Could you give us a little brief about yourself ? Where do you come from? What’s your background?
My name is Hilal, I am 26 years old, I come from Lyon in France. I studied law in different places: in Lyon, Aix en Provence and Toulouse. For my MBA, I have done a 6-month end-of-study internship in Manila (The Philipines) in a French wine Import firm, as their wine is not their strong point there (laugh). I was happy to come to Brussels but I miss the Filipino weather! Currently, I am doing a VIE as a compliance analyst in Euler Hermes part of Allianz company.
What kind of accommodation were you looking for before your arrival and how did you choose Cohabs?
Honestly, I wanted to live in a shared flat or house from the beginning because I didn’t know anyone in Brussels and I wanted to meet people. During my research, I visited 3 classic shared house and the funny thing is, I only saw a picture of the Cinema room of Botanique before visiting it, it looks so cozy and chill! I did not expect this house, this design, and 15 roommates! And as they were looking for a woman to keep balance in the house it was perfect timing for me.
How would you describe your roommates?
Since I am here, I have always been surprised by my roommates. In everyday life, you usually meet people from work or through your friends and they turn out to be from the same environment as you. It is always easier to go towards the same kind of person as you. What I really like with this house and Cohabs, in general, is that it enables you to meet people from various horizons, doing totally different things. It really helps to learn new things and open up your mind! Thanks to this community, I met people that I wouldn’t have met outside Cohabs and my roommates turn out to be great friends. They are amazing and we have a lot of fun.
Let’s imagine you’re 35 years old, you come back to Brussels to live here. Would you prefer living alone in your own flat or sharing a house with some young professionals?
It wouldn’t mind going back to share a house with professionals, maybe in a smaller house! Actually, it would really depend on whether I’m in a relationship and if my friends are already in Brussels. If I come back to Brussels with no one, I wouldn’t be against living in a Cohabs X.
Are you enjoying your life in Brussels? What’s your favorite place and Why?
Yes, I love Brussels, I even started Lindy hop dance class and sometimes my roommates come pick me at the end of the class to see me dancing! Each Sunday, my roommates and I have our little rituals to go to the “Marché des Tanneurs”. Then we go to the “Atelier en Ville” which is a concept store with different parts. It is fun because they make custom tables, wooden-movie-posters, and you are able to have coffee on their coffee corner or do some shopping in their clothing store corner. We really love these places and I can’t see a Sunday without an organic market routine!
Tell us a fun fact about your house?
Well, we try to make the most games and activities together. One day, one of our roommate working at Google suggested a game without telling us more. The following night coming home we found on the dining table, envelopes with our name on it and plastic guns. Each of us had another roommate’s name that he/she had to kill fictively. The rule was that people should “shoot” the person without witness; so basically, we had to only be 2 in the room. It was funny because from that moment everyone started to freak out and even when we went to the laundry room we would go to 3 people (laugh). This game lasted for a week and a half and I played until the final but, I’ve lost as one of my roommates surprised me in the stairs one evening.
Would you recommend Cohabs to a friend? Why?
Of course! Most of my friend who came spending the weekend in Brussels always asked me why this concept does not exist in Paris, how jealous they are! I recommend 100% just to meet people, be part of a community and learn from everyone but also from yourself!