IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
In May of 2011 we moved into our apartment here in Singapore thinking we had lucked out. Within easy walking of Orchard Road, the location was great and the apartment was new, our complex only being completed in late 2010. When we came to check the place out there were some lovely older landed houses next door, and whilst there was Construction going on around, it was not right on the doorstep so we felt good about the place. We asked the real estate agent who was working for the owner of the apartment, "will there be any Construction in the near future"? "No", was his very firm and convincing reply. A few days later, having signed the lease, we came to take another look and measure up for some furniture. Imagine our dismay and surprise, to find that the lovely houses next door were in the process of being demolished! The agent did at least have the temerity to look sheepish. Come to find that a brand new, 2 tower apartment complex was going up, right next door, literally, I really mean it, right next door. Completion date Feb 2014!! If only we knew then what we know now about how to avoid this pitfall.
Living right next to construction has been a pain. Noise and dust every day, seven days a week. The work starts at around 7am, even on Sunday, and goes on until at least 10pm at night, again, including Sundays! I knew city living would be noisy but I hadn't bargained for this noisy. Still, after awhile you do become accustomed to it. Kind of. It has been interesting to see how things progress and from time to time I take some photos.
The picture to the left was taken from the balcony of our apartment at The Paterson Suites, a few days after we signed our lease in June of 2011. You can see that most of the houses are gone, a few on the left, still to come down.
If you look again at the picture above, you can see a house (one of two) that has not been demolished. One evening while we were out walking, we met the lady who lived there. She told us that she had refused to sell to the developers. The house had been her home for over 50 years. She had raised her family there, she had her garden and she did not want to move. She has lived with construction from 2006 when they started building our tower block. She had a brief respite for about a year when it was completed in 2010 but then it started again with this new phase of construction. Even though the developers offered her the Penthouse in our building, she still refused to budge.
By the time we get towards December, more and more equipment arrives. The biggest revelation was the construction of some tin huts along the perimeter of the site. These are literally just corrugated tin huts, if you look closely at the picture below you will see them just behind the two yellow cranes along the road line.
It became apparent, that these huts are where some of the workers will "live"! I must admit to being pretty shocked. These huts are so basic. Workers, who appear to be mostly from India or Bangladesh, live on site. Some nights we would walk past on our way out to dinner and smell the most amazing cooking. Turns out they were using a weel barrow as a grill!
Safety for the most part does seem pretty good, all workers wear hard hats and yellow gum boots. They also wear long sleeved jackets which in the heat and humidity of Singapore must be oppressive.
The long white building you see to the right in a lot of the pictures, is the ISS International (Elementary and Middle) School here in Singapore. The back of our condo overlooks the majority of the school. This one building of classrooms is unfortunately, right next to the construction. I can only imagine how incredibly noisy and disruptive it must be for the poor students.
By the time we get to July 2012, we can start to see some progress. The actual foundations of buildings are in. Also notice that the workers huts along the back perimeter of the site seem to have expanded. Not sure if they gained an extra cooking wheelbarrow!!
Soon after July of 2012, I left for the USA. Although unintentional, I ended up being away for 6 months, only returning to Singapore at the end of December 2012. I knew I would be seeing a big change when I got back, I was not wrong.
The construction is moving along pretty quickly now. The big cranes are constantly whirring, and the lovely sound of metal upon metal as poles get moved around the site, an almost accustomed tune. That, along with shouting and whistle blowing, creates quite the cacophony of noise, something we would dearly love to live without! Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying life in Singapore, there are so many great things here that outway the construction noise. It's just a shame that there is so much Construction around us.
The slideshow below shows how the construction is looking from the street perspective. These were taken in April 2013 as I walked from my apartment down towards Orchard Road.
So, compare the photos below to see how it started and how it looks to date (May 2013).
As I mentioned above, the construction noise is something I would dearly love to live without. To that end, we have decided not to renew the lease on our current apartment. Not sure we can take another year of construction noise and dust. We will be moving to Sentosa early in June where we hope it will be a little quieter. In a weird kind of way, it will be sad (a little bit) not to get to watch the completion of the building from my vantage point here on the 6th floor. I promise to come back sometime in 2014 to update this post, and show you the finished result. PROMISE!
You may also like: