Our Unusual Orange House


It seems that I am over my stress-induced writer’s block, brought on by Michelle’s husband and his feet. I am very much in the mood to write today, and I would like to tell you about where I live. (Please, stalkers: no, just NO, ok?)

So, I think I have already mentioned that we live in a house, or a “landed property”, as they call them here. We weren’t sure where to live when we came on our look-see (I love that Yankee expression!), and at first I was looking at condos as well as houses around Central and East Coast Singapore.

Then I happened to stumble upon a beautiful street called Emerald Hill Road… Wowee!! I’d read about it on Trip Advisor, and saw that it’s an amazing street of Chinese shophouses (which is a photographic specialty of mine, and these houses regularly feature in my many artistic endeavours), a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. For Londoners, Orchard Road is the equivalent of Oxford Street. Emerald Hill is quiet and historic, so I suppose it’s v like a Soho side-street.

When I told Don that I wanted to live on Emerald Hill, he had no clue what I was talking about. The fact is that working expat husbands really don’t know or care anything about where they are in the world. It is just about where’s work, where’s the airport, and where’s bed. I know this for a fact.

Now, I can be a bit of a push-over on some issues, but I was so insistent on the matter of Emerald Hill (I threatened to go home with the children, but leave the dog with him – he hates Froof the dog; but I was bluffing, of course, dear reader) that he agreed to put it to the mobility team, who put it to the relocation agency, who put it to the realtors; or estate agents in proper English.

Unfortunately, we were told that the houses on Emerald Hill were “beyond our package” by several thousand dollars, so although I was disappointed, that didn’t stop me chanting. As a seasoned chanter, I know that it bears fruit.

I chanted for five days, and on the sixth, I had a call from the mobility people saying that the relocation people had said that the realtor had found a property actually ON Emerald Hill which was within our package price range!! Hurrah!!!

So that’s where we live : )

It’s a house called La Taverna, which has been quirkily altered to contrast with all the other Chinese shophouses on the street, in that it’s painted a textured orange, with different un-Chinesey tiling.

One of the conditions of the lease is that we never open the front shutters (it’s dark, but that’s a small price to pay to live on this iconic street), and we have to keep a low profile. No parties, no deliveries, rarely open the front door. I don’t know why.

We’ve put Max and Milly in the back bedrooms because it can get quite loud out the front, with the bars opposite. Our bedroom is on the bar side, but to my mind, the noise just makes it more like living in Soho (for free, while paying off the mortgage back home hahaha!! I <3 being an expat); and Don is delighted because one of those bars has a members-only cigar room, so he pops across when he wants to read The Economist in peace with a Siglo VI Cohiba. He has met some fascinating chaps over there apparently.

Not that I would worry, but what I like about exclusive cigar bars is that there are rarely any vile nasty gold-digging, husband-stealing b****s there. It’s mostly men, talking about what they’ve read in The Economist or watched on Bloomberg/ CNN whilst on the treadmill.

They’re not the type to bother with all this Tinder stuff etc lolol. Don?? Hahaha! I know more about Tinder than he does! Bless him and his Ralph Lauren socks.


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