Singapore Adventure

Monday, August 15, 2005

by venitha

So, apparently, one is not supposed to run the aircon for a solid month without ever turning it off. Who knew?

I am trapped at home amidst a flurry of activity today. Now I know you were thinking that my life in Singapore is all glamour and excitement, day after day of non-stop shopping and dessert taste-testing. Well, I can only hope that I get back to that tomorrow, for today has been truly mundane. Workmen are here for the following:
  • to do the monthly service of the aircon units and to sternly lecture me. This requires a surprising amount of water. In addition, a machine that sounds like a vacuum cleaner must be used for a long time in the kitchen with the door closed. I don't think there's an aircon unit in there, but I also didn't realize there was a door. Lastly, one of the guys must climb out a window to a plant balcony and spend a good deal of time out there; I didn't think there was anything aircon-related there either. Curiouser and curiouser.
  • to repair the leak in the master bedroom. This requires very smelly goo, an annoying amount of banging, an inordinate amount of time, many apologies for it taking an inordinate amount of time, some singing?, and a frantic phone call from me to Jim during which I am a complete bitch regarding the fact that I can't find the key to the upstairs balcony and have in fact never personally seen or used said key and yet the door is locked. Thankfully, finding a copy of the key calmed me down enough that I did not throw myself off the balcony once I had access to it, and my antics did not scare the workmen away. It remains to be seen whether or not Jim will come home from work.
  • to examine my new sofa, which has a strangely pinched seam and with which I am therefore not fully satisfied. This requires a great deal of poking and prodding, then stepping back, hands on hips, and staring. Next, converse rapidly in Mandarin with your colleagues. Yes, plural; three examiners are required. Repeat. Take turns. Now all together. Do-si-do.

Very few of the men who've been in and out of my apartment today speak any English, so I've had the opportunity to use some of my Malay - terima kasih - and all of my Mandarin - xie xie. No, wait; I also know the Mandarin for pineapple. I'll have to fit this into my parting conversation with the leak guys, who are still here, going on six hours now.

Brilliant as such witty repartée makes me feel, I'm also feeling alarmingly like a housewife: I have been addressed as madam several times too many. At this rate, I'm going to be glad to return to work in just three short weeks.


This is the view down from the balcony. Were I to throw myself off, I might get lucky enough to land in the pool, but it's the kiddie pool, and remember that we're on the 19th floor.

As I take this picture, I am standing directly above the leak. Were I to take a leak, the guy below me plastering the ceiling would be quite pissed. Heh.

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