It has to be said – I am not a hostel person. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not sleep anywhere except my own bed, and a very select few other places, including my parents’ house, my boyfriend’s parents’ house and that’s really about it. It’s actually one of the big reasons that I don’t like drinking. I hate not being able to get home and being forced to sleep somewhere weird. And by weird, I just mean anywhere that is not the three places listed above.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for traveling. And if I was backpacking around Europe, then hostels would be amazing. I would know that I should expect this, and as such I would be mentally prepared. However, in Utrecht, I am paying very good money for my own apartment, and I want to live there. However, because of some ridiculous oversights that apparently happen every semester, Short Stay Housing only rents the rooms from the first of the month, even though school starts on the 30th, and orientation was on the 27th.
The hostel isn’t terrible. I got my own clean sheets when I arrived. The guy at the desk was amazing, and spent a good 20 minutes helping me look up my bus directions. It’s relatively cheap, and all food, wine and internet is free. And when I say free food, I mean it’s a mystery what you’ll find in the fridge, but that’s part of the fun! And when I say free wine, I mean that every night we have had multiple bottles to split. And when I say multiple, I mean between 3 and 7.
The best part of the hostel is all the other students. There are three other Canadians, a girl and two guys, three Austrian guys, a French guy, and a Slovenian girl. In addition, we’ve met a guy from Britain, from Spain and from Italy. I love coming back to the hostel and hanging out in the canteen (common room). I can sit with my laptop and just hang out, or I can play drinking Uno, help cook supper (tonight I made sausages and eggs and Alex C. did the dishes), play Risk, watch MTV, anything. It’s always guaranteed to be fun and relaxed, and when I want to be alone, I can go to my room, and when I want company, everyone’s there.
I get the keys to Cambridgelaan on Wednesday, and even though I can’t wait to stop living out of my suitcase and finally unpack, I’m also really sad. I’m living on campus, which is a 20 minute bike ride from the City Centre, while almost everyone else is living in Beneluxlaan, near the City Centre. It’ll be fine, but since i only have classes two days a week, I wish I was closer to the party. 🙂 Lots of biking in my future, that’s for sure.
But here are the things I won’t miss: my stupid bunk bed, living out of a suitcase, ice cold showers no matter what time of day, drunk footballers causing a ruckus at 3am when I’m trying to sleep, the unbelievably narrow and steep stairs that I can’t believe I haven’t fallen down, the fact that I know there are germs everywhere, not buying my own food and sharing a room with strangers. Otherwise, the hostel life has turned out far better than I had expected.