Tuesday 25 September 2007

Catwoman Calleth

I received a call from Catwoman yesterday, no not Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer or Halle Berry as that would be just down right weird as I’ve never met any of them. Catwoman, better know to her friends as Meow is our Singapore rental agent, yes her name is Meow, I’ve come across some great names since moving here, some Chinese names sound quite humorous (to my twisted English speaking mind) while some of the Indian names just annihilate my ability to pronounce them, some are so damn long with vowels and consonants all over the place (Yes I do have an English language mindset). Many people of Chinese descent here have two names, that is their Chinese name and their English name. I guess many people from non English speaking descent have anglicised names thus helping ‘Ang-Moh’s’ like me pronounce their name. I guess I don’t have to look far from home, well I don’t even have to look outside the home to see an example of this, Marika goes by Maria at work. Maybe I should try this next time I start with a new company I might tell them my preferred name is Conan the Farter, then again maybe NOT!

Anyhow back to the Catwoman’s call, as our lease is soon up she was calling to let us know the rent will be increased, a small increase, only about a 76 percent increase! After I picked myself up off the floor and was able to dial the phone I called Marika to let her know the good news, well maybe it time to move. I’ve heard of people that have had their rents more than doubled, if this happened in Sydney there would be riots, then again I think there are laws limiting how much rents can be increased in NSW, something like a maximum of 10 percent over two years. When we first rented this place nearly two years ago I was thinking how over priced the rentals market was here, now many expats are facing double that, maybe it’s time for the many to leave and find greener pastures. I say expats as locals can buy or rent HDB cheaper, much much cheaper. At an extreme guesstimate I would say some areas rents are up to 90 percent cheaper. Anyhow I yet again diverge, I’m about to start the new home search in earnest, I guess this time we’ll be looking for a bigger place with space for Bella to play. Which most likely means losing our view and moving further away from the city, or getting an older place, I hear terraces and houses can be cheaper to rent here as they are much older and don’t have facilities like pools and gyms. Personally I can live without these facilities; however the pool can be nice in the Singaporean heat and humidity. I like the Black & Whites bungalows here that the Government rent out; most are damn expensive however there are some bargains, maybe we’ll get lucky and find one of the bargains, look a flying pig! One down side of being at ground level with bush around you are the snakes and other creepy crawlers. They have King (Spitting) Cobras here that can grow to a nice size of about 6 metres, damn big for a poisonous snake, but they are kind of rare, which is okay by me. They also have pythons and constrictors. If we move into this environment maybe we should look at getting a dog, maybe a cat as well and shares in a sulphur manufacturer. You don’t hear of any snake bites here, but the scare factor if you find one in the kitchen will be fairly decent. Growing up in country Australia I developed a interest and RESPECT for snakes but they still make my skin crawl when their not behind glass.

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