Nothing wrong with a good party, thinks Eugene van Meteren. Until the partying gets out of hand.
Eugene van Meteren works for Idealis as a caretaker. He writes about his experiences for Resource.
When Wageningen’s new Rijnveste student residence was ready, I handed out keys to four young ladies of about 18. They couldn’t wait to leave home. ‘My parents are lovely, but now it’s time to spread my wings,’ said one of them. ‘And I get to share a brand-new house with three girlfriends. How cool is that? We are having a housewarming party this evening to celebrate.’ I wished them a fun evening and, like a concerned caretaker should, I told them not to disturb the peace.
Early the next day, I was walking past the same house, and I saw a lot of rubbish outside it, which made me a bit suspicious. When the door opened after I had rung the bell a few times, the smell of smoke and beer hit me in the face. Tired and no doubt hungover, the resident asked me if there was anything wrong. I explained that I suspected something had been going on in this house, and could I have a little look inside? Hesitant and irritated, she let me in.
When I went into the living room, my mouth fell open. Yesterday this house was sparklingly clean; now it looked like a battlefield. Several people lay on the floor, asleep. The names of dozens of partygoers were written in felt pen on the walls. It looked as though there had been some kind of tomato fight: there was red pulp everywhere. The Tomatina festival in Valencia was nothing to this. The residents of the house burst into tears. They hadn’t expected so many people, and certainly hadn’t thought it could get so out of hand, they tell me. Without my needing to say anything, they promised that within a couple of days, the house would look the way a new house should once again.
A few days later I passed by again to see if they had kept their promise. And to be fair, I have no idea how they managed it, but everything looked perfect again.