Last sunday - I went to visit my friend's place for the second time.
The first time I went to her place was when she first moved in.
I helped her move her stuff as neither of us knew that we could actually get professional movers' help for less than $100. We thought that they charge lots of money so we tried carry ing everything including small furniture all on our own.
In Singaopre, housing is very expensive and we cannot afford to rent a whole unit for ourselves.
Unless you are expatriates and your company pays for your rent, car and everything, most of us (locally hired foreigners) need to rent just a room out of the whole unit and share other common spaces like kitchen, bathroom and living room with others.
Some people share rooms with friends just like back in university times
but like my friend and I, who came to Singapore at differnt timings, we cannot find a palce together as our rental contracts end at different timings.
(Our contract is usually a 1 year base and we cannot extend for just a few monthes or a few days so while one is looking for a new place, the other one is still tied up with the current contract. Therefore we cannot find a place together.)
So what we do is to rent a room from a landlord and live with them in the same unit.
This is just like a homestay, except that you are preparing your own food.
Some landlords don't allow us to cook, some do.
I love cooking so I usually choose a place where I can cook, but still I always feel nervouse cooking at landlord's kitchen.
My friend lives with her landlord just like I do.
Her landlord is a married couple and they are both very nice.
Last time I went to their house, they asked me to visit them often,
but as their place is quite far from my place, I didn't have a chance.
When I visited them for the second time last sunday,
it's been almost 1 year and we were all so surprised.
I cooked Japanese bento box and broght it over for lunch.
Lots of gobou (Burdock) dishes
-Chicken gobou rice
-Japanese sweet rolled eggs
-Hijiki (a type of seaweed)
-Chicken, egg plant and tomato marinated with yuzu dressings
My friend makes her own very cute drink coasters.
We enjoyed our afternoon tea with these special coasters.
(what I was drinking was actually pear juice but never mind that)
We always meet up at a cafe outside and drink tea/juice and chat untill a day ends.
We basically did the same thing this afternoon but it is a different experience
when we can do it at home.
It is more relaxing and we can chat without worrying about time and other customers.
It is always difficult to invite friends over to your place
when you don't really have your own "place" or house.
But I'm very grateful that my friend's landlord is always happy to have me there
and we all had a good time that afternoon.