Photo Credits Here
By Yu BoRong
What do you look for in a new house?
The neighbours? Well, as long as they’re not nosy or annoying, it’s okay, isn’t it?
There are more important things – whether it’s facing the east, whether it’s close to an MRT, whether it’s close to school…
The neighbourhood? Most days there won’t be people around anyways – if it’s not too hot, it’s too late in the evening for people to want to leave their houses.
Perhaps it’s not hard to understand why newly built apartments nowadays have lift lobbies that feel like they belong in a hotel.
They aren’t built to form a community of nice, friendly people. They’re built for people’s convenience.
They exist as temporary spaces for people to stay in until they grow too big for the pot and need to be repotted, replanted elsewhere more comfortable, possibly newer.
What about the ‘good old days’, then? Friendly neighbourhoods with neighbours who greet each other and kids to play ice and freeze with. Basketball courts that aren’t almost always empty.
They’re like those neighbours who help you when your family overseas can’t.
Anyone writing about them knows that they’re fabricated.
The fact is, perhaps the older generation still holds onto the ‘kampong spirit’, but people who move – especially those who move into new neighbourhoods – stop forming roots. The neighbour today can become someone else in a matter of days and that won’t affect you.
A house is for staying in, for resting, for relaxing, not for creating more stress in the form of neighbours who could come over anytime, expecting to be entertained, or in the form of that person across the hall who needs you to water their plants for them this Wednesday evening.
This isn’t really a bad thing though.
It’s just a sign that people are moving on, that they’re no longer that tied down to their neighbourhood. That they’re becoming more occupied with being economically productive or being family-oriented, possibly.
After all, that’s more important nowadays.