This year has not progressed at all according to plan, with the primary diversion caused by an unexpected relocation within Singapore, which occurred immediately after we returned from holidays.
We lived in our previous condo at Amaryllis Ville for seven years since moving to Singapore in 2004. Aside from the fact that we don't have a live-in maid, this lengthy tenancy is also highly unusual and a point of curiosity with all the agents we met. But we were perfectly happy at Amaryllis Ville and saw no reason to move for the sake of it, and certainly not simply to have something bigger, better and shinier.
We also were not keen on moving because of the search—spending endless weekends viewing one condo after another then trying to rate the pros and cons for an overall score. In the end it all came down to two criteria: (1) does it have a built-in dishwasher and (2) location, ideally a CBD location so Steve could walk to work.
You would be surprised to learn how many condos were immediately out of the frame because they didn't have a dishwasher. While most of us are used to this being a given in modern homes and especially in brand new homes, here in Singapore where live-in maids do all the chores, and people do not tend to cook and eat at home, a built-in dishwasher is a rare find. Sometimes landlords will offer to provide a dishwasher if one is not installed but these will then be placed (a) in the yard (laundry area) a long way from the kitchen or (b) it will be a mini bench-top dishwasher which is pretty useless.
The other difficulty in finding a place to live in Singapore these days is construction noise. When we first arrived, rental agreements had clauses that allowed you to escape if there was excessive noise, but that clause disappeared around 2008 when construction became inevitable given the relentless progress of development.
So, here we are at Marina Bay Residences (MBR) overlooking Marina Bay and the east coast (where there is construction in progress naturally, but at least it's no longer outside our windows!) Some of the construction is the new Gardens by the Bay which will offer more fantastic walking trails when it is completed. We're already enjoying evening walks around the bay (through Marina Bay Sands) and along the Esplanade.
This is not to mislead you into thinking we're living a healthy life. Unfortunately we are surrounded on all sides by restaurants including Level 33 above us and the Marina Link Mall below us which stretches from MBR to Raffles Place MRT, and of course across the street is the magnificent Marina Bay Sands. This location is absolutely brilliant but it is causing irreparable damage to the waistline and we're finding it hard to care; plenty of time for that later.
It all feels rather rosy and we're glad our former landlord sold our condo and forced us to make a move for greener pastures. There's just one niggling doubt in our minds: three times now when we've moved after being a while in one place, within days or months, we're outa here! For example, in Rockhampton we lived at Thirkettle Avenue, our first home, for seven years, decided to build a new home and 13 days after moving in, Steve was offered a job in Melbourne. In Melbourne, we lived in Prahran for four years then decided to buy a new townhouse in Toorak—seven months later, Steve is transferred to Sydney. We lived in Rozelle for three years in Sydney, bought a new townhouse and within four months we're packing our bags for Singapore. Can it possibly happen again? Is this our fate?