It’s as nice and dirty as it used to be (3): Ubbergse Holleweg

08 Mar 2019

Your old student room. Hard to think about it without getting a bit nostalgic. This was the place where you first lived on your own. Where you made new friends. Five VOX editors dare to go back in time. Today: Mathijs Noij at Ubbergse Holleweg.

It was nearly ten years ago that I first set foot in a quirky student house in Ubbergen. It was actually more of a commune. Most of the residents studied at the University of Applied Sciences or Radboud University, others worked in the catering sector. A few were mostly busy smoking marijuana. Everything was good.

The small kitchen on the first floor functioned as a central meeting place. This was where we prepared our oven dishes and pasta with pesto – with varying degrees of success. There was a board hanging in the kitchen: Anyone who wanted to cook used it to inform the others of their plans. There were always people who wanted to join in for dinner.

The dirty walls, painted kitchen cabinets and sticky floors have made room for a neat built-in kitchen, probably from IKEA or some such place. Current resident and Linguistics student Pim Klaassen likes it that way. It’s nice, isn’t it, a clean kitchen? I nod.

At the same time I can’t help but think back to the Hollehuis as it was eight years ago. We would sometimes complain to each other when someone had puked all over the toilet again. Or when the shower drain got clogged with hair. Still, though: it was kind of part of the atmosphere of the house. As were the doors that were always open, so that the corridor was always filled with the smell of coffee or the sounds of the neighbour fooling around on his guitar.

Now the hallway walls are hospital white – the landlord doesn’t allow tenants to hang anything on the wall. With the exception of a note in the kitchen, detailing the house rules. Klaassen explains that people don’t really eat dinner together anymore. The last time they did it was to celebrate Sinterklaas, but he wasn’t there himself: too busy with other things.

Times change. The inhabitants of the Hollehuis go their own way these days. Which is fine, of course. And yet, I can’t suppress a wave of nostalgia as I think of all the good friends I still have from my Ubbergen time.

Mathijs Noij (29) lived at the Ubbergse Holleweg 2 in Ubbergen from 2010 until 2012

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