Plus one room for scale model maid

private property
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Real estate agents can be arseholes sometimes. A few years ago, being first time home renters, Naomi and I were conned into paying double commission by this chow ah beng of an agent, and last year, we were treated to a siao char bor show by this independent agent who got her husband to talk to and abuse me on the phone when I called to ask that the apartment be fumigated before we moved in (it was infested with ticks from a previous tenant’s dog).

We’ve just started the merry dance of house-hunting again, seeing as it’s a little under a year to go before our lease expires, and yesterday was spent poring over the Classifieds and deciphering realtor acronyms like IT, CT, SD and 4D.

‘IT’ means ‘inter-terrace’; ‘CT’ means ‘corner terrace’; ‘SD’ means ‘semi-detached’, and ‘4D’ means ‘houses that only lottery winners can afford’.

We viewed a few properties and began to understand what realtors really mean, when they describe numbers of bedrooms in private dwellings as ‘3+1’ and ‘4+1’.

‘3+1’ means ‘three real bedrooms and a hole in the wall for your domestic helper’, or ‘three real bedrooms and a hole in the wall for storing your junk and your domestic helper’.

When I remarked “wah, so small” on seeing the five foot by three foot by seven foot hole in a yet to be completed house, the realtor attending to us, sweating in his shirt and tie, defended its design, saying, “but it’s just for your maid”.

Being in a reasonably good mood, I responded, “but our maid is life-sized” to which he pointed out, “but this house is different, this maid’s room got own toilet”.

The en-suite makes a big difference, I suppose. Imagine prison cells without them. Crap.

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7 thoughts on “Plus one room for scale model maid”

  1. I know exactly what you mean and can relate to everything that you've articulated. You have my empathy & sympathy.

    I just love your amusing observations, witty repartee & wicked bon mots. I'm absolutely certain you must have said your “but our maid is life-sized” with your characteristic aplomb.

    Anyway thanks for a much need laugh.

  2. I was appalled when I visited condominium launch showrooms recently when every single one of them converted the windowless bomb shelter (which is in effect the storeroom) to a “maid's bedroom”.

    I should think that the domestic helper deserves some privacy and certainly, to breathe. Putting her inside the bomb shelter is literally asking her to choose between privacy (by closing the heavy bomb shelter door) or oxygen. It's insane.

  3. I'm also househunting and having similar experiences. It's great to read your entry and know that not all Singaporeans think like this any more.

  4. I can't remember if we talk about this point before where housing agents should have the size of the maid's room in hand…. so we know how tall a maid we can hire.

    And maid agency can go one step further for their clients and draw height markings on the wall for the different condos so Singaporeans don't hire the wrong size maid. Scully kanna return, si beh pai say, I get wrong size… can exchange for a smaller one.

  5. We spoke about it, yes. I'll check with the maid agency next time. I'm quite sure those that are endorsed by Mediacock stars have this type of exchange policy.

  6. We spoke about it, yes. I'll check with the maid agency next time. I'm quite sure those that are endorsed by Mediacock stars have this type of exchange policy.

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