“I’m not sure whether to feel happy or sad”, said Ben, who works as a Production Assistant, when we spoke one afternoon. I’d feel the same way if my housemate’s going to move out of the house to get married. One thing’s for sure, the house they are sharing is filled with fun memories. Here’s the story that he shared with me.
How long have you been sharing a house now?
For about 10 months
Could you describe the living space?
We’re currently sharing a house in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, that has two bedrooms, a family room, a kitchen, a storage room, and a bathroom.
How did you decide to live in this house?
A friend of mine, Iqbal, has been living there with his friend, for two years. But his housemate moved out, and he asked me to fill in his spot. So I did. I was looking for a place anyway and wanted a comfortable home close to work.
What other factors contribute to your decision of choosing this house?
The location, ‘cause it’s a pretty strategic area. Also, I liked the neighborhood. It’s calm and comfy.
How did you first meet your housemate?
He’s a high-school buddy of mine. We came from the same city, Medan (North Sumatra). But he got this place earlier and eventually when his housemate moved out, he asked me to move in with him. Because he’s a fellow man from Medan, and a friend, I just went for it. I thought we’d get along just fine, having a similar cultural background and all.
What’s so fun about having a housemate?
Definitely cheaper rent, also you don’t have to buy a lot of stuff for the house or even furniture because you can share pretty much everything. You never feel alone as well, which is a good feeling, especially when you’re tired, coming home from work, you can have a friend you can talk to. Another important thing is, when you’re sick, your housemate can help you get to a hospital or a clinic, and even help take care of you.
We weren’t really close in high school, so at first there was a lot of awkward moments and awkward conversations. But we got through it. haha.
What do you think of the flatsharing/housesharing trend?
I can see it’s starting to become a trend, but there are still issues to deal with in order for it to be completely acceptable here in Indonesia. For example, there are still cultural or habitual boundaries. I don’t think people want to share a living space with those with totally different culture or habits. They know it would somehow be a problem down the road when they finally decide to live together.
What are your thoughts about housesharing? Would it be something that you’d recommend?
Sure, after all, economically speaking, it really is beneficial. Aside from that, I’d recommend it especially to extrovert people. Because they usually need someone to share every thing and every story with somebody else almost all the time. But you definitely have to be very careful in choosing a housemate. It needs to be someone who you can communicate well with. Besides, I think housesharing is a good exercise for those who wants to learn more about tolerance, patience, social skills, and such. Also it won’t make you such an individualist.
So are you going to find a replacement for your housemate that’s going to move out?
Yes. Right now I’m spreading the word around to my friends, trying to find someone who has the same preferences and more or less the same background so we can understand each other better and share better. But I’m also looking around in Serumah.com. It wouldn’t hurt to get some extra help and it’s definitely a good place to start.