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Photographer:Fotograaf: Jesler van Houdt

Jesler in Freriburg

Due to unfortunate circumstances, I'm by far better at keeping my new year's resolutions than anticipated. I'm reading more, I've cleaned my whole room top to bottom, and I’m listening to my new favourite podcast Zeit Verbrechen so much that Sabine Rückert, who does most of the talking and explaining in the podcasts, is already narrating my life in my head. Ja, das ist eine ganz verrückte Geschichte.   

So, what changed?

Upon arriving in Freiburg, I realised that there was one thing that didn’t come back from its Christmas break yet: my internet. And it hasn’t since.

It is only when one is disconnected from the world (wide web), that one realises how spoiled one has become. This also applies to the world around me, though. I’ve had it twice upon calling repair people and info staff that they wearily said: "You can find the phone number you need online." or "I'll send you an e-mail where you can check everything."

That’s exactly the point. I can’t.

And thus, I am discovering new places each day here in Freiburg. I know every corner of the university library, I’m discovering the library of the technical faculty right next door to where I live, and I am currently studying in the beautiful historic Kollegiengebäude I (university building), surrounded by big portraits of important-looking people in 17th and 18th-century attire as well as important-looking books about philosophy and the meaning of life. In short, all places that make me feel intelligent whilst offering a flawless internet connection. 

Which leaves one question: Is being ‘offline’ at home making me a better person?

“You’re already perfect”, is how a friend interrupted one of my philosophical monologues on internet and whether I still need it. I know she only doesn’t want our movie nights to turn into game nights, but maybe she has a fraction of a point. It’s not the end of the world if, every now and then, you relax over a good movie and a nice cup of tea instead of a good book. As long as you don’t let the good book dusting on your nightstand.

I guess it’s time to call the handyman again.

Jesler van Houdt

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