News - September 26, 2013

King Aalt

King Aalt the first abdicates…
Am I happy or sad?

Well, you do wonder whether Wageningen wouldn’t have developed in the same way under King Martin, King Rudi or Queen Louise. And what if we had had a King Douwe, a King Frans, a King Ken or a King Marten? What would Wageningen UR have looked like then?

I saw today that the entrance to the Atlas building where our royal court has resided since vacating the palace on the Costerweg has been much improved. There is now a special carpark for our CEO’s visitors and separate steps up to the entrance for them.

Before the palace moved it was a devil of a job to get into Atlas on foot. I secretly hoped to use these steps too, and arrived happily on my electric bike, intending to park it against a pillar that supports the short cut to the king. ‘Royal shit,’ I thought when it saw the red sign screaming at me: ‘No parking for bicycles’. So you have to go back and park your bike quite a way away and then conquer that dreadful slope, turning sharp right before getting to help Atlas bear the world on his shoulders.

Does King Aalt never come by bike?  

I propose that our next incumbent should be a cycling queen. She is welcome to borrow my electric bike while she makes up her mind whether to come by bike on a regular basis. Every morning, on the busiest cycle path in the Netherlands, with Coldplay’s latest soundtrack I’ll carry your world playing through her headphones, into the wind on Europe’s barest campus to the Atlas building.  There to remove the No Parking sign, park her bike, mount the steps and help Atlas carry the world, and feed it, with an open attitude. Not like King Aalt, sitting on top of it and calling the tune.

Kers van Veluw