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Can I use default interpreter with hou?

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My Python experience is rather limited here, so I know my question might be so basic!

I am running Houdini 17.5 on Ubuntu. I need to write some tools for Houdini, so my first assumption is that I can just run the default python2 interpreter and import hou, however when I do that python interpreter crashs (first complains about jemalloc library then crashs). So my second guess is to run the python interrupter that comes with Houdini and then import hou, this time, it does crash but still complains about jemalloc library? Now, I go directly and run hython and import hou and things seem to work nicely (i.e. no crash, no complaining about jemalloc). 

My questions:

1-I, i.e. the company I work for :) , have a production environment that already uses the default python, how other TDs integrate hou in a company pipeline without requesting to change the interpreter to hython? 

2-Why SideFx ships it's version of the python interpreter? is it special? is it different than the default python interpreter? OR is it just to eliminate any external dependencies? As I mentioned above, when I used the shipped python and imported hou, I got still jemalloc warning too!


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