We had been to a house yesterday. There were four families living in that house. None of them related nor friends. The owner of the house had rented out each room to a family!!! There were four rooms and hence four families living there, sharing the hall and kitchen. As is the habit of most people in Singapore, all the four families seldom cook and prefer having food outside. Hence the kitchen was practically empty. All the shelves were bare. Since the hall was also being shared, it was devoid of any personal touch. Just the bare necessities for a living room was present there.
I have come across a number of families who stay together, but usually there is some sort of a common bond...friends, relatives or same ethnic group. Sometimes, the owners just rent out a room or two in their house. But this was quite different. It was like 4 houses being rented out to different people.
Each of the families had their own land line, TV, computer and other things. All cluttered in that single room. They were all living in the same house and behaving as if the others were practically non-existent. Isles of their own!!! Having come from a place where neighbours almost become a part of the family, I used to find the aloofness among people in our apartments quite different. Infact our neighbours have just graduated to smiling and saying a hi when they meet us....all this after nearly 3 years!!