Dormitory life of a construction worker in Singapore

Often located at some of the most remote corners in Singapore, the 40 or so dormitories that house over 200,000 foreign workers have often been perceived as being overcrowded, unsanitary, yet all the while necessary at the same time.

Seeing how most workers don’t end any earlier than 8pm, an 11pm bike ride was perhaps the most suitable of times to see how these hardworking workers get to spend their limited free time with one another.

Even at this hour, where most Singaporeans are out for a drink or preparing to sleep, the workers were busy cooking up their meals in the wide-open kitchen, while others could be seen praying in accordance to the daily Islamic prayer times.

The cooking and washing area of the dormitory is located in a sheltered wide-open space that helps ensure proper ventilation for the workers

The cooking and washing area of the dormitory is located in a sheltered wide-open space that helps ensure proper ventilation for the workers

When there's no payphone to call home

When there’s no payphone to call home

Most workers however took the chance to be alone for a bit, and could be seen talking on their phones with loved ones back home. A few hung around with friends while nibbling on a snack or two, while others hung their laundry on clotheslines just outside their bunks. I would definitely have stayed on for longer, but a local security guard politely asked me to leave my premises just as I tried to snap a few more photos for good measure.

The conditions here surprised me to say the least, considering the reputations that they’ve been receiving. In many ways it reminded me my army training in Taiwan, that though definitely better condition wise, still required us to live in an enclosed space with nothing perhaps but a phone to contact our loved ones back home.

While most of us get ready for bed, these workers are up making a call back home

While most of us get ready for bed, these workers are up making a call back home

For those that have already phoned home, a chat with snacks is perhaps the best way to end a night

For those that have already phoned home, a chat with snacks is perhaps the best way to end a night

Workers hang out their laundry outside the bunks. The bright flourescent lights an indication at least of a well-lit room for rest

Workers hang out their laundry outside the bunks. The bright flourescent lights an indication at least of a well-lit room for rest

 

 

One comment

  1. good article. thanks for sharing

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