What countries are the Beneluxlanders from?

Filed under: Stories,The Building — Beneluxland @ 25 April 2011 14:25


So what country was most represented last year? Below you’ll find an overview of all available statistics from previous years.





Some floor data over all the years showing how the floors where occupied:







Welcome to the Netherlands

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 6 February 2011 23:13

Welcome to the Netherlands, Utrecht, Beneluxlaan


Last semester we had a lovely Spanish girl visiting the Beneluxlaan for her Erasmus studie. Her experience describes how it is to be in the Utrecht!

Mar, thanks for this beautiful story!

English version

Next stop, Utrecht. Few of us knew exactly how this city would be, but maybe we were attracted by it because it meant living near a big European city like Amsterdam. Infinite paperwork and months of preparation led us to think, “I hope it’s worth the effort….” And finally the day arrived. At this point, we didn’t know yet how much our lives would change; we said goodbye countless times before traveling to the country that would become our home for the following months, The Netherlands. Fear, excitement, anxiety, and high expectations accompanied us as we started this adventure.

Nothing was going to be easy during our first days. After 40 minutes walking aimlessly through Schiphol airport, finally we find our heavy luggage. Nobody seemed to understand our strange accent, so asking for a train ticket to Utrecht was more difficult than expected. Everything surrounding us was new; even the Central Station seemed bigger than it seems now.

Then we saw the place where we would live… nothing to make us feel better. In front of us, an old building in which there were still elements remaining from the hospital it used to be. However, now it looked more like a squat than anything else. The lift is the next thing we saw…. As we went into it, we realized that “impatience” was not welcome in Beneluxlaan. When we saw the bathrooms we also realized that hygiene had not been a primary concern of the past inhabitants. Many people were living there… and there were many (too many) names to remember.

As we arrived in the city we noticed that we would not survive without a bike. Getting one was not very useful during the early days. With our limited experience, it was not feasible to read a map and to drive at the same time. Of course, we were not Dutch. From the moment the bike appeared in our lives, the stories of accidents, theft and stupid falls gave us something funny to talk about among ourselves.

In Utrecht, at night, with a couple (or more than a couple) of beers, every corner looks the same. We had to navigate through the canals, the streets, the square with a big rabbit, and also the great Dom (which helped us to orient ourselves more than once). Getting out of Poema and looking for your bike during an hour and a half was a very common thing during the first few weeks.

After overcoming the first obstacles, then we started experiencing cultural clashes. The time at which people eat for example… I still cannot believe that people can have dinner at half past 6 and not starve later during the evening. Why are the names of streets and shops unpronounceable for us? Living here is to forget about shopping until passed 7 pm, and also to get used to not seeing the sun for many days. If you come to Holland, do not try to understand how traffic lights work, just follow your own instincts and pray that car drivers are not having a bad day. You should speak without exceeding the ‘allowed decibel level’ on the train, the Dutch need silence. You should also learn how to drive a bike with one hand while holding two bags full of food without falling. If you are able to do so and to also say a few things such as dank u well, doei doei or alstublieft, the Dutch will look appreciate you a little bit more.

Once we were settled down, we realized that Hema and Albert Heijn would be essential places in our lives. Another important element is the NIGHT LIFE (I have to admit that it is one of the most important elements for an Erasmus student). In Utrecht, we discovered that it was normal to get drunk on a Tuesday (and also on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and that every time we go to a club, there is an entire Dutch basketball league inside. We also discovered that it wasn’t so much fun to get lost (for 2 hours) while canoeing on our favorite canal and that the snow, despite the fact that it may be very cute, would render cycling very dangerous.

The lovely thing about this experience has been to learn all of the things I mentioned above. Today, 5 months after arriving in The Netherlands, I know more about the culture and I have learned to respect and to love it as my own. In this country, we have found a new home where we have learnt a great deal. It has been our desire to discover everything that has helped us to overcome what frightened us at first.

Living together has also led us to learn from each other. The mix of cultures allowed to encounter other ways of thinking which we were not used and to try to understand them instead of rejecting them. The funny moments, parties, good memories, nervousness, sadness and happiness have contributed to make us a big family. A family full of cultural diversity and as colorful as the walls of our Dutch house, Beneluxlaan.

It is going to be hard to say goodbye, but we already knew this moment would come sooner or later. Tears and lots of unfulfilled promises. Finally, when we close the door for the last time and we come back home, we will feel that a part of us will remain in Utrecht for a long time… Utrecht is the city from which few had heard about before and the one that now makes us sigh when remembering it, the city where we spent the most intense five months of our lives.
See you at the ground floor …

Mar.

Spanish version

Próxima parada, Utrecht. Pocos sabían exactamente cómo era esta ciudad situada al centro de Holanda, pero fuimos muchos los que nos sentimos atraídos por vivir cerca de una gran ciudad europea como es Amsterdam. Infinitos trámites y meses de preparativos que nos hacían pensar, “espero que merezca la pena…”. Y por fin el día llegó. Todavía sin ser muy conscientes de lo que este cambio iba a suponer para nosotros, nos despedimos infinitas veces antes de viajar al país que sería nuestro nuevo hogar durante los próximos meses, Holanda. Miedo, emoción, angustia, y muchas expectativas nos acompañaban en esta aventura.

Nada iba a ser fácil desde el momento en que aterrizamos en nuestro nuevo destino. Tras 40 minutos caminando sin rumbo por Schiphol, al fin descubrimos los equipajes. Nadie parecía entender nuestro extraño acento, por lo que pedir un billete de tren a Utrecht fue más difícil de lo esperado. Todo era nuevo a nuestro alrededor, incluso la Central Station nos parecía un mundo aparte.

Y entonces llegó lo que nos acabó de hundir… la residencia. Un edificio antiguo y en no muy buenas condiciones en el que poco quedaba ya de hospital; era más bien una gran casa ocupa. Y el ascensor. En cuanto subimos en él nos dimos cuenta que la impaciencia no era bienvenida en Beneluxlaan (al ver los baños supimos que tampoco la higiene iba a serlo). Mucha gente y muy extraña y muchos, demasiados nombres para recordar.

Al llegar a aquella ciudad nos dimos cuenta que sin bici no sobreviviríamos. Conseguir una tampoco era de gran utilidad los primeros días ya que, con nuestra poca experiencia, no resultaba factible leer un mapa y conducir; por supuesto, no éramos Holandeses. Desde el momento en que la bici apareció en nuestras vidas las historias de accidentes, robos y aparatosas caídas al menos nos daban temas de conversación.

En Utrecht de noche y con un par (o más de un par) de cervezas parecía todo igual. Canales, calles, plazas con conejos gigantes, y el gran Dom, que nos ayudó a orientarnos más de una vez. Salir de Poema y buscar durante 1 hora tu bici era lo más normal del mundo.

Superados los primeros obstáculos aparecieron los choques culturales. El horario de las comidas… Aún nos cuesta creer que puedan cenar a las 6 y media de la tarde y no morir de hambre en el intento. ¿Por qué sus calles, tiendas y sus nombres son impronunciables para nosotros? Vivir aquí supone olvidarse de apurar las compras hasta pasadas las 7 de la tarde, por no decir que también supone olvidarse del sol. Si vienes a Holanda tampoco intentes comprender cómo funcionan las señales de tráfico, simplemente sigue tu instinto y reza para que los otros conductores no tengan un mal día. No hables excediendo los decibelios de voz en el tren, los holandeses necesitan silencio. Aprende a conducir la bici con una mano y con dos bolsas cargadas de comida sin caerte y entonces, los holandeses, te verán casi como uno de ellos. Si lo consigues y de vez en cuando dices dank u well, alstublieft y doei doei te mirarán un poco mejor cuando gritas en el tren.

Ya establecidos, nos dimos cuenta que Hema y Albert Heijn estarían rutinariamente presentes en nuestras vidas. Otro detalle importante es la noche (tengo que admitir que está muy presente para un estudiante Erasmus). En Utrecht descubrimos que era normal emborracharse un martes (y un miércoles, y un jueves, y un viernes y un sábado) y que cada vez que salíamos de fiesta invitaban a nuestra discoteca a toda una liga femenina y masculina de baloncesto. También comprobamos que no era tan divertido perderse en canoa (durante 2 horas y media) por nuestro canal favorito y que la nieve, a pesar de quedar muy bien en el paisaje, era poco práctica para ir en bici.

Lo más bonito de esta experiencia ha sido aprender poco a poco todas estas cosas que ahora soy capaz de escribir. Y es que hoy, 5 meses después de aterrizar en tierras holandesas, sé cómo es esta cultura y he aprendido a respetarla y a quererla como la mía propia. En este país hemos encontrado un nuevo hogar en el que hemos aprendido partiendo de cero, y han sido nuestras ganas por descubrirlo todo las que nos han ayudado a superar lo que al principio nos asustaba.

La convivencia nos ha hecho también aprender de los demás. La mezcla de culturas, otros modos de pensar a los que no estábamos acostumbrados y que, en lugar de rechazarlos, hemos intentado entenderlos. Momentos divertidos, fiestas, buenos recuerdos, nervios, tristeza y alegría. Todo ello nos ha convertido en una gran familia, una familia llena de diversidad cultural, de distintos colores, como los que decoran los pasillos del que ha sido nuestro hogar holandés.

Va a ser difícil decir adiós, pero sabíamos que este momento iba a llegar tarde o temprano. Lágrimas y un sinfín de promesas por cumplir. Al final, cuando cerremos por última vez la puerta y volvamos a casa, sentiremos que una parte de nosotros sigue, y seguirá durante mucho tiempo, en Utrecht…Esa ciudad de la que pocos habían oído hablar y que ahora nos hará suspirar al recordarla. Lugar en el que pasamos los cinco meses más intensos de nuestras vidas.
Nos veremos en el ground floor… Hasta siempre.

Mar.

Hotel B924

Filed under: Stories,The Building — Beneluxland @ 29 January 2011 16:25

Hotel B924 by Janine, Julia and Valentin


Last semester Janine, Julia and Valentin, architectural students on the HU, created a plan to change the Beneluxland building into a business hotel, called Hotel B924.
Over here you can find the plans they created for the building!


Ground floor

The ground floor will be changed into a Restaurant and a big Lobby.

Current situation


New situation


Roof and wellness area

The roof will contain a pool and a bar!
There are no old plans of the roof, so an simple overview picture how it looks now:

Current situation


New situation

The 6th floor will be transformed into a wellness area

Current situation


New situation


Rooms

The rooms will undergo a major makeover. There will be a toilet and shower in every room, and all the rooms will have balconies!

Current situation


New situation


Front view

Giga pictures

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 18 December 2010 20:03


For some while we wanted to post some big pictures that where worth posting in high resolution.
The result is the Giga picture project on this website.

The SSHell: lack of notifications

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 17 November 2010 11:39

The SSHell column handles issues we (tenants of the Beneluxlaan complex) have with the SSH (SSHU or SSHxl or Short Stay). I want to personally note that every story has two sides and these columns handle my(our) side of the story.

Last couple of years we got frustrated by the poor notifications of the SSH / Short Stay, so it is time to add a couple of those problem up in a nice list. By creating this column I hope that the SSH / Short Stay sees the problems that arrive on our side by their decision to not inform us properly about most e.g. changes / incidents.

Lack of notifications:
1. Complaints
2. Change of housing officer
3. In-house ‘snitch’
4. Inspection of the fire department
5. Update, end of December 2010
6. Update, begin of February 2011
7. Update, begin of January 2012


Complaints

Of course things sometimes break down, or due to vandalism something is missing/broken in your floor/room. To make sure that notifications of this will not be send more than one time to the SSH / Short Stay, we decided to create a page on the Beneluxlaan website to file and view complaints.

So after this was tested we put it online and started to fill out complaints. We kept detailed information about the status and actions that where taken by SSH / Short Stay or the Dutch residents of the Beneluxlaan, who as always, are more than willing to break a sweat to make the Beneluxlaan better.
Not long after that I received an e-mail (link to original mail) on my private e-mail address with an invitation to discuss this new page on the Beneluxlaan website.

Key to the meeting that followed was that:
1. The SSH / Short Stay has already its own system for this, but since it is only for the international guest students, there was no better idea than just keep filling out our complaints through this form
2. The SSH / Short Stay knows that information on the internet is widely spread and would rather see that this page is only available for internal usage only

In response we agreed to the following:
1. We will keep using this system and report what ever we find necessary to report
2. We will add functionality to the complaints form that only complaints that are open or closed/resolved less than 2 week can be viewed

SSH / Short Stay would than try to keep us informed through mail regarding all the communication that will take place between SSH / Short Stay that considers all the tenants of the Beneluxlaan.

Well guess why I’m writing a story about this?! And don’t even let me get started on the feedback we get on complaints that are filled. Even though that some of them are !fucking! seriously.


Change of housing officer

Well, for over the past two and a half year, we had a really nice housing officer. Due to his choice to leave the SSH / Short Stay for a new career, the Beneluxlaan now has no official housing officer since the beginning of November 2010.
I personally think that this change is something you, as a company (SSH / Short Stay), should inform you tenants about. Well, there is a reason why I’m writing this story in this part of the website.
We’ll see what this change do for good or bad to the daily business in and around the Beneluxlaan.
I would like to thank our former housing officer for his two and a half year work around here, and I know that trying to do the best for the Beneluxlaan building and tenants is a fucking hard job if the SSH / Short Stay blocks most of your ideas due to management and budgetary bullshit.

A nice touch to this is that when I called the SSH / Short Stay this week to see if they could transfer me to the former housing officer, the receptionist told me that his replacement will start on the 1st of December, so no mails about cleaning the kitchen blah blah blah this month? Audio recording of this conversation (in Dutch) available on demand.
Last week a housemate told me he met the new housing officer. I personally didn’t have the chance to meet him so this will be continued.


In-house ‘snitch’

Around the 3th of November 2010 we received an e-mail from the SSH / Short Stay with the following message:

Dear guest,

Because of safety reasons and nuisance problems, SSH has decided to house a supervisor in the Beneluxlaan. The supervisor will be a resident of the Beneluxlaan and will notify SSH or the police when incidents occur. The supervisor cannot help you with housing issues or technical issues. He is merely there to signal any odd behavior from the house rules.

You can find the house rules and information of the police to prevent burglaries attached to this e-mail.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact SSH Short Stay.

Link to the original e-mail

Bravo SSH / Short Stay on this communication, where must be noted that the person who send it (blacked out in the image) is not the same as who signed it (also blacked out for privacy reasons), why is this???
First questions from people in and around the Beneluxlaan where:
1. Where is this person going to live?
2. What will he do? Walk round every night? Check out all of our parties?
3. Why is this person being placed here so late? We have a Dutch saying “Mosterd na de maaltijd” what practically means that this action is way to late!

Because of the lack of notifications from the SSH / Short Stay, we didn’t even bother to reply on their e-mail to ask for more information. In and around the Beneluxlaan this person has got the name ‘Snitch’, since he/she cannot help us with things that matter (e.g. broken light, administrative questions, complains or tips).

What I really don’t understand regarding this decision is that the SSH / Short Stay will now (pay?) somebody to do something that we, the Dutch anchored tenant can also do. Damn and I mean, we are also already doing this, non payed. E.g.:
- Painting our elevator
- Help the new people that come to live in the Beneluxlaan how stuff works around here
- Get our post back at the reception of the Albert van Koningsbruggen
- Hang information about machines on the correct spots
- Open and close the windows in the staircases during the Summer and Winter days
- And it continues…

Well we hope that our ‘Snitch’ will do some good around here, and of course “Welcome to Beneluxland”.


Inspection of the fire department

Last September (2010) we received a letter from the fire department with the results of the inspection they performed. In this 7 pages big document it concluded (see 1st page 2nd alinea) that the state of this complex is considered “very unsafe”.

After receiving this notification we started wondering how (and when) the SSH / Short Stay would notice us about this issue. We found this letter in our mail the last week of September. Until today we have not heard anything of the SSH / Short Stay, although I told our housing officer that we received a copy of the letter of the fire department, an official mail or notification from the SSH / Short Stay regarding this issue is still not send.


Update, end of December 2010

After this story was published on the interwebs, I met the new ‘temporal’ housing officer. We had a nice conversation about some things in and around Beneluxlaan, but the focus of the chat was getting more intense when we discussed the complaints that I have had made (through the beneluxlaan website). Long story short, he didn’t know that it was ‘okay’ to file complaints this way.

A couple of days later (24 Nov 2010) I received an e-mail that the new housing officer had some ‘issues’ with this particular story (The SSHell). Some information in the story about the change of housing officer was not correct. Well he also noticed that this incorrectness was the cause of the bad information given by SSH / Short Stay about the change of housing officers.
Again 2 weeks (2nd week of December) later we found a nice notification.

Good part of the story is:

I will be the housing officer of Beneluxlaan up to the moment the new housing officer is completely prepared for her new job.

So we will have a (hopefully) lovely lady walking by with a big chain of keys over here.

Not long after this it remained quite at the SSH / Short Stay side. But on the 22nd of November 2010, I already asked the SSH what the whole deal is with this fire department report that we have found the other day.

So finally on the 29th of November 2010, I received an answer to to my question (Remember that the report of the fire department was send to the SSH / Short Stay on the 21st of September 2010). Why didn’t the SSH / Short Stay inform us about this, did this story trigger the them to finally inform the tenants of Beneluxland???
And on the 6th of December 2010 the SSH / Short Stay informed all the tenants about this report.

And then about the ‘Snitch’, we got the chance to have seen him for precisely 2 (two as in one less than three) times now. We hope everything is fine, at least he posted something on my website (see comments below this article). ¡NEXT!

Did it have results??
I hope to think so, we got reply’s to some of our requests but the question remains if this story had to do anything with it, but we will just have to wait and see what will happen the next couple of semesters.


Update, begin of February 2011

The new housing officer started, guess what also


Update, begin of January 2012

So we are a year further today, guess what we get a new housing officer yet again. Last year we also got the announcement by mail, but I guess due to savings world wide, the mails are to expensive to use as an information media.

The strange objects in and around Beneluxland

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 25 July 2010 15:56

Over the last past years (4 already), I’ve seen a lot of changes in our Beneluxland, and when I last found some machines that where before the my time, I wanted to have a nice story about all this ‘junk’.

Movies

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 25 April 2010 12:53



During the last semester I noticed a lot of movies where flying aroung the interwebs about our beautiful beneluxlaan! So this i my chance to create an overview page about the differend but beautiful feelings people have about their erasmus expirience!

Football Beneluxlaan, by Batu

Football Beneluxlaan, by Batu


Out of Control – Hawaii 2011, by Tim

Out of Control – Hawaii 2011, by Tim


Dinner, Graffiti and Control 2010, by Tim

Dinner, Graffiti and Control 2010


24 Hours in Beneluxland, by Fit

24 Hours in Beneluxland

The Netherlands Experience, by Fit

The Netherlands Experience


March and April 2010, by Fit

March and April 2010


Queens Day & Night 2010, by Fit

Queens Day & Night 2010


Trance Energy 2010, by Fit

Trance Energy 2010


Trance Energy 2010, by Julien

Trance Energy 2010


Living on the Beneluxlaan 2010, by Fit

Living on the Beneluxlaan


Beneluxlaan Entertainment, by Roy

Beneluxlaan Entertainment


Out of Control, the Coco tapes, by Tim

Out of Control


Out of Control, June 2009, by Tim

Out of Control


Park transwijk

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 28 December 2009 23:18

Some people asked me to make some pictures of the park. Well, I did already but never put them on the internet.
This is my big chance to make a nice story about the beautiful park we have near Beneluxlaan!

In the winter our park looks like this:

And during the summer:

Find the differences:

Some random images in and around the park:

And what is this for the students? PARTY!
On the 5th of May we celebrate our freedom at the ‘Bevrijdingsfestival‘.


But also citydance hosts some nice party’s.

I cannot miss this park anymore, during the exam week, when you are stressed out of studying, it is so relax to take a walk in this beautiful park! In the summer I take a good bottle of wine and go there in the evening with my date to look at the sky and chill out! With friends we visit the parties and we always argue who’s turn it is to walk back to the flat to get some nice cold beers. But never the less, writing these lines got me in the mood for a nice trip through the park!

December 2009

Network of Sandor

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 20:54

When I first came living on the Beneluxlaan, internet was a rare and scarce medium that only a designated group of people had. When finding out who owned the connection, a guy on the 6th floor, he was willing to give me a connection.

We were using the connection with about 20 people, and people certainly knew how to upload stuff through their KazAa’s and Bittorrents, making the connection utterly slow. Since I’m a systems administrator, this bugged me and I was looking for a way to improve the speed.

That’s when I installed a Linux firewall distro on an old Pentium 3 computer which I had supplied with 2 network cards. One network card for the internal network, and one to the internet. After having some problems in the beginning and stability issues, I installed a new Linux distro named IPCop. This one runned great and smooth and was also helpful in showing which people polluted the network by uploading data all day. After asking them kindly for a couple of times, I though it was time for greater measures, since the popularity of the conneciton had grown to about 30 people, on one DSL-connection! Through some more restrictive bandwidth settings I was able to keep the speed of the connection good at all times.

By that time, Tim was building and expanding his network and he was growing more rapidly because he had the time to professionalize his network. I had to work during the day, so managing the internet was only a secondary thing to me.

When I moved out, Tim connected his network to mine and by doing so, providing people with an internet connection without any downtime.
I’ve always had much fun when configuring the network with Tim, and getting to know people fast when connecting them to the internet. It was a great time at Beneluxlaan.

Stories

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 20:45

Control Parties

An overview of all the Control Parties can be found here!

Movies

All the movies in and around Beneluxland can be found here!

No more internet?

Since today it will not be possible to connect to the www.beneluxlaan.com network on the following floors:
- Ground floor;
- 4th floor;
- 5th floor;
- 6th floor;

As of tomorrow (10th of April 2013) the other floors will be disconnected from the wireless internet provided by www.beneluxlaan.com

Beneluxlanders Country Overview

Some nice stats what country was represented last school years!

I’m from Holland, where the fuck you from?

Welcome to the Netherlands

Last semester we had a lovely Spanish girl visiting the Beneluxlaan for her Erasmus studie. Her experience describes how it is to be in the Utrecht!

Hotel B924

What the Beneluxlaan should look like if it was a business hotel!

Out of Control: Hawaii

An other party in Beneluxland!

SSH Room Price

Have you always wanted to know if you are paying much more than the tenant last semester?

The SSHell: lack of notifications

During the last years the communications when from bad to worse.
Update: Did it have results?

Dinner, Graffiti and Control

Final Beneluxlaan party of this semester: Dinner, Graffiti and Control.

Beneluxlaan in colors

A nice overview of the colors given to the floors of the Beneluxlaan.

In Control

Another control party in Beneluxland, end of the 1st semester 2009-2010.

Park transwijk

Near the flat is this beautiful park, every day of the year it has something special.

The secrets of Beneluxlaan

Some floor plans we found the other day and a story about the hidden rooms and secrets beneluxlaan has to offer us!

Beneluxlaan in KOMMpakt

University’s annual report (see pages 5-9). It’s about my experiences in Utrecht – of course in German ;( but in general – with many nice memories and especially about the Beneluxlaan and friends I made there :)

Out of Control

There was this one party, that everybody is still talking about. Youtube and Facebook are overloaded! Watch the movie and photo’s.

Isa’s Memory

A small story about the time Isa spend in the Beneluxlaan.

The network over the year(s)

Finally a story about the internet in this building, how it started and what it is today.

The first network

It first started all with the network of Sandor, my friend from the 5th floor! His experience in a brief story.

The price of my room? ‘Very bad’

More than half of the foreign students who live in an SSH-room, find it too expensive. This shows a survey of about 180 residents.

Beneluxlaan aka Beneluxland

A story published in the abroad magazine for internationals.