I’ve never lived in an apartment. Temporary stays sure, but never lived in one.
As my first week wrapped up in Malaysia, I had scoped out a place to stay. After viewing a few places, one stood out and I was ready to put my deposit down. The renter asked to meet me on Sunday to give him the deposit. This was a standard procedure to reserve a place. On Saturday he called to inform me that the place had been taken because someone else had given him the deposit money. Um.. what?
Nowhere in our conversation did he say that I was racing against time with someone else to give him the deposit money. But to him it was “first come first serve”. What an ass. With only 2 days left till I had to leave my current host’s place, I frantically searched for a new place. I liked the area in general so I tried to find a place nearby. I ended up finding a medium room in a set of condos around the corner. However, the apartment was nowhere near as good as the first place I viewed.
Nonetheless, I took it as a temporary place to stay. It was decently cheap but there were compromises. I had wanted to find a cheap place that was close to the trains, while being comfortable enough to do my daily work. This place filled criteria one but failed criteria two.
The place was shared by 3 others: an older Iranian student studying nearby and two Chinese guys (Mr. S and his cousin occupying the master room). The Iranian guy was leaving in December to return to Iran and Mr. S would be taking over the lease.
When you first enter the apartment, you will notice that the apartment is almost completely bare. There is no couch and no common sitting area; just a single desk that the Iranian guy would use for studying and using his laptop. The other “table” was a little glass table/stand that I would sometimes use to do work. It was NOT comfortable to work on that dinky little table. When the Iranian guy would leave for university or take a nap, I would use his desk for a bit. It was a bit better but still oddly uncomfortable.
So what about the other areas of the apartment? Well, the kitchen was very small so I limited my cooking to simple meals there. In summary, there was minimal space, minimal and questionable utensils/pots, and the kitchen area was below my standard of clean. Mr. S was a bit of a strange guy. His cousin and him would generate an insane amount of waste for two people. I really couldn’t stand that. I also had a very difficult time understanding things he said.
I never showed my parents the place. They would’ve said “You moved across the world to live in a place like this?”.
Other than that, my room itself was okay. Unfortunately, it wasn’t high enough to leave my window open at night (otherwise mosquitoes would come in). The average hostel I stayed at in SEA was cleaner and better than my room+bathroom though. I don’t think I’m a picky guy. I just require a simple place that is clean and comfortable.
A few weeks later, I found a new place to live around the corner. Coincidentally, it was in the same building that the flaky first renter lived in. To accommodate the move in date, I wanted to leave in the middle of the following month. I almost ended up being on the hook for the entire month but in the last few days, I was able to find a renter to take over. Hurray!
Overall, my first apartment experience in Malaysia was definitely not the best. My second apartment is a lot better and I am still staying there now. My only complaint it is that my floor is still too low, thus the mosquitoes still find me frequently.
Can’t win at everything though!