I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post! It’s usually the same excuse – life, work, kid – but this time there’s a bigger reason – goodbye!
No, not to Singapore, but to Robertson Quay, my home for 3 and a half years, my husband’s for even longer. We dragged our feet over moving for a year but it had to be done. We had a large apartment off River Valley road which we loved so much but no facilities. It just didn’t make sense to live in great weather all year round and not make the most of it.
I’ll miss R Quay so much and here are the reasons why:
- It’s FANTASTIC for babies and toddlers. Not only are you surrounded by great baby gymns like JWT in UE square, Amped Trampoline Park on Kim Yam road but you have lots of well organised meetup groups where you can take your child for music or art lessons.
- The River is a social hub and meeting ground for mothers (and fathers) and everyone is so incredibly friendly – from the baby-friendly cafes to the restaurant staff hanging around outside their establishments cooing at your kid. You can run around with your child when they start walking and then when they’re older it’s a great place to ride their scooters, interact with other children, burn energy and learn about their natural environment.
- Did I mention the river? Great for early morning runs, and late night romantic strolls after a great steak at Le Bouchon. Plus friends from all over Singapore come here for brunch (Common Man, Toby’s Estate, PS Cafe, Epicurious) so it was always so easy to make plans.
- Everything is so convenient – we had several 7/11s, two Cold Storages and a FairPrice supermarket within walking distance. Of course it depends where in R Quay you live, but if you can get an apartment close to River Valley road and the river it’s really sweet. Running out of something was never a worry and I never had to do more than couple day’s grocery shopping at a time!
- Now this may be good and bad depending on how you look at it, but R Quay is definitely is definitely a magnet for expats. This meant that even when I made other expat friends in different locations, it would turn out that a large number of them lived near me. Personally, I loved this. I had a friend from university, a fellow writer, and an old work colleague from the UK all happen to live within walking distance! Meeting up for coffees, dinner, drinks and playdates is not only incredibly easy but is something you do regularly. So the actual amount of time you spend with friends is really high.
- Everyone knows your name…or at least your kid’s name! Security guards on my route to the supermarket have overheard me yelling my kid’s name so many times! When we went back to our old apartment to pick up some final boxes, I took my son for a final walk round and by the end of it I had a lump in my throat. At least 5 different people – guards, supermarket staff, the lady at the drycleaners and the waiters at ‘The Book Cafe’ and ‘Pies and Coffee’ ‘my favourite writing cafes all waved hello.
- You’re so central to Orchard road and the business district. Coming from a large city like London, I really loved being so central when I first moved here.
- Every taxi driver knows your road. It helps that we have a famous Buddhist temple on the same road which they all know for it’s free food…
- There are some insanely good condo playgrounds. Whether you live there or not. Enough said.
- It was home. It was the apartment we officially got married in and where we brought out son home from the hospital. It’s where I had my baby shower and where the kid was happiest. It was what we knew and what we loved.
We haven’t moved far at all, but enough that our lives have changed quite significantly. We’re now in Newton/Bukit Timah and its very green and beautiful. We love our bigger apartment and our new condo – we can workout, swim, play tennis and have barbecues now. We have great preschools near us with lots of space and when you come home you feel removed from work and the bustle of the city. It’s so relaxing and I guess it’s a home-home. You know the kind of place that’s bliss with a well stocked fridge and a full pantry…:)
It’s still very early days but I’ll definitely do a post on the area and how we’re finding it. It definitely feels like a lot of people move somewhere quieter when they’ve been in Singapore a while – Bukit Timah or the East coast. So I guess we’re getting old!
It’ so good to be back to BGIS. I have lots of posts planned – a holiday post on a great little town in Vietnam so many people haven’t heard about, a furniture post on the great places to shop and the amazing women who are really inspiring me right now…