IB Groep

My last days in Utrecht and I’m running around the city solving my last papers while my head battles with last night’s hangover. Remaining exams, a good-bye from my working colleagues, parties that last till dawn and late projects…I run from the bank back to the store I worked at. This paper is still not available; this amount of money still has to be transferred from one account to the other and if everything goes well I will even get a student grant from the Dutch government for the months I worked… And this is how I find myself at the IB Groep. I take a sit in the waiting room. I put the small paper with my number (104) on it in my mouth while I hastily look for my papers… Finally some time to look around. Good thing they invented waiting rooms. Not far away from me sits a woman with the number 100. An extremely cute chubby baby sits in her arms and with a huge appetite sips the milk from the bottle. The small chubby one smiles at me and her mother puts her on the ground. A couple of shaky steps and she falls on her little bottom. She raises her head, looks at me once again and smiles….Next to me a father with his son. Number 101. The boy in his late teens is chatting with his dead while he carefully fills out some papers. The ID card in the teenager’s hand, the pen between the father’s fingers and the questionnaire is ready. The bell rings. Two young women (number 102) get up and head towards the information desk. They are probably in their early twenties. Well dressed and pampered with brand new bags hanging on their shoulders… I check my file. It seams that everything is okay. I look slightly on my left. Two sparkling brown eyes stare at me for a couple of moments. My head still swirls from last night’s alcohol and I don’t really realize the importance of this moment. A couple of more minutes and I’m next. I get up and get to the rest-room to wash my face… I take my file and go to the information desk. The short and somewhat bulky woman in her thirties treats me politely, even so that I am amazed for a second. We check the files. I’m sorry, but your labor contract is missing – she tells me. No problem. I’ll be back in half an hour. Could you please put aside my papers until then? The lady smiles affirmatively. She can probably see that I’m not yet entirely on this planet. I take my bag and run to get my bike. I look back for a second. Oh, I almost forgot! I was the only white Caucasian in the room ;)…

29th of June 2008, Utrecht – around noon

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