Living in a flat, you don't get to see the familiar faces you would expect when you're at work.
  1. "I haven't see you around. You live here?"
    Yes, I do. For the last 5 years.
  2. "Your flowers are blooming!"
    My neighbour has these orchid plants that flowers infrequently. We both marvel when it happens.
  3. "Hi Auntie/Uncle."
    The shy ones will blush. It's adorable.
  4. "Going to prayers?"
    A (very shy) Malay uncle would always jump when I ask this in Ramadan. OK, maybe I was being intentionally cheeky too ☺️
  5. "Which floor?"
    Everyone is surprised when I ask this in the lift. 99% of the time they'll reach out and press the floor number themselves, and I'll just 🙂
  6. "Thank you."
  7. "You're welcome."
    Prior 'thank you' is optional.
  8. "What are you cooking today?"
    Some local dishes have certain necessary things, like coriander, curry leaves, ginger, dried shrimp, etc. I ask to check my guesses.
  9. "Bye, have a good evening!"
    This always prompts a response, especially when ended with an auntie/uncle.
  10. "So, you're the other one right?"
    I know a family that lived on the 11th floor and would go down to the 6th to his parents. So, one day he did just that with his kid while I went down to get the mail. Less than a minute later, I was going up with him again when I said, "That was fast." He smiled and waved as he stopped at the 6th floor, "Ah, think you caught my brother." I realised there are twins living in the same flat.
  11. "Haven't seen you traveling in a while."
    I used to travel a lot for work, and they'll hear the roll of my suitcase early mornings or late nights. I'm glad they noticed when I'm home or gone.