My friend Joe and I arrived from France in May. We had sub-rented a room through Facebook, only to find out that it was a scam. Somebody took our money – 1200 euros – and the apartment we rented didn't exist. Immediately though, somebody from WUR let us stay in his apartment although he wasn't even home.
Illustration Henk van Ruitenbeek
It gets better though: the very next day, my friend agreed to meet a girl at the church, who could rent us a room. Since he is a Christian, he went to mass. Being agnostic, I didn't. When I joined Joe at the church after mass, the priest invited us to stay for dinner. And after dinner, he even offered us two rooms at the church! I declined at first because I felt I shouldn’t benefit from the church as I am not a Christian. But the priest immediately told me that he would be a very bad Christian if he refused to host me over something as trivial as religion. So we seized the opportunity and stayed at the church for three months for a very low rent.
Joe and I shared some wonderful moments with the priest: delicious meals, French wine and trips around the Netherlands. Every single Dutch person that we met during our three months here was amazingly nice and friendly, but the priest from the church topped them all. (Please note though that he only offers the rooms to those in great need – please look for an apartment elsewhere before going to him!)
Clement Risso, a French Master’s student of Bioinformatics who did an internship in Wageningen
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NL: Warm welkom
Clement en Joe uit Frankrijk hadden via Facebook al een appartement gehuurd in Wageningen. Althans, dat dachten ze. De woning bestond echter niet en hun geld was verdwenen. Terwijl ze tijdelijk in het huis van een WUR-medewerker verbleven, ontmoetten ze een priester die hen twee kamers in de kerk aanbood. Clement – een agnost –aarzelde. Maar de priester verzekerde hem dat hij een slechte christen zou zijn als hij vanwege zoiets triviaals als religie iemand onderdak zou weigeren. De twee Fransmannen hadden een geweldige tijd in Nederland. ‘Iedereen die we ontmoetten was aardig, maar de priester spande de kroon.’