Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban life in Singapore

Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban

You can’t get a more urban country than Singapore.

I was in Singapore the past few weeks. I liked looking out of the windows from the 5th floor for secrets. Beautifully aligned flats nestle comfortably. I saw an old Chinese man in a white vest picking his nose. A tiny Indonesian maid opposite took out heavy laundry on the bamboo poles at 7.30am. I saw people brushing teeth in their kitchen.

My mum knows the laundry habits of most families. This family only washes their underpants once a week — you see, they are drying 7 pairs of underpants today. Some families above us take their laundry out after 7pm — so be quick, get our laundry indoor, or our sun-soaked clothes may get wet by the dripping water. Also remember, the mop should only be positioned against the wall horizontally.

Do not walk under people’s laundry, as mum advised, because the bamboo poles, wet clothes or dripping water may land on your head.

36 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban life in Singapore

  1. Red Slider

    Ah, Singapore – a place to keep your eyes open and your head up when you’re going for a walk. I wonder if they have a street sign for that? “CAUTION, WET LAUNDRY ABOVE!”

    So glad you had the opportunity to view the arts & crafts of the city (‘old man picking his nose’) – but please don’t include it in your home-movies. I’m sure the folks in South England have seen it often enough. You never want to bore people with slides of things they’ve already seen 🙂

  2. Janet Williams Post author

    In Singapore, 80% of the population live in a flat. I’m sure most people are well trained to be respectful and careful, as I haven’t been attacked by any flying underpants or spitting from above. After staying there for a month, I feel that Singapore isn’t a place where you can apply the western concept of ‘space’. Most people clean their teeth in the kitchen, so you get to see them in action from the opposite block. There are 2 sinks in the kitchen, one for the kitchen, and one outside the toilet, which is at the other side of the kitchen. When your upstairs neighbour goes to the toilet, you get to hear their noise, coughs, flushing of the toilet etc. Also, I learn to be cautious, for example, when moving the chairs in the kitchen, by not dragging it, as the scratching noise from dragging the chair might upset the neighbours downstairs……

    Thanks for your advice about the home movies!

    1. qiquan

      Dear Janet,
      it is not as serious as you think, in Switzerland, some places are not allowed to flush toilet after 10 pm. When I was living in Germany, they are even less tolerant of noise even before 10 pm. When I was living in Hammersmith in London, the victorian apartment are so badly built that my housemate keep knocking the door of the neighbour to ask them to turn down the volume of the music, and some weekends the youngsters were just shouting at the street. Singapore has a very high tolerance for noise, because the the high density of population. I don’t have any problem in living here for almost 10 years, in fact, I come to know many friendly neighbour by talking with them in the lift, or to know people at the wet market.

      I have been living in many places in the world, and the only thing I am focusing is the happy face under the roof =)!

      Europe is an interesting place, often, you cannot apply even the western concept in each country, and my European friends always remind me, western is not an appropriate description because of the diversity in ways of living.


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  4. Yolanda D

    So funny. I had been thinking about commenting about airing one’s unmentionables above traffic so I am glad you mentioned them LOL. I am a people person but I don’t know if I could adjust well to that level of crowdedness.

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  6. Brad Stanton

    yes, it was a real shock to me when i stayed in a friends apartment in Hong Kong. I looked out the window and could see into hundreds of other flats and realized hundreds of people could see me if they looked. Wow.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Hong Kong seems more crowded. Buildings in Singapore seem more colourful and modern. It’s a convenient place. More importantly, most people have a roof above their heads. I haven’t seen people sleeping in the streets in Singapore.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thanks Yolanda. Girls from Asia use expensive whitening products to cover spots and freckles. I wasn’t the most confident girl due to freckles. In the west, however, freckles are not a problem. Look at Prince Harry!

      I would love to continue writing on Cowbird. It’s an inspiring community that you may like to join.

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