Nijmegen, I love you (and your bus drivers)


I love Nijmegen. That has been said before, but it cannot be repeated enough. The city has become home to me in the course of the one and a half years that I am one of its proud inhabitants. I love the fact that the person who repairs my bike actually knows my first name and where I come from. I love that every time my Dutch fails when a seventy-year-old grandmother asks me something, she casually continues the conversation in picture perfect British English. I love Nijmegen’s cafés and restaurant, the fact that there is a trampoline park and so much more about this city, but most of all I love Nijmegen’s bus drivers.

To understand why, you should know two things about me. First: I have the orientation abilities of a cucumber. And second: I am always – and by always I mean always – listening to music. The latter recently got me in the situation of casually listening to the 2013 record Vessel by Twenty One Pilots while missing the terminal stop of my bus. And while I can highly recommend listening to Vessel all the time, I cannot recommend missing the terminal bus stop because of it. I am not particularly proud of the fact that it took me another two minutes of anxiously sitting silently alone with the bus driver (who did not see me) in the vehicle before I finally got a grip and made myself visible. After I was visible, I learned that the bus was heading to the place where all the busses are parked for the night. And if there is one thing I do not want to see than it is where the busses are parked for the night.

The bus driver had mercy and let me out right in front of another bus that was heading back to the central station and I haven’t been as grateful for nice bus drivers since July 2016, when I got terribly lost on my second day in Nijmegen. For four and a half hours. Like I said: orientation-abilities of a cucumber. Without the help of a friendly bus driver who picked me and my bike up and drove me back to the university library, I would have eventually spent the second night in this city on a park bench. And because I have been saved in those hours of need, let me end this week’s blog with a cheesy, but very true remark: Holding out for a hero by Bonnie Tyler is unnecessary when you have bus drivers like those in Nijmegen.

Every two weeks, Antonia will add the songs she writes about to the Spotify playlist below. This way, she creates a soundtrack to her time in Nijmegen. Click left and right for more songs.

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