Saturday, 2 December 2006

Pipes At The Gates Of Dawn

Last evening we celebrated the arrival of a legal letter advising us of the occupancy date for our new apartment - January 3rd.

This is as anticipated, as it usually take two months for these sales to go through. It also means that we can now plan for contractors, designers and the like ( but more of that later).

About 9 pm as we had finished our meal and my wife was at the kitchen sink there was a shout of consternation.

The pipe from the ceiling of our current apartment had burst, showering dirty suds and rusty water everywhere!

What caused this you may ask? Earlier in the day contractors had been upstairs on the 4th floor with vibrating drills and picks lifting up old flooring and removing parquet. In the process they had managed to give the 50 year old plumbing a real shake up (as well as sending lumps of concrete from the ceiling of the apartment on the 3rd floor).

The accumulated rust of 50 years dislodged itself within the pipes and descended to the lowest point in the plumbing system - our apartment on the ground floor.

The outcome was cleaning up until 1:30am in the morning and repeat visits by the plumber throughout today ( and they STILL haven't stopped the leak completely)

What have I learnt from this?

Next to food, Singaporeans love to rennovate. That is, if they can afford it. This is not just a splash of paint and a changing of door handles. They go the whole hog, ripping up marble and replacing it with more marble of a different hue, sometimes even gutting the apartment back to bare concrete.

There is also a curious phenomonon called "en-bloc", which is in reality a collective sale of apartments approached in a frenzy of anticipated profits. This has resulted in neighbourhood fall-outs and legal battles. See Singapore housing boom brings out ghosts, feuds

This interest in rennovation probably explains why there are many "interior designers" touting their wares at trade shows and through the media. Some are very good and some are frankly diabolical with no apparent aesthetic sense whatsoever.

We met one of the former at the Expo Centre Home Show as fortnight ago and tomorrow we go to his establishment at Eunos to see what concept he has for us. I'll report back on this visit to Orange Cube in my next blog.

This afternoon we had our first Xmas party at work. Very good catering and held in the Library at UNSW Asia.

All in all though, it's been an eventful and exhausting 24 hours!

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