How do you live?

”Friends” in a Kiev apartment

Many say that they couldn’t live with anyone else. That they want the freedom of walking around naked in their apartment, or to throw parties inviting anybody over without the necessity to coordinate with flatmates. But what would you say, if someone offered you to move in to the apartment from the TV series ”Friends”?

First Episode

I made the deliberate decision to share my own apartment with two neighbors, and thus give my free space away to what for me used to be strangers. I did this not because of money but first and foremost out of curiosity and love for humankind.
I live in the centre of Kiev. In an area with restaurant-filled streets and a business centre with the highest rent. A square meter on the 18th floor of this building costs considerably more than my monthly salary.
Beautiful girls father in front of my house Opposite my house, bringing recently produced cars to a halt. This is convenient, because I can always learn about what’s new in the car industry, not by looking in the internet, but simply by looking out of the kitchen window.

In other words, everything is very expensive here. That’s the second reason why I've decided to rent out the two rooms.

Second Episode

The first neighbor came about quite accidentally: a guy I barely knew written to me, saying that he would like to rent out my room, and that he was ready to move in the same day, if we managed to settle everything quickly. With not enough time to even think about pricing and contract terms, I scurried off to clean the apartment and missed the second part of the message: ”I have my belongings with me. Can I move in today?”
Kien stood on the doorstep of my apartment — a Kiev native of vietnamese origin. The only thing I knew about him was that he did TEDx talks from his University and that he smiled radiantly. To my surprise, we instantly found a common language and in a month we decided to find a neighbor for the second room.
I published a simple post with a photo of the room on Facebook, stating that we’re looking for "our" person — one with whom we’d like to build a relationship with, just like in the TV series "Friends". No less than a hundred people wrote back during the first couple of days, after which I had to delete the post and stop replying.

Third Episode

My neighbor Kien took the search for the third roommate very seriously: one out of ten would be invited for a viewing of the room, and throughout it, many discussions about who we were looking for exactly. "The casting" transformed into our collaborative project. Very different people came to visit us in the course of a week: a man with a café living in three countries — Ukraine, England, and Thailand; my future boss, an entrepreneur whom I wrote my first business story about; and a guy who I nearly started dating afterwards, as we didn’t pick him to be our flatmate.
We eventually found "our" person. He arrived on the first day and was the third candidate, neither did he or did we want him to leave the apartment. There is a moment when you feel that this person has been "yours", where you’re surprised you didn’t know each other earlier. Upon knowing him we decided to invite him again — the guy that knew how to make a joke, play the piano, sing, and bake delicious pies with us.
We lived in perfect harmony, throwing friendly dinners and parties. The apartment transformed into a rendezvous point for "it’s own", where it would it's possible to work, hang out, or do networking. After a week of living together, Kien told me that he was surprised about the fact that he would meet a new person upon arriving home each day. It was indeed like in "Friends", only in Kiev.

Finale Episode

Living with someone is good when you’re willing to let that person into your comfort zone. It seems to me that this desire is impossible to develop in oneself. Either it’s there and refers to a certain someone, or it’s not and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Now we sometimes look at videos and photos from the year that’s passed and think that we’ve all changed for the better. People that surround you also influence you, whether you like it or not. And I’m happy that curiosity and the desire for new experiences once brought unintended changes to the lives of each and every one of us.

© Olena Skyrta

Olena Skyrta

Olena attended a polytechnic school in her youth but, as the opportunity arose to publish a newspaper there, she felt a calling for journalism. She entered a university to study journalism and biotechnologies. Her love of letters finally won. Now she writes in her favorite media, prepares public presentations and bakes pies.


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