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 Niamh Drohan, about the ins and outs of living in central Singapore on Surrey road in Newton.
Where do you live? Surrey Road.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Just off Newton Road, next to Hotel Royal.”
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Newton Road.
Closest MRT station? We’re right in the middle between Newton and Novena stations.
How long have you lived here? Three years.
Why here? It was the best compromise – somewhere that was equidistant from both my workplace and my partner’s. Also, it’s close to a supermarket and a bus stop, and a stone’s throw from Orchard Road.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Lots of condos; it’s largely a residential area.
The closest store to your front door is: United Square, the unofficial kids’ mall – good luck trying to navigate your way around there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon!
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: A Japanese version of Desperate Housewives!
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Standoffishness (is that even a word?!). When we meet our neighbours in the lift or at the pool, we barely get a “Hello” or “Good morning” from them!
The unofficial uniform of your street is: Very casual: shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Head to the local food court for a chicken rice or grab a curry puff from Old Chang Kee. I reckon it doesn’t get much more authentic than that.
If you’re missing home, you: Crack open our freezer supply and invite friends around for a big Irish fry-up breakfast: Clonakilty sausages, black pudding and rashers!
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: PigsFly, just around the corner. It’s a cool restaurant and bar that offers lots of different cuisines, from Thai to Japanese to India.
You’d swap houses in a second with: Anyone living in the condo Soleil @ Sinaran – the facilities are to die for.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: There is a perception is that rent is super high where we live, but we managed to snap up a bargain. There are actually plenty of bargains to be had in the current economic climate, and rent prices coming down.
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to: The noisy neighbours next door as they house the casts from travelling musicals and shows at the serviced apartments next door. They love a late-night swim and sing-song!
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be: Happening in the car park of Hotel Royal. Many a night I’ve sat watching the amusing late-night antics of revellers stumbling from the hotel bar.
This is an extract from an article that first appeared in the November 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
We have a whole heap of Neighbourhood Guides and videos to help you get to know your hood! Or, check out more about Living in Singapore.