Joe College (formerly known as Imp 1) has found living quarters for the fall semester!
Our university-bound mad-scientist will have a place to stay on the other side of the country when school starts in late August. Unlike US colleges and universities, on-site dorms are not the norm in the Netherlands and it is up to the student to sort something out. Imp 2 is greatly relieved as he has been eyeing up his brother's larger bedroom for a semi-friendly takeover ever since Joe College received his letter of acceptance from the U. of Leiden.
Most kids from this part of the country wind up in the illustrious if not ivy covered halls of the University of Twente, which is in our backyard or slightly to the north at the University of Groningen. Joe College decided he wanted to move out of the provinces and into civilization. Miss M., the County Swain, and K-man are of the same mind, however all of them will be studying in different cities of the Randstadt. I will miss them all terribly come September.
The search for living accomodation is fraught. Ideally you want to move into a student house, which is sort of like a fraternity house but not as you might know it. The parties are more or less the same though. These student houses have colorful names like “De Gare Aap” (the Mad Monkey), “Huize Pot” (Toilet House) and “De Giechelende Paling” (The Giggling Eel). Standard procedure is that you “interview” for the room along with a number of other candidates and one of you is selected to join the house. Joe College tried a few of those but it took three tries for it to sink in that there was a bit of nepotism going on. The correct strategy is to take any room you can find, rent for three months, then after you've made friends at the student house of your choice, go through the song and dance of the interview knowing it's a done deal and you're in.
He went looking for a room at a of a number of boardinghouse affairs this week. On Monday he rose at 6 am. to take the train from Hengelo to Leiden, a two hour plus journey. FOTI and I were forbidden to accompany him, this was something he wanted to do on his own, and frankly, I was happy not to get up at 6 am. to make it to the 7:15 from Hengelo to Utrecht. He phoned me at 2 pm. to tell me the room he'd gone to see was “scheevadelic”. Joe College may be Dutch born, but he knows how to conjugate the verb “scheeve” and transform it to an adjective. Apparently the walls in the (shared) bathroom moved in ways that made him a bit nervous.
Today he allowed his father to drive him to Leiden on his way to work and the search continued. Room 1 was a washout. The realtor had “brought the wrong key” but could let him see a “similar room”. Joe College is rapidly developing his street-smarts, so he didn't fall for that one and they moved along to Room 2 in a different house. Room 2 is acceptable. He shares the bathroom with the other 2 people on his floor and a kitchen. He is happy that his neighbors are women.
The plan was for FOTI to pick up Joe College, Miss M. and the County Swain, who were all meeting up at the train station in Utrecht at the end of the afternoon and drive them home in the relative air-conditioned ease and comfort of his Audi. I just received an email from FOTI:
.... I''ll be jumping into my car in a minute. Joe should be home soon. He and the other nerds decided to take an earlier train.
I get the idea FOTI was feeling a bit left out.