I will always remember this house that I saw on Lorong Marican. I call it The Mad House in Kembangan, but it is not mad because there are mad people living in there. It is mad because there were about 12 people living in there as though it was a sorority or fraternity.
I came across this place in April 2012 when I was searching for a room on the east side of Singapore. In fact, I almost agreed to renting this place because it met my budget and profile. But alas, I didn’t take up the offer.
I remember the agent who waited and welcomed me. He introduced me to the owner of the house, who did not live there but made a living out of running the bungalow like a hostel. They were both really nice and decent people who had plenty of experience handling tenants.
I remember meeting the other tenants, including a young guy from my hometown. He told me he had been living in this area for a few good years, and highly recommend this bungalow for its price, reasonable housemates and perfectly acceptable living conditions.
To be honest, this was a really fun idea and concept. I could see that it worked, as there were probation periods and systems in place for laundry, cooking and showering. It was a great way to make friends yet live within your boundaries. My only gripe was the room on offer, which faced a Buddhist temple and was as small as a slice of cake.
I’m thankful for where I am now in Marine Parade, but sometimes I think about this parallel reality, where in another life, I would live in The Mad House in Kembangan, and my life would’ve taken a different turn because of this decision.