Moving to Cingapore

The first episode of my Cingapore series.

love in Singapore

We are a young couple married 6 months ago, eager to live our lives together in a new country. Not just any country, but a beautiful country that is also a city built on both preserved and world-class architecture, surrounded by gardens and greens, truly multicultural, embedded with a deep appreciation for arts if only you seek it, famous for its safety, comfort in its cleanliness . . . an ideal first world country that thrives as a leading example, named Singapore. Singapore is everything Malaysia should be, but isn’t. How can we possibly not feel excited about finally being a part of all the things Malaysia cannot give?


An Emotional Move

É is starting his new job in Singapore end of the month. Instead of moving here 2 weeks before, we decided to come 1 month earlier to settle down. Our goal was to also enjoy the process, do things calmly, learn about the city, apply for my dependent pass, postpaid, internet, the list goes on.

hyundai starex

{My uncle’s Hyundai Starex before we made it into a gypsy car}

hyundai starex

{Our hopes and dreams roped around 30 boxes of our life, stuffed into the vehicle after}

Moving away from home is hard. As I grow older, my appreciation for family time grows with me. My close friends became long distance friends. Yet at the same time, I learned to embrace the fact that some relationships are better when loved from afar.

I gave up a new job I got at an international agency based in KL, left the social media team I built from scratch, rejected a few big clients for my blog. It burns, but you know what? All this is not the worst because money can always be earned. Lost time, however, is gone forever.

All our anticipated plans for the most part of October was ruined because of 3 greedy, careless, irresponsible people – our ex landlord, his wife and their estate agent – who got together and 那人家的时间,梦,和命,来开玩笑 (treat others’ time, dreams and life as a JOKE)!


The Rotten Apartment

moving house

Before September ends, É flew with me to Singapore for a sponsored trip by Olay. While I was engaged with the event, he spent the entire day viewing different properties. The next day, we continued viewing more units but to no avail in finding a suitable or available option.

The following day I was flown by ThaiAirways on another sponsored trip. Before leaving, I suggested É that he could do the viewing via Skype as it would save us a trip with no timeline and of course, money. Seeing that the previous property in Malaysia he chose via a video call from Portugal turned out dandy, we both thought it’d most definitely work the same way, if not better in Singapore.

It didn’t take us long to learn the answer – É was either extremely lucky the first time or we were too naive the second.

When we arrived at the condo, it was NOTHING like the video call nor the contract, which claimed that the house is in ‘good working condition’. EVERYTHING was either dirty or broken. We were 吓到真的傻屌 (shocked beyond belief) . . .


The Kitchen

The very first thing we noticed was the SMELL; a musty queer blend of curry, spices and old oil used for frying.

dirty microwave

{Dirtiest microwave in the world?! 这不是开玩笑是什么?}

grimy stove

{Grimy stoves. Yummm}

old stove exhaust

{Smelly stove exhaust emitting FREE foul fragrance of previous Indian cooking}

kitchen shelvesdirty kitchen shelves

{Mouldy kitchen shelves for my clean kitchen wares. 有没有搞错!}

grimy shelf

{Grimy kitchen edges to moisturize your fingers every time you open ’em}

yellow kitchen counter top

{Yellow kitchen top where the landlady used a cloth to cover up during inspection – when É and I found out about this spot we burst out laughing to find ourselves in this shit we were in}

rusty dish rack

{Rusty kitchen rack for my glasses. 要人家死 meh?}

yellow sink

{Yellow kitchen sink – Makan kunyit banyak ke, aunty?!}

food residue on fridge

{1-year old food residue on fridge shelves WTF}


mouldy rainshower

{Moldy showerhead with brown plastic souvenir. You want?}

dirty shower glass

{Calcinated shower glass, the landlord’s wank, or whatever}

dirty shower frames

{Dirty shower frames to make you still feel dirty even after you shower LOL}

missing tile

{Missing tile in bathroom to cut your toenails, or even toes if you’d like}

stuck sink

{Clogged sink forever}

old mirror

{Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the ugliest one of all?}


dusty cupboard

{Dusty cupboards – 这样也好意思给人?!}

dirty shelves

{More dirty drawers in the study room}

torn cushion

{‘Torn’ by Nene Imbruglia}

dim light

{Can someone remind me what are lights for again?}

bad paint job

{Paint job gone wrong – Over the aircond, door frames and maybe next, the rainbow}

broken blind

{Lousy blind is falling down, falling down, falling down – Goodbye privacy}

On the very next day of moving in, we were told that the landlord would need to enter the condo with bankers / financiers and if we won’t be in, he could enter with his own key! (That’s just creepy.) If their plan was to sell the unit, we deserve to know that too. What if the new landlord wanted to live there himself? Do we have to move again?

The list of everything went wrong, went on.


Measuring Reasonable Grounds


{The state we lived for half a month}

One or two broken items is okay, but paying thousands of dollars for such a sh*thole is simply not acceptable. No matter how rich a person is, money is not meant to be wasted like this. No one deserves such dishonesty.

The estate agent whom É did the video call with should have warned or told us the truth about the state of this condo. Instead, she thought she could get away with her commission by cheating an ang moh who’s new to Singapore.

We gave the 3 crooks many chances to fix their unit but alas! It was the 15th October and things were still far from done. The handyman rushed his job so everything fell apart again. The agent insisted on using this one particular maid who has a crazy schedule and could only work 3 hours a day.

All in all, these people shouldn’t have rented out the property if it’s not ready, and fix it in THEIR OWN TIME, NOT OTHERS!


5 Lessons I Learned From Moving 

moving house

There is a right time for everything. If we didn’t rush to move everything a month in advance, perhaps we would’ve been able to skip the unnecessary drama.

NEVER pick a property though video call. If there was one mistake we made, that would be for being so naive in having too much faith and confidence when making such a huge decision involving money SGD.

Do things as a couple. As I was always unavailable for my sponsored trips, I left É by himself to select the house on our behalf. Because of that, I didn’t dare voice my opinion (that the condo sucks) to protect his feelings and watched him signed the 1-year contract, dumbfounded. Later when the crooks left, did I learn that he wouldn’t have put down his signature if he knew and if we could turn back time. Ifs . . .

Snap pictures, record conversations. While this doesn’t sound like the most polite of lessons, harsh situations had taught me the hard way that this point is just what you need to win a few battles plainly because evidence is truth. Everything else can be twisted.

Despite any life dramas, always step out of the box and think from different angles. Trapped in all unfairness and anger, it is easy to wish we won the best out of the situation and the worst for the crooks. However, when in court, it is important to use your common sense and ask yourself: What is fair? By being too greedy, you might just lose too.


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  1. Hi. would like to ask how did you get about to move to Singapore? Heard its pretty hard to get a job there? A silent reader here 🙂 and congrats on u moving to Sg 😀

    1. Hi Kathryn, I am on Dependent Pass as my husband got a job here, while he’s on Employment Pass. I haven’t started looking for a job myself, as we’re just settling down at another place after lots of ‘drama’ . . . I’ve heard that it depends very much on the industry apparently. Are you planning to move here too? Thank you for the wishes! (:

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