What places anchored me this year? Ah, this is too easy to answer. The capital city, of course!
To start an entirely new life after college, I moved from my home town to Jakarta. I spent a little more than half a year throughout 2012 in the capital city for the sake of earning a living.
The good thing of having a home town only about three hours away from Jakarta is that I can come home as often as every weekend, although I did not do so as frequent.
On another note, the search of a rented room was tough, I tell you. I have heard from too many people that finding one that suits your budget and needs is as challenging as finding your true love – and I must say I agree. For seven month I spent living in Jakarta, I already lived in four (!) places.
My first place was a supposedly-a-female-only-guest house in Kebon Sirih. Located near the illustrious Jalan Jaksa, backpackers in colourful bags and complexion was a common sight. The room was small, but it had character, with warm lighting and a set of vintage furniture. I stayed for only a month here, because the landlady then came up saying that her distant niece is coming to live with her and she will use my room, only a few days after I have moved in.
Ridiculous as it may sound, I had to start the room-rent hunt once again, and soon enough I found a replacement in Kebon Kacang. The neighbourhood offers affordable rented rooms for every budget, and I was happy to find a girls-only place equipped with kitchen for IDR 750k a month. Granted, there was neither en-suite bathroom nor air conditioner, and I also had to pay extra for my laundry, but it fit my budget nicely and the house mates were friendly.
After three months living there, though, I decided to move with a friend to a place in Jalan Blora. I heard about the place from a friend who had been living there for some time, and from his words, the place sounds like a very good bargain. It is strategically located on the top floor of a 24-hour Manadonese restaurant, and only steps away from XTrans shuttle service station. The room cost IDR 2, 2 million, but sharing it made the bill more bearable. After all, it had en-suite bathroom, air conditioner, cable television, and wireless internet connection. They would also change the bed sheet and refill the mineral water gallon weekly.
However, the management sucked. My room was never thoroughly cleaned up. The water was so bad I got skin allergies and I eventually washed my face with drinking water. I also suspected that, when they cleaned my room or refilled the drinking water, they did other things they might not supposed to do, because often times I noticed that my possession was not placed where I initially left them. We left after merely a month.
It was October, and my quest for a rented room ended after I stumbled upon a place, again, in Kebon Kacang. Actually, I even came back to the very street I used to live in; it was only a couple of buildings apart from my old place. It had everything I wanted: a reasonably-sized room for one with a big dresser, well-cleaned building and bathrooms, a kitchen and a shared refrigerator. For IDR 850k a month, they would do my laundry as well, so that was a plus.
My last rented room has now become my little nest. To complement my storage space, I bought a chest of drawer, two knock-down shelves, two and three stacks respectively, and a wheeled plastic container, so I have a place for everything I own. This might seem petty, but being able to have most of my belongings in a room is what makes living in a rented place means so much to me.
The one downer of this place, though, is that the landlady does not allow people other than the renter’s family members to stay over. Oh, and the room’s door lock is often times problematic. However, generally, I like it here.
Update: As I have left my last job in May 2013 and get a new one in a different neighbourhood earlier this month, I decided to move out of my rented room two months ago. I am currently on a quest for finding a new one that is walking distance from my current office. Wish me luck! J