1. Dirty Floor And Halls
Where I had a daily cleaning service that took care of the corridors, swimming pools etc in my old condo, here I have to mark the date of the monthly cleaning red in my calendar, reminding me to put all my shoes inside when the hallways simply get flooded with water, leaving it doing the cleaning by its own.
Somehow the super-clean Singapore you find in every Mall or street… has not really arrived yet in the inside of the HDB world. Dirty floors, old newspapers, garbage lying on the floor is not unusual. Maybe because the trash bins are already full at 7AM in the morning.
2. No Security Guards / Measurements
No need for any extra keys, security guards or discussions about the pool closing times, there are no security guards, barriers or doors in HDB buildings. Everybody can walk in, walk around, look around, and steal your shoes. And don’t believe in the good of people.
I did. After two days of moving my first pair of sneakers was gone.
So get used to the double layered doors and locks and bring your (good) shoes with you inside. No one has touched my Flip Flops yet though. Great Success.
3. No Facilities / Pools / Gym
Although there is something you could take for a (poor) playground on one of the so called “decks” the nice option to dump yourself into a (more or less) refreshing pool at hot days like these.. wont exist anymore once you moved to an HDB.
(Read: The 5 best Places To Go Swimming In Singapore)
And besides the plastic gym-like utilities that are always taken by the elder part of the HDB community there is no such thing as a “gym” in sight.
(Read: 5 Secrets To never getting Cheated At Singapore Gyms Again)
You pay less, you get less.
Line dancing at night or Sunday mornings, weird parties under huge pavilion tents on the decks, your neighbors son birthday party with ten little kids or the guy living above you playing Rockband, full volume, on his Wii. Yeah.
Sometimes I have the feeling that the walls as build in HDBs are thinner and less noise dimming then the ones in my old apartment. I guess its because they are old(er) and new and better material has evolved during the times.
Get yourself “Oropax” from the convenient stores, and sleep like a baby, no problem.
5. You Are The Outsider
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‘)); ?> Just to summarize before coming to the last point, all the above things can but must not necessarily hit you, and having lived in other big cities, in fact, its even more then normal and having the option to move into a luxury condo wont be there in New York or Tokyo, despite you have a lot of bling bling in your account.
(Read: The West And Asia – Racism And Sauerkraut)
So for me, the positive aspects as described in my last post (Read: 5 Good Things Of Living In An HDB) definitely overwhelm the negative ones. However “Being Starred At” is probably the most annoying one.
Living in another country is the first step into being the “Alien”, but one get used to it. Moving into an HDB block as a Caucasian who goes to work every day, dressed up in suit and tie, cramped in the elevator with aunties and uncles living there since ages, well, its definitely the next level and comes with the mentioned feature of “being starred at”. Get used to it!