So you've moved to a condo... here's how to get to know your neighbours and make new friends.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just moved to Singapore or chosen to say adios to your former cool (but not really kid-friendly) shophouse life. Making the old switcheroo to condo life is never easy, especially if you aren’t used to living in a residential building. To the uninitiated, condo dwelling may seem like a cop out. After all, there’s nothing sexy about living in a place that’s meant for families – not to mention knowing that you’re always just a wall away from other people; all these can be unsettling for the condo noob. But for new, young families, the former are actual bonus points for choosing a place to live. Condos are generally safe, with lots of features geared towards the young ‘uns. And now for the hard part – befriending the neighbours. How do you go one step beyond the awkward half smile to Saturday night post-bedtime poker buddies? Here’s our handy guide:
Be a good neighbour
Don’t be the person who stuffs an entire pizza box down the garbage chute. There’s a reason it doesn’t fit, and it’s not because you’re lacking in the strength department. Also, don’t be the person who leaves their entire shoe collection outside their front door – nobody needs to see your 10-year-old Chuck Taylors! While you’re at it, it’s always nice to keep noise levels to a minimum so please watch your fave flick at a decent volume. If you have a pet, make sure to clean up after it and keep ’em on a leash.
Being a good neighbour also means being helpful. Whether it’s holding the elevator door for someone or offering to carry groceries, a good deed never goes unnoticed!
Use your kids (or pets)
There’s no point in having cute kids if you can’t use them to make new friends. Dress them up in their playground finest and put on your best smile. Someone is bound to smile back or comment on how cute your kids are. If they’re being coy, make the first move and ask your neighbour how old their kid is. Trust us, this is your ‘in’ if you want to join a condo playgroup.
Join your condo’s Facebook group or communication app
Some condos have their own Facebook group or app managed by an administrative team. It’s a great way to get in touch with your neighbours – you can ask for advice, learn more about the facilities in your condo, join or start a carpool… even volunteer to pet-sit. Many people also use these groups or apps to sell preloved items or even to just give away things that don’t spark enough joy. Trust us, there are a lot of great deals to be had so you better join up!
If you own a car, the least you could do for your neighbours is learn how to park it properly. This means staying in between the painted lines and using your assigned parking spot – not anyone else’s. If you need an extra spot, make an effort to reach out to the person who owns the space before using it and do the same for them when they need it.
Attend condo events or meetings
Many condos hold their own events to celebrate special holidays like Chinese New Year or Christmas. These are usually the best opportunities to meet your neighbours and make them your new BFFs. “Oh look at that lion dance,” you might say, and they’ll probably make a comment, to which you’ll reply with something smart and witty. Before said event, make sure to brush up on your small-talk skills. Best safe topics to discuss are: the weather, their cute child/pet (or both), how to avoid the coronavirus and how amazing the new mall next door is. You’re welcome.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to befriend your neighbours. Who knows, you might make a new friend for life!
Top image credit: imdb.com