INKOM: The First Day

It seems all my posts about the Netherlands begin or include a story about me walking. And I know it’s getting really boring for you to read about me walking, but really, when the only bike you can ride is one with training wheels and you want to save on money after using the bus, the only option you have is to walk.

And on the first day of INKOM, the orientation week for all incoming freshmen and master students, I walked till I could no more. I think it’s like some sort of cruel punishment for the fact that I’ve been lazy all summer long.

The first stop in the very long day was the Faculty of Medicine, Health, and Life Sciences to register for INKOM. It is also where I will be studying, so it was nice to walk there to get a feel of the route and time myself.

Once I got there, the first thing I saw were people dressed in different colors, holding different flags that represented student associations, very loud pop and dance music, and whole load of beer. Did I mention this was at 11 am?

For someone like me, who doesn’t drink, and isn’t used to being around people who do, the smell of beer is very bothersome, though here it lingers like it was a scent of perfume. Well, what else did I expect from an event where the main sponsor is Heinkien?

A sight that would rarely, if ever be seen, in the Paris of the Middle East

But I couldn’t really explore much here because I had to meet up with the usual crew and queue to register. And what a queue it was! T0 say we waited for 45 minutes was an understatement. And no one was pushing, shoving, or cutting in line like we are so used to in Lebanon. No, they were standing there patiently waiting. At least the company was awesome.

The Usual Suspects

Then after signing and being divided into groups, we met up with our mentors who would guide us for the rest of the week. Having been an orientation guide just last year, I didn’t really take a liking to the two guys that were assigned for my group at first, and instead of socializing I preferred to look around and chat with Jelle and Mostafa who were also with me.

Once again we waited until the mentors directed us to the little field outside of the faculty where we sat and played a little introduction game, which to me seemed a bit pointless. At least the swag bag we got was pretty cool, with a lot of fliers, discounts, gum, and even a kitchen utensil from IKEA.

These people just kept dancing the whole time

Then, the highlight of the day- and also the reason I’m still so exhausted even though it’s Friday- begun: the parade. You see, the FHML campus in one side of the river, while the city center, which has the Vrijthof and the Markt, are on the other- and that’s where we were going. So we were directed to stand in between two big trucks, which had students from different associations, and we started walking to the sounds of various music. Here’s a note: in the Netherlands, the taste of music seems to be the exact same thing as that of Lebanon.

And once we got to the Markt, after about 45 minutes, there was this huge festival, with a live band and all sorts of associations. They were also serving free vlaai, which is if you’ve been to my blog before, a traditional cherry pie they make in this part of NL. And it was fantastic!

Nothing like some delicious vlaai

Although the scene was nice, the crew decided to go back to their dorms in Musketruwe, which is right on the edge of the city, and because they’ve been inviting me there for a while now, I went along with them so as not to disappoint.

I still stand by my opinion that I have the coolest apartment- which is in dire need of vacuuming now that I think about it

You can see Belgium from here- nope, not as cool

Then we all came back to the city for the pub crawl and the subsequent MECC party, except because I was so exhausted and in no mood to smell alcohol all around me, I ended up sharing a pleasant meal with Mostafa at MacDonalds before we took the bus back to our street. Except we had to get lost and use the GPS only to discover we were at the street behind ours.

This getting lost thing seems to be a trend of mine lately. Note to self: always consult with a map before leaving home.

One Comment Add yours

  1. caroinmaas says:

    I hit upon your picture while googling “Inkom mecc” 🙂 I can’t believe it’s one year ago already…

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