111 Verde View: Our Home in Singapore

This was the first house that we saw during our househunting days, and we lived in it for our entire 10 years in Singapore, where Dale enjoyed his first taste of teaching at a good international school. Verde View is a housing estate near the northern end of the island of Singapore, about an 8 minute drive to Singapore American School. It had 4 storeys, with 4 bedrooms and a rooftop terrace. The tour that we recreated no longer works in this security-tight era of the internet, but we have salvaged some pictures of the house with which to recreate a partial tour.

EntrywayShown here is the entrance via a small yard that never produced much of a lawn, owing to how fast the traveler palms grew, blocking the sun. The pile of shoes come from a Christmas Party we had for our neighbor Peter Tan and his (extended!) family. A favorite memory of that evening was the five-year old delicately selecting her potato chips from a bowl -- using chop sticks. Her sister, noticing the brownies at the end, turned her nose up at the wet, brown chocolate...until she tasted one (then Dale had to fight to get his portion)!

Living RoomThe living room is shown here, featuring a rattan couch and chair set. The couch and photos we brought with us from Beirut. Although spacious, it was never the ideal entertaining venue, as it lacked air conditioning, and Singapore is always hot and humid.

CKK BarOn the side of the room opposite the couch was a well-traveled rattan bar that was Tracy's from her Jakarta days. It was shipped back to Texas, and from there to North Carolina (where we'd met), to later be left in storage until we were able to ship it back to Southeast Asia, thanks to the generous shipping allowance of the Singapore American School (following 2 years in Beirut). It has served us well and is a fixture at our current digs in Kuala Lumpur. Above the bar is the stairway leading to the next to levels, which consist of four bedrooms. We used one as a master bedroom, one as a guest room, one as an office, and one as the film room.

CCK Dining RoomThe dining room was on an elevated platform, a few steps above the living room. The chairs and table are teak, and are from Bali, as is the china cabinet. The wall hanging is an Indonesian batik, a gift to Tracy from the JIS (Jakarta International School) English department.

Poniyah in the KitchenCCK KitchenBelieve it our not, we had to beg to have an oven installed in our kitchen -- they are not standard equipment in kitchens throughout SE Asia. Although it was small, the kitchen was perfectly functional, and served us well when we were entertaining. Poniyah, our "pembantu" (Bhasa Indonesia for "helper") not only did a great job with the household tasks, but is also an excellent cook, as well. While Tracy loves to cook, she was more than happy to hand over this aspect of daily life -- as SAS pretty much "owned" us in terms of time! From the start, Poniyah made amazing tempura, bee hoon, spring rolls and Pomfret -- all the Indonesian & Chinese dishes one could wish for. Since then, she has added homemade pasta, salads other Western favorites to her repertoire. Life is good! We adore Poniyah, who's been with us for 17 years, at this writing.

MasterbedroomClimbing the stairs to the second floor is the master bedroom. It was spacious, with built-in closets and an ensuite bath. Shown here is the Balinese teak bed with opium legs. Above it, hangs a Vipula batik from Tracy's Sri Lanka days. The room has a large east-facing window with a view of the canal and the forest beyond--very restful!

Office DeskTV in OfficeAcross the hall from the master bedroom was the office. In addition to the desk that houses Tracy's desktop Mac, the foldout IKEA couch allows it to double as a second guest room. The wall hanging is from Barefoot Galleries in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The office is also home to the only TV in the house, owing to the existence of our fabulous film room on the next level. The small rug in front of the television is from our Syria travels.

Guestroom BedGuestroom View 2On the third floor, directly above the master bedroom was the main guestroom. It featured a double bed and an ensuite bath. As with the master, it had a large window overlooking greenery. It also doubled as Tracy's massage room. Ahh, a great use for dedicated space!

Front of the Film RoomFilm Room Seating AreaAcross the hall from the guestroom was our favorite spot, the film room. It featured a 120-inch pull-down screen, and sound was dampened by both the Sri Lankan wall hangings and acoustical panels. The result was a room that had a live end and a dead end, making it ideal both for movie viewing and musical recording. More information is available on the separate film room page.

Rooftop TerraceParty on the Roof!Finally, we arrive at the fourth storey, the rooftop terrace. The photo to the left is not our unit, but a similar one taken from a real estate website. The small thumbnail to the left shows our terrace in action during a party with our neighbors, the Tan family. For more of that intercultural event (ha ha), please select this link: Our Choa Chu Kang Christmas.

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