house hunting international – part iii or dreaming of gardening in singapore

I’ve not yet posted an update on our house hunting international endeavors as we are stuck in a bit of a holding patter.  Go figure – you can’t secure a place unless you can write the landlords a check.  You can’t write the landlords a check if it takes three business days to transfer money, three days for your US bank to link up with you Singapore one, and a week for MOM to approve your passes and visas so that you can even open a bank account, and it takes a week from setting up a bank account to actually get access to your account, ATM cards, and checks.  Sigh.  Oh yeah, and throw in a US bank holiday for added fun!

We’ve found a place we like, we’ve signed the letter of intent, and we’ve even approved the tenancy agreement, but we really won’t know what is happening until we can write them a check.  I am hopeful that the landlords will continue to be understanding this week.  But I do recognize that we might lose the place.  I seriously hope we don’t, but if we do, I am hopeful that we will be able to find something else in the building with as good of a view as the one we’ve settled on right now.

One of the reasons I really like this apartment we’ve found is that it does have some outdoor space.  Back in Seattle, I spent part of last fall clearing out our yard and making space for the raised bed we were going to put in this spring.  Selling the house and moving to Singapore kinda killed those plans.  With this apartment, if we get it,  I would be able to start container gardening.

I am someone who LOVES vegetables and fruit.  I would happily eat salads, vegetables, and fruit all day and night.  After we moved in together Partner found my occasional preference for a huge bowl of steamed broccoli for breakfast or lunch entirely of sliced red, yellow, and orange peppers a bit odd.  Whatever, I love me some veggies!

Its not that you can’t find fruit and veggies in Singapore – you can, but everything is imported from somewhere else – Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, India, the U.S. and elsewhere.  The selection of organic produce here is pretty slim.  It is not impossible to find organic stuff, but there are few clear regulations on organics here, so while I strive to find organic produce and may pay through the nose for organics here, I am still never 100% certain that how I define organic and how the gardeners in Malaysia are defining it are the same.

Even before we left for Singapore we talked about getting a place that would have some outdoor space to grow veggies.  I also may or may not have smuggled organic seeds into this country, or have had them sent, or found a way to get organic seeds from the U.S. delivered to me.  (Yes I am deliberately being vague to cover my ass and protect the innocent who may or may not have aided and abetted me.) Today while looking for more organic gardening stuff, seeing if Singapore had a dairy (it doesn’t), and researching where in Singapore to find organic potting soil – lots more research yet to come on that topic – I came across these fantastic planters.

This makes me super excited to plant a raised bed for spinach.

These little compartmentalized planters will be great for growing peppers and herbs.

The Balcony Gardener who makes these excellent little planters is a U.K. company and it has expanded its shipping recently. Its products can now be delivered to the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and China.  Sadly, however, they don’t ship to Singapore.  Perhaps I shall have someone in the U.K. mail them to me directly or have them shipped to family in the U.S. so that they can be mailed here.  Regardless, I am really liking these planters and hope to have them or something like them on the balcony of my dream apartment — if we get it.  If we don’t, then next weekend it will be back to apartment hunting.

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About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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2 Responses to house hunting international – part iii or dreaming of gardening in singapore

  1. Kate says:

    The bank account/EP approval/lease-signing definitely feels like a Catch-22, doesn’t it? My husband’s employer fronted us the deposit check for our apartment since we didn’t have a bank account yet, and I think that might be common practice? Perhaps your partner could check with his employer on that. Good luck, I hope you get the place you want!

    • onegonetwo says:

      Okay, I am glad to hear that we aren’t the only ones who’ve found ourselves in this position. It is an odd confluence of circumstances. My husband’s employer has been very generous, but neither one of us want to impose in this way. I am hopeful that we will get everything straight this week. Thank you for your words of encouragement and sharing your experience!

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