Suburbia #30 – Coffee and Magic HQ

June somehow ended up being mega suburban month. This project will be continuing with a less intense frequency here on, but for the last of this month-long daily gander, here’s a little snippet of my suburban Singapore life, inside one of these flats I’ve been posting about lately. 

Coffee and Magic is a little business that Flemming and I run, making simple WordPress websites. You’re looking at our Singapore headquarters: the dining table in the kitchen of my mother’s flat. If you’ve ever Skyped with us and wondered about the kitchen paraphernalia in the background, you now know what the rest of the room looks like.

There are a few similarities between us and Silicon Valley tech giants:

1. We have catering: most of our meals are provided by the good hawkers in the hawker centre, a 5 minute stroll from our block. For a special treat, Mum cooks us dinner sometimes (that’s her wielding the spatula in the background of the top shot).

2. Like many Silicon Valley tech giants, we have inhouse laundry facilities


3. Inhouse entertainment: Puppy dog was a never ending source of fun, and bearer of many pet names in many languages. Once in a while though, the talent would chuck hissy fits when he had to have his ears medicated, nails clipped and a shower in one hit:


4. And our team building activities are pretty damn cool:


Investors, keep an eye out, we may be going public sometime this century.

Part of the Suburbia Series.


  1. Love this post. Google have a fancy HQ, but ours is quite something too and our catering is the best.

    That last picture of my alien self is hilarious. Bike is too small, arms and legs are too long and where did th neck go? :)

    I miss the old gnavpot dog, sooo cute being all gnav lying on our shoes.

    1. Charlene says:

      Good old grisehund! Gnav to the last.

      Yeah Google ain’t got nothing on us – we got chicken rice and work days that aren’t 16 hours long ;)

  2. greg says:

    Delicious tongue-in-cheek fun; even a trick riding time lord! But best of all, is the in-house laundry. I’ll need to see about that at our shop. ;-)

    I commented once before how much I liked the suburbia series. It expanded and challenged preconceived (local) notions of the term after that and got, if anything, even better. Front to back, some of your best I think.

    1. Charlene says:

      Yes, it’s good fun at the Coffee and Magic HQ.

      I love the laundry system in our flats too. It’s simple and totally effective. Everyone needs bamboo stick based laundry!

      Glad you’re enjoying the suburbia series. Plenty more to come of this!

  3. Håkan says:

    Your office looks nicer than Google! And it reminds me of a small (really small) online magazine I used to run. I got an email from a journalism student who wrote that he wanted to work as a trainee in our “editorial office”.

    1. Charlene says:

      Håkan, I very much doubt anyone at Google would agree with your statement… although our inhouse laundry system is a lot more interesting and eco friendly than theirs.

      Would you have been able to fit a trainee in your editorial office? :D

  4. Håkan says:

    Well, there wasn’t any office. I was doing it all from home, just me and a computer on my floor.

    That’s the meanest face I ever saw on a dog. :)

    1. Charlene says:

      On the floor! Nice :D We definitely couldn’t accommodate another person on that dining table. At the moment, I think Mum might be quite relieved to be able to use her dining table again, hehe.

      Awww puppy dog was very cute, but he was also 112, so prone to getting a little grumpy.

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