when I return, it'll be kinda-sorta "home" when I get back.

See you in Singapore.


  1. Love all the photos!

    Oh yes, brushing teeth in the shower. Then you can just open your mouth and let the water shoot in for a rinse! (I'm not a fan- but it works for "others" heh)

    LOVE the slippers (and socks)!! I would ask how old the carpet is. Maybe it's so new that you're the first to have it? And if there was only one other person, maybe it's not too gross. I get creeped out by carpets too, but... I admit to liking the way they feel! Barefoot is the only way to go in my house too. Shoes bring in the gross stuff.

  2. hi Skippetty
    thanks for the vinegar tip. the Dutch could put one of those toilets where there is a basin over the tank, the water is for cleaning your hands and it goes to the tank that holds the water that flushes the toilet.

    the clogs are funny. i am going to be going thru what you're going thru with moving very soon. actually tomorrow i move to an interim apartment, then need to find another in 2 weeks, etc. etc.

  3. I like the way carpet feels under bare feet too. But I need to KNOW what's been on the carpet before me. (coz y'know... if the previous tenant was tramping around with shoes on in the house, that's pretty gross to be barefoot in that dirt). Oh dear, I'm giving away how truly OCD I am! (but I promise you this is a Singaporean trait. We're all hygiene freaks. Liz, I think you would fit in here. Haha.)

    Arturo - did you find another job? Will you be staying on in Shanghai? And before this washing machine saga, I never knew online forums existed for washing machines. SERIOUSLY. It's a hoot. I guess that's where the housewives hang out online? I also learnt that if you leave clothes in the washer for too long and they develop that horrid smell as well (y'know, the same kinda smell your clothes get if it's been raining for a long time and they can't dry?) then you can also put a few tablespoonfuls of white vinegar in with the wash and that should kill the smell. Coz yes, that funky smell comes from MOULD IN YOUR CLOTHES. Gross. You learn something new everyday, I suppose...

  4. ha ha... I'm SO not a hygiene freak. My boyfriend would laugh so hard if he read that. I'm a slob, but I do get grossed out by other people's disgustingness.

  5. Love the slippers!! And thanks for the tips about white vinegar and washing machines - pretty unfortunate how you had to learn about it, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, yes? :)

  6. hi Skippety, it takes a while. i'm in a temporary apartment while i find another apartment. it took 7 suitcases and 5 huge boxes to get me here. hehe.


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