Chronicles of a timewaster

“Gary Lightbody of the band Snow Patrol hit the nail on the head when he sang “…let’s waste time, chasing cars, around our heads…”. And while he’ll always gain acclaim for that lyric, we surely long beat him to the punch on the embodiment of that phrase.

‘We’ here being the operative term used to describe an organization so secret it puts the secret police to shame, so vast it must turn the pope green with envy. Yes, membership in the student association of couch-potatoes, malingerers, posers and layabouts is the reason we arrived at that conclusion way before Lightbody ever set pen to lyrics. As a member of that all-inclusive, hidden-in-plain-sight association, chasing cars is but one of the many ways we layabouts earn our stripes as bona-fide members. Delft student associations are of course notoriously exclusive, so to become a new member I had to learn to live like a member, and for a (former) busy-body like myself, this was a tall order, much like Sir Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Mt. Everest, only less daunting and not so cold and probably hardly comparable but, well never mind. Sacrifices had to be made for the association’s greater good! So first to go was the sunrise: despite its fame as one of the most beautiful sights on earth and the new promises it offers to all and sundry, the sunrise was dropped, for how could I dare lay claim to be a loyal association member if I awakened as early as the birds and worms? Yes, bizarre it would be, so the sunrise and I parted ways.
Of course I also always loved an early breakfast, but the word ‘early’ also had to be deleted from my vocabulary, and thus this meal was pushed back deeper into the day, which was already well into its development, having run right past adolescence and on to adulthood.
Brunch, yes, brunch, a concept surely invented by one of our associations’ founding members, is the basic order of the day, as I head to the kitchen to cook and honour the dictates of our association: ‘Sleep and eat then sleep some more’! Whatever that is in Latin should be the student associations’ motto!
Brunch and the midday nap now done, time to sit on the balcony and get down to malingering perfection, wasting time, chasing cars, looking around. And then I spotted him, an amazing, awesome sight of sheer elegance and remarkable time-wasting capacity, a poser chameleon who clearly grasped the true spirit of our association of couch-potatoes and layabouts, as he very, very slowly attempted to cross the balcony.
‘Good day, friend,’ I said.
‘Crossing my balcony I see’, I added after a time.
Our association’s newest member wasn’t much for conversation, but his great crossing took a long, long time to complete, and by then the day had happily crossed mid-life and was fast-tracking toward old age. A good time to go back to sleep.”

Francis Ndonga, from Kenya, is a second-year BSc student studying aerospace engineering. He can be contacted at: fdude85@gmail.com

Haar smeekbede heeft weinig succes. Geen wonder. Ze draagt een groene regenponcho en haar gezicht is van bijpassende kleuren voorzien. Bovendien staat ze te roepen vanaf het bootje in het water voor 3mE. En op dit tijdstip is iedereen echt op weg naar iets waar hij op tijd wil zijn.

Het gebeurt allemaal onder het oog van anderhalve handvol meiden die zich op de kant hebben genesteld. Van hen is geen hulp te verwachten. “Zij heet Anne Vreeburg. Twintig jaar en ze studeert bij 3mE”, licht er een toe.

En een ander: “Ze gaat dit jaar bestuurswerk doen voor William Froude, de studievereniging van Maritieme Techniek. Anne wordt commissaris excursies.” En zij zelf? “Wij zijn haar Virgiel jaargenootjes en wij verneuken haar. Dat is traditie. Het is een soort straf, omdat ze door het bestuurswerk geen tijd meer heeft voor ons.”

De straf is om half vijf in de morgen begonnen. “We hebben haar thuis opgehaald, geblinddoekt en rondgereden, zodat ze dacht dat ze ergens gedropt zou worden. Daarna hebben we haar in een rubberboot gezet en op het bootje in het water bij 3mE achtergelaten.” Wel in goed gezelschap overigens. Naast Anne staat een rode koffer en ze heeft wat mondvoorraad meegekregen: koekjes en een halve fles cola.

Editor Redactie

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