Sunday, October 08, 2006

Shelter for the peace of mind

Early this afternoon a friend of mine called. He’s a fellow programmer in an insurance company I once worked in. After some chitchats, he asked about my progress in finding a lodging (“kos” in Bahasa Indonesia—a room for rent, usually monthly basis) to stay.

I told him I’m still looking. I also told him, in weighted priority list, I want to find a “kos” which is:
  • Comfortable, since I’ll be spending my night-time in it (either working late at night or sleeping). One with air conditioner (AC) is preferable. I once visited my friend’s “kos” somewhere around Untar (Tarumanegara University). It was an unpleasant experience. I might be exaggerating, but the room was uncomfortable.
  • Somewhere around my office. Much better if I can walk to/from office on foot, cuts transportation expenses.
  • Affordable, with reasonable cost/benefit.
  • Surrounded by lots of places to dine, cheap ones.
  • Close to street passed by bus going to/from my office.
  • Both for men and women. Men tend to ignore their surroundings, women do not. In case I need something (ketchup?), I know where to ask.
  • Next to “kos” with lots of chicks in it. I decided to “kos” so I can spend more time in the office, so living in an all-chicks neighborhood won’t add significant value. Moreover, I’ll spend my weekends at home. But I can use this benefit to show off to my friends :-)
So far, I’ve found 4 potential places where I should start looking:
  • Somewhere around my office. Thing is, I haven’t found any. Some do exist, but they’re not empty. The are “kontrakan”s (house which you can rent), but I think “kontrakan” is an expensive solution.
  • Somewhere around Untar. So far this is my favorite spot: close to Grogol (ultimately all access to anywhere), just one ride to office, and there are lots of chicks. The downside? Pricy.
  • Somewhere in Meruya. Actually I haven’t explored this area, somebody just told me to look there, notably around Mercu Buana University (but it’s far too distant from my office). Compared to that around Untar, supposedly it’s cheaper. My only objection is that afternoon traffic sucks. Because the street is one way, everybody heads to Meruya!
  • Somewhere around Binus (Bina Nusantara University). Although I spent my undergraduate life in Binus, I hardly know “kos”es surrounding it. It might costs as expensive as in Untar.
For those who curious, here’s why I decided to “kos”:
  • Cut time. I live in Bekasi, I work in Kebon Jeruk. I could save 3-4 hours daily.
  • Better energy utilization. This is tightly related to point 1. Spending a considerate amount of time commuting not only wastes time, but also drains energy. I can’t do anything useful in the bus. I can’t sleep comfortably, I can’t read books, let alone working. If I “kos”, I expect to have more energy to spare. I can continue to work, I can concentrate on my open source projects, I can read books, I can do more.
  • Learn how to live on my own. Someday I will take college abroad, consequently far away from home. “Kos” is a great test drive. Whenever I feel homesick, home is two hours away :-)
  • Some friends of mine think I take “kos” to be “free”. I don’t take that seriously. I’m currently working, I can’t “skip classes” anytime I like. If hanging in clubs is a reason, I really don’t have to “kos”; I can go out anytime I want from my parents’ house. I spend the night almost every weekend in a friend’s place.
  • Some friends also think that I “kos” so I can freely get naughty with chicks by inviting them in. I don’t take this seriously either. If I want to get naughty, I don’t have to “kos”; I can do that in their “kos”, or a cheap hotel room. One of my top reasons to “kos” is so I can have more time to do useful things. Playing with chicks is counter-intuitive.

So, when will I really get a “kos”? After finding the right one, of course. Previously I wanted to get one quick, because I was overwhelmed by a project deadline (I wanted to be able to spend more time in the office without worrying my way home). Now I think I'll wait after Idul Fitri.

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