Last wednesday evening, after a hard day of reading books at my new internship, I returned to what I reluctantly shall refer to as "home".
Although the outright bastards at the Zeeland housing renting company did finally give me the room they had promised me weeks before, they managed to rent me out a room that (at first) did not have the promised bed, matras, cooking facility, had a bathroom that was utterly filthy, leaking windows, a leaking heating system, a broken phone system to buzz people in and electricity problems. Although in the past week most of these problems have been solved, I'm still expecting the roof to blow off at any moment. "Home" therefore, it is not.
However, since I'm paying 400 euro a month for the frigging thing, not sleeping there probably would not be a very economically sound decision. And so, there I was sitting on my bed (it being the only furniture in the room, waiting for my chocolate milk to warm up, when the fire alarm went off.
At first I was afraid I had triggered it by foolishly using the cooking thing to warm something, but since it turned out I hadn't even plugged the damn thing in yet, it seemed more plausible somebody else was responsible. On the one hand, this was a relief (you dont want to start your tenure in a new community as "the idiot who starts fire alarms"), on the other hand this mean in theory there could be a fire in the building. Although this seemed a somewhat unlikely scenario, I decided to walk down the 6 floors that seperate my room of hell and the relative safety of Zeeland's soil.
Although the building I live in should contain about 200 students who are all enrolled in the Roosevelt Academy, only ten people bothered to come outside. The rest remained inside their rooms, despite the alarm going WEEEHOOOOOOO WEEEHOOOOOO quite loudly in every room, hallway and washingroom in the entire building every three seconds. Some just played their music as loud as they could, others apparently were deaf or immune for loud WEEEHOOOOO sounds.
It turned out that, like most of my building collegues had figured, there was indeed no fire threatening to kill us all, but just some annoying girl whose cooking skills were apparently crap. Which left us with only one problem: when would the alarm stop?
The annoying girl had called the renting company, which was closed so she was redirected to a call center which promised it would send a technician over, but after 30 minutes of non-stop WEEHOOOOOOing, no technician was to be seen and people were losing interest in standing outside in the cold. And so, when everybody else was going back to their WEEHOOOOOOO-infested rooms, I too returned and spent the next 30 minutes of WEEHOOOOOOOOOO-ing with a pillow over my ears chatting with My Friend From The North (who was understandably gloating over my room-troubles) thinking only: "This is not my favorite part of the country".
(The alarm stopped after an hour and I later found out it took so long because the construction crew that is working in the building had build a brick wall in front of the button that stops the alarm. There must be a lot of inter-family relations in Zeeland)