Monday, 19 October 2009

washing day in Singapore!!!

Singapore has a tropical climate. That basically means it's summer all year round. With such heat, few families see the need to purchase dryers. The norm is to simply stick your clothes out to dry on bamboo poles. I do not have a dryer and nor do I need one, but I do use poles on a stand that sits on the balcony ...... I do not have the courage to hang the poles out like those seen here, but also in apartments and condominiums, bamboo poles are used but are hung up in the yard or washing area within the unit, usually just outside the laundry area .... and one must remember that courtesy dictates that you wring your laundry before hanging them out or you'll receive a generous dose of scolding from the lower floors.

Dripping wet mops are also an invitation to angry neighbours from the lower floors!!

More than 80% of Singaporeans stay in HDB flats, Housing Development Board (HDB) Flats.

This is the Singapore version of public housing that is totally different from the usual public housing that you hear of or see in Hong Kong, USA, Europe or China. The above images are of HDB units.

These HDB flats are good quality well built and immaculately maintained government subsidised housing. Very close to the specifications of a condominium but without perimeter fencing and private facilities like swimming pool, club house, tennis courts or a gym. These HDB flats are purchased and owned.

In the early days, pigeon holes were used to describe HDB flats by visitors to Singapore. From afar, HDB flats do resemble pigeon holes. Back in the 70s, the main driving force behind HDB flats was to provide Singaporeans with basic housing and nice design was not a priority.

Affluent Singapore today has seen substantial changes in HDB flats design matching those of private condominiums and the introduction of Executive Condominiums (EC), hybrid housing between HDB flats and condominiums.

The sight of clothes hanging on bamboo poles sticking outside the kitchen windows of HDB flats will surprise many. This is the signature of HDB living and is a sight to behold. Imagine an entire HDB flat on a sunny day with bamboo poles full of clothes sticking out of every unit. And yes, you guessed it, undergarments included. What a sight!

in the next blog post I will explain a little more about these HDB flats / apartments / units and the facilities surrounding them.

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