Outside our student house there's a white delivery van. 'Whoa', I think, 'that looks pretty professional'. I look at the spotless white doors, embellished with a little green tree. 'Tree adviser', it says. Well, well, this is serious stuff.
Jos graduated last July. Now he is living with his girlfriend - a former cashier at the local supermarket - in a house they're buying just up the road. How can one of my student friends already have a mortgage? To me, the adult world has always been a bit like the hungry children in Africa: terrible, but a long way away, thank goodness. This brings it a bit too close for comfort.
The bit about the supermarket cashier will never happen to me though. No matter how many crates of beer I lug past the till, the pretty cashiers just go on calling me 'Mister'. That's something else I don't get. I go from being a little boy to being a grown-up, and there really isn't an even faintly enjoyable phase in between. That's what I think, anyway. But that's beside the point.
I just don't get it. Not so long ago, I was on a vocational training course. At that time I used to sneak in and get coffee at the hogeschool (where it was 20 cents cheaper) and I thought: 'Wow, these people really know what's what. But no, even at the university, it's all 'a bit of this' and 'maybe that'. Nowadays I call muddling through 'trial and error', but I'm none the wiser. And what now? I've just about figured out how to get a beer bottle top off without an opener, and my student life is coming to an end. Before I know it I'll be writing columns for some stuffy old age pensioners' magazine.
Worried, I watch Jos drive away. He looks happy enough. Maybe - just maybe - there is life after university after all. /Stijn van Gils