For Canadian expat Kris Elford and her family have been living in Singapore for four years. They moved to Tai Hwan Drive in Serangoon about two years ago, finding it the perfect location for work, school and family. Here she tells us more about why she loves her neighbourhood.
What’s the name of the street where you live? Tai Hwan Drive.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 and CTE.”
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Serangoon.
Closest MRT station? Lorong Chuan (Circle Line), but we always go to Serangoon.
How long have you lived here? We’ve been living in Singapore for four years, and it’s been two years in our current house.
Why here? My hubby Chad and I both felt a good vibe when walking through the house on separate occasions. Also, we wanted a corner unit with a pool. It’s the perfect triangle between home, work and school, with easy access to public transport as we have no car.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Other terraced houses, and very soon a bus stop that’ll take us everywhere!
The closest store (of any type) to your front door is: NEX mall or the shops in Serangoon Gardens.
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: Kung Fu Panda!
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Isolation; we’re used to having community block parties and evening cocktails.
The unofficial uniform of your street is: A pair of shorts with a T-shirt lifted over the belly.
If you’re missing home, you: FaceTime at crazy hours, or go to the park at 6pm – everyone goes with their dogs to play and chat at that time.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: Sentosa. Only a few cities in the world also have a Skyline Luge, and one other place is Calgary, which is where we are from. Chinatown and Little India are musts as well.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be: A purple Lamborghini that starts up almost every day between 3.30 and 4.30pm and comes home in the middle of the night.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: Plonk and Oblong (best waffles and ice cream!) in Serangoon Gardens.
You won’t find better local food than at: Chomp Chomp Food Centre.
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: Unfortunately, our house was broken into recently, which is very rare in Singapore. I have just realised that a lot of the unrenovated houses have grills on their sliding doors and back windows because about 15 years ago there was burglary in this area.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: The dog park – taking the leash off the dog and letting him run wild.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: The dude who honks his horn every morning!
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: We would definitely rename it to a Crescent instead of a Drive as it confuses all taxi drivers. We would also install an ice rink so we can play hockey and not have to go all the way to JCube in Jurong!
Why have you stayed in Singapore? We love using Singapore as a launch-pad to explore and travel around Asia. We also appreciate the friendships and unique bonds that result from expat life. And maybe the reality is that we cannot survive another Canadian winter!
Like this? Read more at our neighbourhood guides section:
The expat’s guide to where to live in Singapore
Living the quite life in Rasok Drive in Bukit Villa
This article first appeared in the September 2018 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!