Thursday, 5 May 2005

The (Un)Amazing and Utterly (Un)Incredible HDB Flat!

I don't believe it. I'm in another country (well, Singapore IS another country wat), and I'm bored out of my wits with nothing to do but stay home and blog while my larling is at the office earning money. Somtimes I think that the only thing one can do in Singapore is shop, shop, watch a movie, and shop some more.

Sigh...

I was hoping to catch either Sin City or Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while I was here, but it seems as though the cinemas here are about as up-to-date as the ones in KL, which isn't saying much.

As for my plan to go to the zoo, well, I've decided to postpone that til tomorrow or Saturday, so that I can go with my girlfriend and visit hippos and elephants together. the smell of elephant dung is soooo romantic.

Since I also don't have my digicam with me, my plan of just walking around Singapore taking pictures also went out the window.

To illustrate how boring I think this place is - ever wonder what is the most prominent building in Singapore? No, its not the Raffles Tower. No, not the Durian Esplanade either.

The most prominent and probably most IMPORTANT building in the whole of singapore is the humble and utterly boring looking HDB flat.

HDB stands for the Singapore Housing and Development Board, and because of the lack of space on this little island, building all those vast residential areas like we do in Malaysia is certainly not a good idea, unless you wanna build it under the sea at some point. So, to make sure every Singaporean has a place to stay in, the government decided to build UP instead of sideways. And the beloved HDB flat was born.

Well, at least that's the Eyeris version of it. Is there a more accurate version of the story of the HDB flat?

Anyway, I digress. I was talking about the boringness of the place.

If you head out of the main city of Singapore where all the tall tall buildings and the durina-shape halls are, chances are the only buildings you will see are HDB flats. Tall, drab looking apartment blocks that look like there were churned out by a giant photostat machine.

Not very inspiring to say the least, and it is certainly hell for the non-Singaporean visitor to recognise the building he is saying in when they ALL look the same. I got lost a few times trying to find my girlfriend's flat.

But oh well, I'm not dissing the flats. Heck, I'm staying in one now. And in fact, I think Malaysia should make more of them too, just so we don't keep chopping down forests just to make way for a few measly (and incredibly expensive) bungalow lots.

But then, the sheer number of the flats make traveling on the MRT such a drab experience (at least when I'm travelling from the city to where I'M staying now). At least in KL, the LRT can take you over some very interesting sights (including the dirtiest river in Malaysia). But here in Singapore: HDB Flats, HDB Flats, tunnel, tunnel, HDB Flats and more HDB Flats..

Sigh..... how boring... Where's my M&Ms?

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