The idea of communal living was thought to be dead since Singaporeans got richer over the years. Those hand to mouth years of living in cubicles or sharing a flat with several families, sharing kitchen, toilets and common facilities were just a bad dream best to be forgotten. Those were times when most Singaporeans were poor and they had to make do with strangers living within the same four walls.
With today’s affluence and with Singaporeans owning or leasing their own flats, it is like coming full circle to see more and more Singaporeans renting out and sharing their homes with strangers. And with flats that are built smaller and smaller, having more than one family inside a flat is like reliving the past once again.
With more retirees having to remortgage or sublet their flats, living with strangers is going to be more popular for the losers in life. But it should not affect the quality of their lives. Having more people in the flat means more company, more people to chit chat and to look after each other.
There must be some draw backs in communal living. I was reading the case of this Chinese national who killed three women and seriously injuring one in roughly one hour, in the same flat. I am not going to speculate how all the screaming and crying and shouting and banging could go on for so long without anyone barging in to stop the killing.
What I am going to say is that living with strangers can pose high risk, very high risk, for the weaker sex and the old. And the stranger could be very disarming with his friendly smile and pleasant disposition. Not to worry, this kind of things don’t happen too often. It is a risk worth taking. A few cases like this are quite normal as more and more people start to rent out their flats to strangers.
And there are many happy and warm stories to tell of communal living, of friendship built, of help and assistance given, and kindness and gratitude repaid. They get to know more people, make more friends, and help to show how friendly Singaporeans are. They will benefit from the richer experience in life.
Just a wonderful experience to many, except bad luck to a few losers. Forget to add, the quality of life will be so enriching.