Eugene van Meteren sometimes feels like a globetrotter in Wageningen. A trip to tropical Asia and back within an hour is a breeze for the Idealis caretaker.
Eugene van Meteren works for Idealis as a caretaker. He writes about his experiences for Resource.
‘Early in the morning I get a call from a Hoevestein resident who is in tears. Judging from her accent she is from Asia. I hear panic in her voice. “Mr caretaker, please come to my room, I have a big problem. Hair is growing on the wall.” ”
Scenes from horror films flash through my mind. I kindly ask her for more details. “It started with a small black spot. After a few months the spot got bigger, and when I checked it closely, I saw that hair was coming out of it.”
Ten minutes later I’m at her door. When she opens the door, I’m hit by a wall of humid heat. I see that the room is full of the most amazing plants and I can feel the heating is on full blast. It’s like being in the jungle in a hot, exotic country.
She points out the hairy spot and I immediately see what the problem is. There is a large patch of mould on the wall, created of course by the climate conditions in this jungle room. The windows are closed so the moisture has nowhere to go. Such a culture on the wall is the inevitable result.
Just like home
We discuss the cause, but she says that she likes the sultry climate in her room. “That way I feel a little bit like I’m at home with my family.” These words bring tears to my eyes. I have to solve this respectfully, that much is clear. I tell her that she should ventilate her room regularly and turn down the heating every now and then. I arrange for Idealis to remove the mould, after which we will repaint the walls at our expense.
As I go back to the office, I realize that this is what makes my work so great: behind every door is a different world. I’m actually a globetrotter in Wageningen.’