Renovation Series Part 6: The Back

You can’t really call it a back ‘yard’, because that brings to mind greenery. This was a concreted, semi-enclosed area containing the washing line, the cat litter and the drain.

We covered over the open drain, tiled the entire area, and painted the walls and grilles. Plumbing was installed for the washing machine so it could be moved from the bathroom, and two outdoor lights were added. The decorative splatters on the clothesline in the first photo were mostly made by the robins in the video in this post.

And so, since there isn’t much more to say about the back, here is a brief description of the man with plan – our builder, Mr. Ng.

Always clad in the same, faded, paint-covered Hawaiian shirt, Mr. Ng (say ‘ung’) smokes like a chimney and drives a small black car with a huge crumple in the back. The number plate is painted on, presumably by Mr. Ng himself. He has between four and six brown teeth and belly-laughs almost every time he speaks. His favourite thing to say is, “Okay no problem!” every time we have a problem with something, after which he will usually laugh and slide a cigarette between the gaps in his teeth. Generally after he utters these words the problem is solved the following day (occasionally replaced with a different problem). His daughter is a hot-shot basketball player who represents Malaysia, he likes cendol, and he believes in ghosts.



back yard finished

And after. You’ll have to excuse the clutter – since moving back we’ve had a constant stream of laundry, and we haven’t yet found a good place for all the spare tiles and paint buckets. You get the idea though.

We've got a monthly newsletter.