Fourteen months ago, I dropped my bags in an empty room of the house me and my friends had just started renting. In the chaotic housing market of Enschede, we were considerably lucky to get a good deal from a local rental agency.
A fairly decent place, not far from the University, this house became so familiar with time that getting there after a busy day and laying on the couch started to feel like arriving home. But before I realized, our contract ended and we were once again packing everything, preparing to move out.
It’s not a controversial statement: moving is a hassle. You never realize the amount of junk you’ve got laying around the house until you have to fit it all in your bags.
The things we could sell, we advertised online. Dozens of new students texted us to buy our laundry hampers, lamps, fans, pots. I even got someone to take the fake Christmas tree we bought two winters ago. The random objects that weren’t selling material, like an orange wig we bought for King’s day, we piled up in a ‘Give Away’ box that friends would later dig up to find hidden treasures.
I was grateful I was moving to a house in the same neighborhood. I could drag my furniture and bags along the sidewalk. But even a close new place did not make the moving process less tiring. By the time I was done transporting all my stuff, I was so worn out I basically threw the old keys at my previous renter’s face. I didn’t have the energy to get melancholic about leaving the house where I had such good times.
These places we foreign students inhabit, they’re ours just for a glimpse of time. In the process of moving in, we don’t devote time to pick our dream tableware, or our dream lounge chair, or whatever people dream to have in their homes. If we do get furniture, it’s likely to be that same model of IKEA desks that keep circulating on the Facebook’s UT Marketplace.
Sure, you post some magazine pictures on the wall, or you buy a little plant. Even if the place is yours for a brief period of time, you can’t help but get increasingly familiar with it.
And now, just as I write this column in my new living room, laying on this different couch, I’m already starting to get more comfortable. Not too comfortable, I hope, because it won’t be long until I have to move again.