Thursday, August 02, 2007


Singapore was recently hit by a tragedy called a booming real estate market and unfortunately for most people (read: those who don't own property), it's here to stay for quite a while. The rented apartments that people never used to bat an eyelash on have suddenly become hot property and everyone's clamoring for it. It's become a seller's market -- and there is definitely no mistaking who the kings and queens are. Because of this phenomenon, people who were looking to upgrade to a nicer apartment have suddenly changed their gears and are now fighting to keep their current apartments. What could have paid for a nice two-bedroom apartment in a skyrise building within walking distance to the city central shopping malls can now pay for a two-bedroom apartment within arm's length of Malaysia -- if you're lucky.

Practically overnight, people who were looking for changes had to struggle just to keep anything from changing. One would have to put up a fight in order to keep a present apartment for the same rate. Some would concede to topping up their rent with a few more hundred dollars a month as long as they get to keep the roof over their heads whilst others are left with no choice but to head Malaysia-bound (or ocean-bound if they fancy going the other direction) in order to stretch their dollars.

We generally tend to take many things for granted until something extraordinary hits us that threatens the peace and order of our lives. The classic saying of "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" particularly comes to mind.

I find it quite funny because numerous times, I consciously put myself out there to look for changes. When I get bored and time seems to be standing still, I look for something in my life that I can change -- maybe my hair color, my laptop's operating system, my mobile phone, my travel plans, my diet, my doctors, etc. I seek and struggle to force changes to take place. However, when change comes barging on our doors completely unexpected and uninvited, that's when the real struggle happens. I learned the hard way that struggling to keep things the way they are is actually more frustrating and more difficult than struggling to change the way things are (did you get that?). At least with changes, there are various options that we can consider. After all, as long as it involves some kind of change, it's an option. Whereas with preventing changes, we limit ourselves to a single outcome and practically zero choices because we want things to remain the same -- no more, no less.

I remember my first job. I graduated in probably one of the worst years to finish school -- the year after 9/11. The economy was crap so naturally, the labor market was pretty ugly. I was lucky to bag a job within three months upon graduating. Unfortunately, it wasn't a terribly glamorous job and was quite low-paying. Then again, aside from Ivanka Trump, who has a high-paying and high-flying first job? It was enough to pay for my rent and newly-acquired car, however. I kept on complaining and moaning about my job and how I thought I deserved a better one. I felt seriously underemployed. I kept my eyes peeled and constantly scoured Monster and Careerbuilder for new opportunities. The bad economy coupled with my lack of experience (and availability of more experienced desperate people out there) were totally going against me. Then one day, the ax fell. I got called into the death chambers of the Human Resources Department and got told that my unit was going to be made redundant. Actually, not all of us will get laid off, just a few of us and I was first in line because I was the newest. You know, LIFO -- last in, first out. Dumb methodology -- at least that's what I thought that time.

How I managed to persuade them to give me a promotion instead and move me diagonally in the organization is saved for another time. Miracles still do happen -- have faith. The whole experience was perhaps the most humbling one that I have ever gone through. I found myself praying hard to be able to keep the same job that I was condemning for being beneath me just a day prior. I was borderline desperate that I was willing to work extra hours with no pay. Thank goodness for divine interventions. Since that day forward, I have been tremendously grateful for having a job -- full stop.

Changes -- no matter how good they generally are in life, there are some that we'd rather not go through. Fighting changes is possible, but it's truly an exhausting battle. When we think we've won, we receive a rude awakening later on because in truth, we can never keep changes from taking place. We simply delay them from happening. Whether we like it or not, changes will always be there like wrinkles on our faces (no matter how hard we try to get rid of them).

"If you're in a bad situation, don't worry, it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry, it'll change." - John A. Simone

Tough shit, right?


Post Script:

Nipping out of town for a long weekend -- from one city to another -- as I visit some loved ones in Hong Kong. I will be back early next week and will be looking forward to reading your posts :)

To CrashDummie, you are so incredibly sweet! It's an honor to be considered one schmoozing blogger! :) Thank you!

As for everyone else, I know I'm horrible at replying to comments, but I will give the extra push to do so starting next week. I swear! If not, you can cut my head off and boil it for supper. Thank you so much for all the love... this princess can definitely feel it :) And totally enjoying the warm fuzzy feelings that I get inside. You guys really know how to make a girl smile. Like, a lot!


Anonymous the walker said...

a great post indeed. the job part has made me think a lot as i am going through recruitment season in my college...

always tough to stop changes *nod*

11:54 PM  
Blogger Queen of Dysfunction said...

Better to roll with the changes than fight 'em right? Great post, have a terrific weekend!

1:16 AM  
Blogger AVIANA said...


Thanks for stopping by!

I appreciate your thoughts. how are things?

I feel you completely on this post. we need to be grateful for what we have even if it sucks but then it's like are you just settling..shouldn't you strive for more? it is a tough situation...

have a nice weekend!

3:25 AM  
Blogger Libby said...

changes...honestly, they're hard to deal with at first, but a lot of times, the longer you live with the changes, you realize that it was the right thing for you then...

5:38 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Interesting news from Singapore Princess. It is odd as normally everything is so tightly controlled. I will guess that this matter is under some control too. It is happening for a reason. Enjoy your brief break.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Vik said...

It is odd to say the situation is as grim as it is there with regards to soaring land prices. Crazy lot here in this part of the woods. Just goes to show it is even better not to own a house [:)]

And yea such a horrendous and harrowing experience what you have written [:(] I am so glad you came out unscathed and found a job for yourself. Eventually or rather sometimes, after a particular age, we just need a job to log in and hold tight and place it to closer to our hearts regardless of how bad it is. Very nice post and have a great time off and come back sometime and comment on a few.

As a matter of fact, the saying you had in the footer, so real * a grim nod *

12:14 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

Changes r good..only if they r GOOD changes :)


12:30 PM  
Blogger Superficial Gibbering prater said...

princess' banter is so captivating.this time around the postscript was even more interesting.

PS:::am a fan..

3:10 PM  
Blogger Aditi said...

hmm i graduated the same year with a comp sci degree so i am quite familiar with the job market then...

we resist change yet we crave the same change when things are unchanging. I think for me atleast, when I believe i can control the change its a lot easier then the spiral into unknown territory (which it almost always is).

3:29 PM  
Blogger self taught artist said...

anything i say will pale in comparrison...great writing/good thoughts and stellar attitude

6:10 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Sometimes it takes the threat of losing it to make us appreciate what is right under our noses. Interesting thoughts, as usual!

10:28 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I graduated in May of '01. I moved to Chicago in late august and was ready to get my job search in full swing the morning of Sept 11. Plans changed. Getting a job was a NIGHTMARE. I don't think I have yet made up financially for the unfortunate timing of my graduation.

12:02 AM  
Blogger paddy said...

Have a great weekend and who knows it may all be changed when you get back -a "twilight zone" scene.
Good luck
Y;-) Paddy

1:24 AM  
Blogger soul&body said...

yes i agree with queen better rolling with chances yes!!!

5:44 AM  
Anonymous maverick said...

first i look for changes and when they come, i chicken out. As u said i guess i dont like changes in all the things

6:35 AM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Yeah... I used to wonder why everyone worried so much about saving money for higher education until one day I had to reconsider grad schools based on their funding scenario. Thanks, and may you have a great outing!

P.S. - Here's a great business idea: become a real estate agent! :)

7:57 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

Ooh, delicious princess head soup. My favorite!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Sling said...

Embrace change,get to know it,make it your friend..
Everything put together,falls apart,and the seller's market is no exception.Prepare yourself to be in a position to take advantage of the crash within the next 5 years...just sayin'.

11:58 AM  
Blogger fifi said...

I think NOT having something makes you appreciate when you DO have it!
You are so wise for one so young...I am not surprised you were given a promo rather than redundancy!!

I am always delighted to see you call by, particularly since you have such an enormous readership.
63 comments...that would be more than I could respond to. I don't mind if you don't! :-)

2:39 PM  
Blogger Ab said...

heyy.... i know that it feels bad when you have to quit... i wasnt offloaded or anything, but when i asked for termination they pretended to be indifferent to the fact that Im leaving... anyway, thatll go down as a bad memory...
but looking back, i just accept that there are harsh lessons one must learn in life...
th episode kindled the fighter in me, and i got myself a job.... and a great one at that (for your info, Im in the stock market... which was something I never considered till 6 months before... (anything but accounts was good enough for me) but now, I get the thrill out of working passionately...

and yeah, it seems everywer on easrth, theres a housing boom.... but Im happy... i need to make money to get a house for myself, only by the time it busts, right?

2:39 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

i detest changes myself.....and i passed out during the worst yrs to pass out of my insti as well...terrible job i totally identify with the post

4:54 PM  
Blogger Irreversibly Screwed said...

a very wise teacher in school once told me..
the only thing constant in life is CHANGE!!!...

3:49 AM  
Blogger Vengelyne said...

Change is inevitable.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I love the philosophy of this post. I think if we just stand still, laugh at what comes and ride the waves we know a descent will be followed by an ascent...when we leat expect it.

1:48 PM  
Blogger The Black King said...

If you think about it, perhaps you would not be able to take life as it is if it weren't for the constant change. No matter how much we bicker about it, change always happens! Good thoughtful post as usual, Princess!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Behind Blue Eyes said...

I have always been very flexible. As a matter-of-fact, too flexible. I never had any roots. Mabye it had to do with my upbringing. Do you think that having your parents divorce when you are young would cause you to feel this way?

11:13 PM  
Blogger Ancalagon The Black said...

good one. thats actually a pretty common way of life as exhibited by most people...

I would really appreciate it if you ventured to inform us of that yarn whereby you persuaded the HR department to give you a promotion instead of laying you off... that would make for a very interesting anecdote (since I am in business and I know how bitchy HR people can be)

BTW, visit my blog, new post after a while with lots of pictures... :D

2:34 AM  
Blogger Princess Pointful said...

Agreed completely.
I pretend to be all about change- but really, it is just predictable bouts of change on my own terms... and does that really count?

5:40 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

The path is constant, sometimes it turns other times it just goes straight, it's what you do when it forks that counts I guess.

Yet then if you travel in the proper circles neither path is the wrong one.



7:46 PM  
Blogger Di said...

Im all for cherishing what uve got! :) Somehow amidst all the daily rush we forget to do something as simple as feeing good about what we have..

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

We are currently in a squeeze here in the Seattle housing market. The rest of the county has slowed down but ours keeps going up and so do the rents for apartments.

I'm trying not to change my hair color so much. Change is better in moderation.

6:06 AM  
Blogger AVIANA said...

How are you? have a nice day?

you need a new post already!


7:34 AM  
Blogger mathew said...

Nice one as make lot of sense and convinces the reader too!! ;-P

I think it is worth a change even if it can be unnerving in the beginning!!

10:43 PM  
Blogger Karthik Balasubramanian said...

I need some luck like you for my job search here.. but as you say.. miracles do happen.. am waiting for one myself here..

Nice post by the way.. and an overwhelming number of comments on all your post.. u must be writing some sense.. let me read the rest of em too..

1:59 AM  
Blogger X. Dell said...

Hmm. At least it's booming somewhere.

10:04 AM  

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