Aug 24, 2019

Part 3 - House Hunting

Continuing off from the last post,

I managed to wake up early. The boutique hotel didn't have breakfast included, so I had a quick breakfast at the McDonald's before setting off. My first plan was to rent a house somewhere a bit close to the district PKD. From what I gathered, the distance from the PKD to my KK is equivalent to a 15-min drive by car. Like I said, it's quite a reasonable town, albeit a bit bare to my needs.


One thing about small towns is that they don't have many neighbourhood to begin with. There is no high rise buildings, meaning no apartments. The neighbourhoods that are there are not recent and there is no new property projects here. What it means to me, as I horridly had to find out as I drove 10 kmp/h looking at each row of streets for an advertisement, is that house for rent is NONE to be found here.




After I had combed out all the neighbourhoods and massively failed to find any, I had to quit my search for the day. I had a terrible motion sickness from having to crane my neck left and right, looking at the houses. This is the second time I had motion sickness from being a driver; the first one was during the drive to the stupid Fraser Hill. I literally drove back to my hotel, ate a cup of noodles, then slept it off to cool down the dizziness.


The next day I decided to have a second look, but this time around towns in Penang. I started off with the nearest Penang town to my KK. What I can see is, although these two towns are similar in size, they are giving off a very different vibe. A Penang town has busier traffic with more asshole drivers. I needed to drive slow and I went to all neighbourhoods there, looking for an ads. Some of the houses are too big and without a doubt beyond my measly budget, and even then there is no available rent house.


All these damn houses but no ads for rent


I've decided that going streets upon streets looking for an ads was inefficient. I drove back to my hotel to have a rest and in the afternoon I switched on my laptop and I browsed for a rent house online. There was a few ads that caught my interest but when I contacted them the houses were no longer available to rent.


At that time I was considering Bukit Mertajam as well. Yeah, sure, it takes an hour from there to arrive to my KK, not mentioning of the toll that I have to use. But it is a big city. There's a Tesco, an Aeon, there's Starbucks, TGV cinema, McDonalds, Xin Fu Tang, and a lot more fancies. Will I have to spend a fortune to live here? Absolutely. Will it be too much of a hassle to drive to work everyday? You betcha. But it has the city life that I am so used to.


I finally found an ads online that was quite reasonable. The place was approximately 45-min drive away from my KK and the route doesn't involve tolls. The house itself was new and had no previous occupants. I contacted the agent, discussing about when I could see the house. After short exchange, we agreed to meet on Friday afternoon, after I finished my course.


The next two days I had to attend an orientation course for the new PKD staff. I checked out from the hotel and dredged all my belongings in the car as I drove to this very small, fishing village surrounded with plantations. I was very skeptical throughout the journey. For such a backwater place, why on Earth they put a KK here? A klinik desa (KD) should suffice, really.


After many corners and turns, coupled with the GPS losing signal and the eerie empty road that stretches for miles, lo and behold - the biggest KK in the whole district. I was flabbergasted. It was new but it is so underutilized that three quarter of the facilities are empty and not functioning. The amount of patients that come to this KK per day is less than 40 but hear this: this KK can easily accommodate up to 300 patients per day, judging from the size of it alone.



Our literal reaction when first setting foot here


The course itself was uneventful. I checked in to a small boutique hotel at the nearest town and checked out the next day. After the event finished, I went for Friday prayer and drove to the meeting place.


First impression - excellent. The house is in this property development that are gated. Guests had to stop their vehicle and register before entering while residents have their own tag card, similar to Touch&Go TAG system. The security does their patrol periodically, there's a big park where residents do their exercises and walk their dogs, and trees are planted along the streets. Overall it looked lush and almost serene. I like it.


The house itself is a small, one storey-height terrace. I have a lawn that needs an overhaul. Inside, there's only one small, cramped bathroom that is totally not up to my taste. There's not enough water pipe and no indoor drain so a proper place for a washing machine is out of the picture. The place also reeks of fertilizers. People say that next to this place there is an animal farm, specifically a pig farm, so they are saying that the smell might be from it. Gross. The smell is so repugnant in the night, early morning and after rain. If you are indoor, it's fine. Once you step foot out of the house, pengsan. My mom said Penang is always like that and all I think is, man this sucks.


Me frantically searching for the source of the stinking smell. Ergh.


The nice thing about this place is that the property developer made a deal with TIME Internet for built-in fibre optics. That means, if people decided to subscribe TIME wifi plan, all they need to do is for TIME worker to come to their place and plug in the modem and the router. No drillings, wiring etc. required. I knew about TIME for so long and their price is too good to be true for the speed that they are offering. Anyway, after I took pictures of the house and discuss it with my family, my mom advised me to take it. So I discussed more with the agent, signed all documents needed, and boom! I'm done with my house hunting.


The next and the last part of this series would be about Settling In. That's it for now and thank you for reading this long-winded post of mine hahah. I had to spill it all out before I forget about this whole thing. See ya!


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