Whether you’re already living in Singapore and looking to move to a new neighbourhood or moving here from overseas, nothing beats hearing from the residents themselves! We speak to Aussie expat Sarah Alden, about the ins and outs of living in Seletar Camp.
What’s the name of the street where you live? Maida Vale.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “We live at Seletar on the Camp please, uncle!” This always starts a conversation as many of the older taxi drivers lived in Seletar Camp when they were doing their NS. It is really special as they often have so many fond memories and sometimes they even stop and show us where their barracks were!
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Seletar Camp.
Closest MRT station? Punggol (North East Line).
How long have you lived here? One year.
Why here? We moved from a small farm in regional NSW three years ago to a condo in town. When we knew we were staying longer in Singapore, we wanted to replicate what we missed from home, which was lots of space for our children to run around, climb trees and be kids … and a close-knit community! We live in a black-and-white that was originally built in the 1930s for the RAF. We love it; it’s a very special experience to live in a house with so much history that is significant to Singapore.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Lots of wide open space with trees, grass and tropical plants.
The closest store to your front door is: Along Jalan Kayu, where there is a string of local restaurants and hawker centres.
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Drinking! We have a very connected community that takes turns to host our regular get-togethers or “play groups”. Everyone comes along on a Friday night; adults, kids, aunties and even the dogs! The kids hang out and can be kids in a safe and protected environment. I often hear the reference “It takes a village!” on our WhatsApp group, which is why we absolutely love living in our community.
The unofficial uniform of your street is: A dog. Most of our neighbours go walking with their dogs.
If you’re missing home, you: Jump on a plane and go there. I feel very fortunate to be a relatively short flight from Sydney and I try to get down there a few times a year. Apart from that, I would pick up the phone and call a friend!
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: Satay by the Bay followed by the Supertree light show at Gardens by the Bay.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: It’s so far away. Most of the time it really does only take 20 minutes to get anywhere in Singapore. Once you get used to the traffic on the CTE, you realise you are never far from anywhere.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be: Our crazy neighbours partying away until the early hours of the morning
You won’t find better local food than at: Samy’s Curry restaurant in Dempsey or Noodle Man in Chinatown. We love the tropical feel of sitting outside at Samy’s, and of course we enjoy the food!
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: Nothing ever surprises me anymore, whether it’s a spitting cobra or our neighbours attending a fancy dress party! But it was probably last Halloween, when many of our neighbours decorated their houses in horrific and scary scenes. One of them had a mannequin lying on the top of a closed snooker table as the centrepiece for a restaurant serving wine and eyeballs for starters! It was so much fun though.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: The Oval. It’s an area that was established in 1928 and many black-and-white houses were built around it for the RAF. A couple of years ago, the old homes were converted into restaurants. Our favourite is The Summerhouse, which is decorated beautifully; the gin bar upstairs is really fun.
One thing you’d never change is: The size of our yards!
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: The wild dogs.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street in Seletar. You use it to: Build a huge swimming pool and a zip-line from one house to another that goes through the pool (an idea from the kids!).
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