"I love Monday mornings in Maastricht"


Jessica Bucher, a German first-year student of European Studies, loves Monday mornings in Maastricht. The shops are still closed, the streets are quiet, “everything is so relaxed”. What a different start to the week compared to her hometown, Munich, where at 8am all the shops have opened their doors and traffic rules the streets.

Talked to a Dutch student lately?

“Just yesterday at the market, at the Bruis music festival. A friend of a friend who studies at Hogeschool Zuyd.” But according to Bucher, it’s not so easy to meet Dutch students when you are a first-year European Studies student. “I don’t know if my figures are correct, but I think that 90 per cent of my fellow students are German. The others are Dutch or Belgian. That’s why the Inkom was really a big success – I had the chance to meet Dutch people. Our group of mixed German and Dutch students stuck together and we tried to speak English all the time. It was good that our Inkom ‘parents’ were from Stennis, the student tennis club, and not from a typical Dutch student association. Associations like that are virtually unknown in Germany. You only hear horrible stories about hazing. People have to do disgusting things.”

Who is the trainer of the famous soccer club, Bayern München?

Bucher turns a little uneasy, her cheeks colouring red. “Football isn’t my cup of tea. Sorry. But wait, the name of the co-trainer is Klinsmann – his daughter was in my class in high school.”

Never heard of Louis van Gaal?

“There’s a bell ringing.”

Your favourite Dutch writer?

Jessica Bucher – what’s in a name? – reads a lot. “Sophie, Sophie van der Stap. She’s very young and recently wrote about her cancer. She has nine different wigs and each wig gives her an escape from real life. I found the book in the library. It’s not written in a depressive way. She got cancer when she was 21 and she managed to still live her life and enjoy it. I liked that.”

Who is Tariq Ramadan?

Silence. “I’ve never heard of him. In the holiday season I don’t read many papers or watch the news on television.” At the moment, she can’t read the Dutch papers, but that will change. “I’m taking a Dutch class. I’m really into languages, I like to learn them. It would be a pity not to learn Dutch. You don’t get to know a country when you don’t speak the language.”


Riki Janssen

Want to know more? Read Jessica Bucher's weblog on this website

Loraine Bodewes Fotografie

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