Sunday, 28 September 2014

The real meaning of settling down...

It's been a tumultuous ten months or so since we have landed in Oz.

We've moved house thrice, I'm now well into my fourth job at a car workshop, we've made a heap of friends, and actually lost a few "friends" in recent times. I've been financially burned in a 'business deal' gone sour, to the tune of a couple of hundred bucks. I guess any form of entrepreneurial spirit shall take a backseat for the time being.

As some of you may have read or already know, we've 'owned' our own HDB in sg. We thought back then that we had "settled down". The phrase is usually thrown around with the various meanings such as marriage, having kids, having your own place to call home... and usually a combination of the above. But now that we finally own our home, the feeling is different. (Okay, technically the bank owns our home for now...)

Having recently come from a place where the average person struggles to pay for a public housing apartment on a 99-year lease, and people speak of "landed property" or condominiums with either great envy or great pride (depending on whether one aspires or actually owns), it's a strange feeling to have purchased a house with its own land. Strictly speaking, our home is a "unit", which shares certain components with the neighbouring house, such as a driveway, and  part of our carport uses the neighbour's home as structural support. But while there is common property that is shared, there is what is completely ours, all 325 square metres of it (land area being an approximation from Google Earth measurements). The house itself is completely separate from any neighbours'.

All these, from a humble beginning in sg. Zero financial contribution from either of our parents. No inheritance monies. No get-rich-quick or dodgy schemes. Just a bit of hard work, a bit of luck, a heap of blessings (for those who believe), and a few good decisions made at critical junctures. Ignoring the naysayers who have their noses in the air and their heads in the clouds, but are blind to reality (such as the fact that there are decent places among the western suburbs in Melbourne. 

Of course, it also took a strong push from our birth country, to rediscover the wandering tendencies of our forefathers, and to make a "leap of faith" as what others like to call it.

In hindsight, every trip I took out of sg, every place I've made an effort to visit, was in search of home. I remember discussing the feasibility of Thailand as an alternative to Sg, with A. An exercise in futility because Thailand doesn't really rock our boat any more than sg did. But every option that crossed our path had to be considered.

In recent months, the desire to wander has subsided somewhat. The first weekends after moving were spent doing all the little touch ups that the new house needed. There's still work to be done, but now we have time to relax and enjoy home as it is. There are still many places to visit in Australia, and even just within Victoria State, but those can wait. Maybe we won't visit most of these places after all, just like many of the locals we've met who never ventured much beyond the city and their home suburbs.

Finally, after ten months, we are home.

- S

Who needs movers or to hire a van/ute/trailer to move house? Not us for sure...

Covered lots for two average-sized cars. No "season parking" fees, ever.

Kitchen in its early days of our moving in. It's not huge, I've seen bigger HDB kitchens in the older flats. But open plan. More than enough for two :)

Hanging out with the neighbour, a cute little African boy. He has more vehicles than we do!

Clean simple design, courtesy of the previous owner-builder who renovated this place for re-sale.