A Domino’s pizza deliveryman stands nervously in front of the door. He rings the doorbell repeatedly to no avail. Both the doorway and the deliveryman smell like pizza. Completely by chance the door suddenly opens ten minutes later. It turns out the doorbell was out of order.
One of the residents, Valerie (19), explains they had planned to put up a note, but they were afraid of their angry, disapproving neighbours. In the aftermath of a few parties, this married couple who has lived on the Schieweg for 35 years, threatened to beat up Valerie and her housemates. All three laugh about the incident. The pizza turns out to be still warm.
In the House of Custard the ceiling might be leaking one day and the next day there’s a fire on the balcony. Anna (21): “After an exam we were burning articles on the balcony. We couldn’t extinguish the fire and you can still see the burns.” But it’s also a house where a large traffic sign, Flügel stickers, Harry Potter DVDs, tangerin.
All the decorations make for a cosy house for the three RSG members. It’s a style Lisette (19) labels ‘pure randomness’. “When we moved in last year the place was so bare. This is the first place we’ve lived in on our own so we thought: let’s turn it into something facking weird. Sometimes at association parties we, or other people, bring stuff to use here. We’re known as the ‘random’ house where all kinds of crap end up.”
A place of pilgrimage
It’s also the house other RSG members see as a place of pilgrimage. Because the three friends, active in committees and ‘disputen’, continued to invite people. In Valerie’s words: “Subconsciously, we were making a statement. Why shouldn’t you socialise with people from other groups? This is now the house where everyone ends up after one of the society’s parties.”
Socialising, parties: so very important in an apartment that owes its name to its three occupants who ‘simply love custard’.
Highlight of the week? Wednesday evening with its meetings and parties. It’s also the day Rotterdam’s urban spirit manifests itself in the form of a street organ playing in front of the house. Valerie: “It starts at ten o’clock every Wednesday. I love it because whenever I hear it I think: oh, it’s Wednesday again. Time to party!”