It was during the orientation program in Nepal a year back when we- the freshers heading to the Netherlands - were told that every year, a person dies in Bornsesteeg. I ignored the reason then but kept the fact in mind as I had to stay in this building. The reason is Bornsesteeg has always been perceived as an unfriendly building, where people do not get a chance to interact with each other.
Mainly because it does not have a common place for cooking or meeting for corridor mates. Now that I have stayed here for a year I realize that whenever my Dutch friends ask me my address, I have had responses with a sad and skeptic tone.
I never understood this, as I have a good community of friends here. We go to each other’s rooms and freshen up after a long hectic day. We all are the migrants so it is not difficult for us to unite and have chats with each other via skype, viber or facebook. We can also interact at the lifts, while checking if the washing machine or bathrooms are vacant, at the bike sheds or in the common room downstairs, Number 3. Even the open spaces created right outside will do.
The only problem emerges when the cable net is down. Just last Sunday, the whole was without internet. We all felt like fish without water. Though use of wifi is illegal, there are many routers that disturb the cable net. But complaining may lead us to be fined, so we don’t.
But, nothing is black or white; it is grey. We still survive by ringing a friend's doorbell or by picking up the phone for interaction. And for studying or assignment purposes we run to Forum.
Thinking back to the story I heard in Nepal, I feel there could be some arrangements for corridor meetings, so that nobody falls into a depression if they don't have any friends. But I really like living here. It is because home is there where you live.