The house is full of people from the province of Zeeland: the housemates Joël and Martinique are also from Zeelandic Flanders. They both had to move out of their previous home on 1 January, and Tristan was also looking for something else. A broker found this accommodation above restaurant Obba’s and the boys were over the moon. The house is at a slight angle: if Tristan isn’t careful when getting out of bed, he’ll roll in the direction of the pubs. “It’s a dream come true.”


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The three of them haven’t all gone out together yet. “Our exams were at alternating intervals, and we all went skiing with our respective study associations. Martinique is currently in the Alps.” There’s definitely no need for Tristan to worry about his studies: so far, he has passed everything. The same goes for Joël (first-year psychology student), incidentally. And what is Martinique up to? “Good question,” the lads say, laughing. “We never really knew until recently. He is currently pursuing two degrees: Tax Law and Economics. He could graduate from EUR this year if he wanted to, but we feel he’ll stick around for a while yet.”

Tristan is currently also working in Rotterdam. He prepares infant nutrition in the Franciscus Gasthuis hospital’s department of Neonatology . He regularly goes back to his home town of Breskens in the province of Zeeland, but the days when he went back every weekend are gone. Nor is Tristan sure whether he’ll go back for Carnival this year. “WHAT?” shouts Joël indignantly. “The parade over there might not be spectacular, but you should at least show your face.”

Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

It’s not the only thing the lads disagree about. They’re planning their first house party, but don’t agree about the number of invitees. “Tristan would like to invite fifty people,” says Joël. “That’s not true,” Tristan shoots back. “Twenty, thirty or maybe forty. Half of them probably won’t show up anyway.”

The issue clearly isn’t settled yet. So, after a sip of ginger tea we change the subject: do you still regularly cook? “Certainly,” they both say seriously. “If all three of us are in the entire week, we all cook in turn.” Somewhat less seriously: “Lately there was always someone away on holiday, which complicates things.” Grillroom Tel Aviv is directly across from their house, but they don’t visit it often. “We enjoy healthy food and work out every week.”