During my student years I never had the need to live in a student house. The university I went to was in the same city where I lived so it seemed logical to keep staying with my mum. Even when I got a job during my second year of study, the thought of moving to live on my own didn’t cross my mind. Plus, I could see that my mum enjoyed having me around. My parents are separated.
Now back to The Hague: I live in a house with 3 other people. It feels sometimes like living in a student house. A really awesome student house. Let me tell you why:
He is the owner of the house. And much more than that. He’s our Big Brother. He listens, he gives advice, he answers questions, he cooks, he fixes stuff, he hosts Couchsurfers, he takes care of Alice, the cat, and he makes the house feel like HOME.
He is an inspiration to us because of his amazing ability to share in a way that makes us feel at ease. There are 4 bedrooms in the house and the living room. He likes this space to be filled with life and he allows for the right conditions to make the house lively.
Every week there is a dinner with friends. The agreement is that everyone contributes with something for the dinner: someone makes a salad, another person makes soup, a third one bakes a delicious cake, the rest can bring a bottle of wine or cookies for tea.
We listen to music, catch up on the latest news in the world or in our lives, we play games and laugh a lot.
Besides the weekly diners we have house concerts. I learned about this concept in my first year in The Hague, thanks to Couchsurfing.
A very active member of the Couchsurfing (CS) community in The Hague, who has a beautiful house in the center used to welcome traveling musicians to stay in his attic and in exchange they would perform for his friends and CS-friends. It was also in Albert’s house where I witnessed for the first times the “international shared dinners” where you could enjoy live music, meet people from all over the world and taste dishes from different countries.
Marcel decided to keep this concept alive by opening the doors to his house for people who love music, good food and friendly atmosphere. He’s a great host for these events.
The mix of cultures
When I moved into the house, two cool german girls lived here. We had a great time chatting on various topics. In the meantime, Christiane went back to Germany after finishing her internship, and Tiki chose to live closer to the sea, in Scheveningen. I’m happy that we got to know each other better in the weeks before the winter holidays and we are still keeping in touch. She painted a stylized quote on the wall in our living room which we’re really proud of. It reads “A ship in port is safe but that’s not what ships are made for”.
Now there’s a girl from Israel living here. She is fun and full of energy and ideas.
Farida, my friend from Kazakhstan whom I met via Marcel, lives here as well. Thanks to her I got to taste the delicious Kazakh bread, went to a fun opera performance and discovered a nice vintage shop near our house. We often drink tea together and talk.
In February, my friend Francesca will move in with us. I’ve already learned an authentic pasta recipe from her. We speak italian together when the others don’t mind too much.
Living here has given me the lesson of showing consideration to other people’s characters, needs and schedules.
We are not just flatmates, we are friends. And that makes a big difference.
P.S. I hope the rent rate will stay the same after this post 😉