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19 Apr 2015

I will not at any circumstance divulge the exact location of my current address. But I can tell you the difference between my previous and my current apartment. In my previous apartment, the gate was slammed by the tenants every single day. I lived on the 2nd floor. There were 7 units. I was at unit 1. In my current apartment, the gate can be slammed by the tenants, but I will not be able to hear it. I live on the 4th floor. There are 48 units. I am at H7 (the 48th unit).

In my previous apartment, the painted walls were made of ordinary hollow blocks. In my current apartment, the painted walls are made of a technology that traps the heat and cold inside your unit, and it also gives you a slight amount of sound resistance.

In my previous apartment, there were no security guards and CCTV cameras. But the landlord of my previous apartment purchased and installed an official warning sign that warns outsiders that the property is “protected” by CCTV cameras. No real CCTV cameras. Just a sign to deter potential danger. In my current apartment, there are 4 CCTV cameras on the 1st floor, 1 CCTV camera on the 2nd floor, 1 CCTV camera on the 3rd floor, and 1 CCTV camera on the 4th floor. There’s also a security guard at the 1st floor. The guard will do a 12-hour shift, then he or she will be replaced by another guard who will also do a 12-hour shift. Sometimes they do 24-hour shifts. When you are expecting a package, it is not advisable to leave the package to the guard. Either tell the management that you are expecting something or wait for it yourself. Most of the people who go in and out of the building are of course being logged by the guard in his or her log book. The guard will roam all the floors every couple of hours as well. He or she is also responsible in turning on the lights in the hallways and stairs in the evening, and turning off the lights in the hallways and stairs in the morning.

In my previous apartment, I get my own official Maynilad (water) bill. In my current apartment, there is no official Maynilad bill for each unit because there is only one Maynilad water meter, which is then being routed to the 48 in-house water meters. I do not like this because if I have my own water meter I get a discount as long as my water consumption is less than or equal to 10 cubic meters a month. In other words, I do not get a discount anymore, even though my water consumption is always less than 10 cubic meters a month.

In my previous apartment, I get a Meralco (electric) bill once a month because it is postpaid. In my current apartment, my Meralco account is prepaid. I like the postpaid better because you just have to deal with it once a month, and you get an accurate report of your monthly electricity usage. With the prepaid method, you have to deal with it over and over again. You also have to manually compute the amounts so you get an idea of how much you used in a month. You get a daily feedback of your electricity usage. I don’t need to know my daily usage. Once a month is more than enough. Living my everyday life is already complicated, and now I have a mental burden about my daily electricity usage. I mitigate this by loading a substantial amount so I don’t have to deal with it every day.

In my previous apartment, I need to go directly to the water station to get purified drinking water. In my current apartment, I just leave my water container and my payment to the guard. Then the guard will call the water station. After a reasonable amount of time, my refilled water container is waiting for me on the 1st floor. Before I relocated to my current apartment, they said that the water container will be delivered in front of my door by someone. This was true once. After that they did not honor what they said. One of the former female guards brought up my filled-to-the-brim water container from the 1st floor to the 4th floor a couple of times. I think it has got to do with gratitude. Because I got a blue tumbler at work. Since I am not using it, I gave it to her. But after the gratitude has been repaid in kind, I am carrying my own heavy water container again from the 1st floor to the 4th floor.

In my previous apartment, the studio was a perfect square. The bathroom and the mini kitchen were in the square. In my current apartment, the studio is a perfect square as well. It’s just that the bathroom is outside of the square, and the mini kitchen is of course inside the square. In other words, my current apartment is bigger. More spacious.

Provision for an air conditioner. Noisy dogs. Noisy vehicles. Factories. Noisy markets. Noisy neighbors.

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