Name: Bronwyn Darnoc
From: Citizen of the World; I’m lucky to have lived on three continents
Occupation: Senior designer for Realys, a commercial design and build firm, and creator of Simply for Flying, a flight logbook for kids
What street do you live on?
What does it mean?
In Celtic, dun means “hill” (i.e., down) and fold means “enclosure”.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?
CTE Exit 10 to Braddell Road, turn right and then first left – a very quick first left!
What’s the name of your neighbourhood?
Closest MRT station?
How long have you lived here?
It’s a hop, step and jump to school, and that was the priority. We elected not to have a car, and to make the day shorter for the kids, less travel was important.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
Depending which exit you choose, either of two views; the Australian International School (AIS) or a large freestanding house with an interesting Miami-style pink colour palette.
The closest store to your front door is:
The minimart at a nearby condo; Serangoon’s NEX shopping mall is one MRT stop away.
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less:
Anti-social dog behaviour at unfortunate times.
The unofficial uniform of your street is:
Undoubtedly the AIS uniform, followed by casual sportswear.
If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
An AFL (Australian Rules Football) player; he would discover so many fans living nearby!
If you’re missing home, you:
Get active and involved with the plethora of country associations, or international school community activities.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is:
A stroll through Bishan Park on a Saturday morning to see groups doing tai chi, inline skating, fish-feeding and taking dog etiquette classes.
You’d swap houses in a second with:
My immediate neighbours, and I’d have all five of their cars (Bentley, Lamborghini, Range Rover, BMW, Jaguar), and their driver too.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
Buying a freestanding house is good value for money.
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:
One of three things: the buzz of all-night traffic in a densely populated city, the hum of the unrelenting air-conditioner, or the silent but deadly mosquito that snuck in during the day.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:
An extended Saturday afternoon barbecue.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:
Plonk, because my husband and I try to have at least one “date night” each fortnight and we don’t want to wander too far after putting the kids to bed; our favourite dish is the mixed mushroom bruschetta and lemon crème fraiche. Grub in Bishan Park does great burgers with no MSG; we love heading there – the kids scooter or cycle the 5km while we run there, so our tummies are ready for some yummy food. The pizzas at La Pizzaiola have a super-thin crust; it’s a favourite spot for families early on Sunday evenings. La Petite Boutique has great baguettes and croissants, and they deliver; I also love their hams and cheeses – I recently bought an interesting caramel gouda from them. The clean and pleasant Z-Spa at Serangoon Gardens is good for relaxation and therapeutic massages.
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen in your neighbourhood is:
A wild otter swimming and eating fish in the local storm-water drain; it was something unexpected but environmentally pleasing to see during an early morning run!
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:
To be found under the HDB block on Serangoon Avenue 3.
One thing you’d never change is:
Having a pool!
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
Driveway gates that open outwards on to the street. I’ve had a few close hit-and-misses while out on a run, or out and about with the kids.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to:
Discreetly place communal recycling facilities in our street. I’d also update the local exercise grounds to provide a playground for young kids with an adjoining “eat, drink and shop” store!
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s July 2015 issue.