I am so touched to have received many inquiries as to my whereabouts lately. I haven’t posted a blog since February and a handful of people actually care. Well, not to worry. I have absolutely no intention of keeping silent for too long (although I very nearly was silenced… details to follow shortly). I have just been busy. I’ve been busy mostly with my studies and moving house. But, I have still managed to find the time to keep myself well-fed. I recently discovered a brand new hawker joint, just up the road from me in Farrer Park that I can’t wait to write about…. soon!
But first things first. Yes, I’m not ashamed to say that I have gone back to school. At the start of this year, I signed up to do an M.A. in Creative writing at Lasalle. Believe me when I say that everything I do in life is solely for the blog. I knew the only way I could take Bossy Flossie to the next level was by immersing myself in a creative environment with other budding writers. Thus far, it’s been great. I have bonded with a few cool students and we are planning our first literary evening; we plan to discuss the book, If We Dream Too Long by local writer Goh Poh Seng. I am normally a lazy reader, my book case is just filled with the classics – Tolstoy, Chekov, and then some more Tolstoy, so I am pretty excited about getting stuck into a novel penned by an Asian writer. But before that, I must get through Alice Munroe’s book of selected short stories. It is one of the required readings for the course. Alice is a great writer, for sure. She possesses all the classic, literary tips and tricks. Her stories are good examples from which students can learn to perfect their writing techniques. However, they lack emotional closure. At school, we’ve also been lucky enough to hear from some acclaimed authors who featured as guest lecturers, such as Angie Abdou and Blake Morrison. I can’t wait to read And When Did You Last See Your Father? by Morrison. The greatest thing about the course is that it has broadened my reading curriculum.
Now for the downer. During the course of my studies, I have been admonished for poor punctuation. Specifically – my “problem” using not enough commas. You guys know me and my writing well, so I ask you: is that a fair comment? The feedback has left me feeling frightfully self-conscious. Once upon a time, I allowed my readers the freedom to read without being controlled by punctuation. Now, I have gone to the other extreme and I am overusing my commas! But don’t worry, I won’t let this silence me or put a damper on my writing.
I also moved house very recently. I now live in a quaint pre-World War 2 landed property. Only eight years ago, I was living in a London hostel with my belongings chained to a bunkbed. Now, I live in one of the most beautiful houses in Singapore! Sometimes life really does work out.
I have been living in the Farrer Park area already for about two years. Farrer Park is not considered one of the most desirable areas of Singapore. The older, richer expats all prefer to live around Robertson Quay, Holland Village or East Coast. The young, trendy expats with money normally reside around Tiong Bahru. And the poorer expats (a lot of them students) live in my neck of the woods. So you can really get some good bang-for-your-buck here. The area is starting to gentrify with Don Don Donkey setting up shop in City Square Mall recently, but rental prices haven’t quite caught up.
I have had my eye on the double-row of shophouses in Farrer Park ever since I first moved to Singapore. So when one finally became available, you bet your ass that I pounced on it. At City Square Mall, I was paying $3,300 a month in rent for a 900 square foot flat with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an amazing swimming pool at the ground level. Now, for $3,550 a month, I have a three-story house with beautiful high-ceilings, wooden framed windows, two bedrooms, two bathroom and separate dining and living rooms. I will also say something bad about the place, so it doesn’t sound like I am gloating too much. The house gets really hot during the day, and I’ve sweated buckets ever since moving in. But, I’m hoping all the trips up and down the stairs will pay off eventually, and I’ll start shedding the calories too.
Meanwhile, my kittens Misty and Mochi have been ever so helpful with the house move. Misty took a few days off from her high-paying job at Apple to help unpack boxes. Mochi was in charge of the clothes, and she ironed all of my dresses and organised out my wardrobe.
As a blogger who is environmentally conscious, I made the decision only to purchase second-hand furniture. Buying new furniture is one of the single worst things you can do to this planet. How many old couches and wardrobes do you suppose are lying in landfills? There is a huge market for second-hand furniture in Singapore due to people coming and going all the time. Every week, there is another rich expat leaving Singapore and willing to sell their classy goods at discounted prices. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw a Californian King-sized bed for sale on Facebook Marketplace. The couple were relocating to Indonesia and were desperate to sell everything they owned, and quick!
Hock Siong & Co. is another place to find vintage pieces as well as pre-loved furniture. They have carpenters on site to make repairs and touch ups to any well-worn goods too. I found this cute little tabernacle-thingy there, that now sits in my stairwell.
Now between all this studying, reading and moving house, I have not forgotten to eat. Every Monday night, I usually head to 28 Degrees for a burger and $6 glass of bubbly after class. It is located just around the corner from my college, so very convenient. You can read my previous post about the amazing burgers and cheap alcohol here. But my biggest score of the year (so far) has been discovering 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist. Not to be confused with the stall by the same name on Tyrwhitt Road (opposite Tiramisu Hero), this is a fairly new addition to the neighbourhood in a smaller hawker centre, just off Jalan Besar. Next door is the Wanton Mee Co. stall, and they work closely together. I am hooked on ordering the wanton mee in soup (the char siew is so soft and sweet, but not sickly-sweet). Sometimes I splurge and get a side of pork belly too! I’ll share more details on my next food blog.