In a three-part series, we look at the different phases of flatting life.
In her lounge, surrounded by the beer pong instructions and phallic imagery that inspired her to move in, Annaleese Jochems is content. She sleeps on a series of packing crates topped with a thin foam mattress and had to scale the windows of black mold upon arrival, but by searching "cheap" on TradeMe she has found a home.
Jochems is six months into living in her first flat. Though she’s past the stage of searching for a light switch in the dark and missing the ease and comfort of her parent’s home, she is still learning to adjust. But rather than worrying about having a negative impact on those she lives with, Jochems claims “mostly I’m annoyed with other people’s’ annoyance with me.” So, while her flatmates may well be doing funnels in the lounge onto an absorbent layer of debt collection notices, her concerns lie in the way she is perceived.
For Jochems, the house represents a means to some ends: an inbuilt social life, a “family substitute” in a state transience and a (messy) place to lay her head at the end of the day. Though she’s already contended with kick-outs, bong-blowouts and cats gone wild, her first flat is made endlessly positive through “pre-date pep talks” and haphazard, constant friendship that makes a house a home.
Story produced by Kirsti Whalen with help from Rose Archer. Video shot and edited by Connor Strati.
This content is brought to you with funding support from NZ On Air.