Back to list All Articles Archives Search RSS Terug naar lijst Alle artikelen Archieven Zoek RSS

UM Mask Stalk through Madrid

UM Mask Stalk through Madrid

This is the story of how UM's masks turned me into a (very short-time) stalker.

The first time I saw her, she was sitting a few rows away from me on the train that I always take when I go home from university. Instead of reading my Spanish book on Civil Rights, I got addicted to a podcast and spent the 15-minute train ride listening to Anushka Asthana's calming voice (from the podcast Today in Focus, one of my favourites) and staring around me. I stared without really registering what I saw - forgetting the faces, jacket colours and shoe sizes as soon as I saw them. But then I saw one thing that awoke me from this podcast trance: a mask. Not just any mask. But a mask that looked a lot like the one we all got from Maastricht University at the beginning of the academic year. I must be mistaken, I thought. The girl who was wearing the mask was sitting fairly far away, and the likelihood is so small, this must be a coincidence. I let it go.

The next week, the same thing happened. And now I saw the mask up close: it was indeed the mask that UM was distributing! Could it be? The girl who was wearing the mask exited the train at the same stop I use and walked just a few meters in front of me. Nonchalantly, or at least so I tried, I said 'Maastricht' while calling a friend, a bit louder than would be normal, just to see if she reacted. She didn't. But that didn't mean anything, right? My friend, the one I was calling, told me just to ask, but that seemed a bit awkward to me. How would you even start a conversation like that: "Hey, you don't know me and I don't know you but I recognise your mask!". Not sure if that is the start of an epic friendship or a restraining order.

And so, I decided to investigate further. Which was quite hard, because she was walking rather fast and I decided to take the stairs instead of the escalators to compensate for my couch-potato existence. Just as I was becoming desperate about my detective skills, not knowing how to eavesdrop on a conversation that someone wasn't having, and not wanting to pass the line from curious to insane, I received my golden clue: an Inkom 2018 bag. Unmistakable.

I haven't talked to her yet, though I do see her regularly - she has class two classrooms next to mine on Wednesday afternoons (which, I must add, I found out accidentally, not because I was still on the lookout). I still feel an inkling to walk up to her and tell her about our mask-sisterhood. Though in the end, it doesn't quite matter how, if at all, this story continues. I had my fun playing detective in Madrid based on the potential recognition of the UM mask. And weirdly enough, knowing that I could potentially recognise UM students (and staff) around the world based on their mask is exciting - like a worldwide scavenger hunt.

Jesler van Houdt



There are currently no comments.Er zijn geen reacties.

Post a Comment

Laat een reactie achter

Door een reactie te plaatsen gaat u akkoord met de verwerking van de ingevulde gegevens door Observant.
Voor meer informatie: Privacyverklaring
By responding, you agree to send the entered data to Observant.
For more info: Privacy statement

Name (required)

Email (required)