The Box


The introduction week is quite the rollercoaster: awesome parties, nice people and long nights. It’s one big attrition. Accordingly, you can easily recognize the friendly freshmen after the intro because of their cancerous coughing, nasty noses and speechless voices.

To prevent these introduction week’s complaints, A Dutch breakfast full of nutrition and advertisements is distributed daily inside colorful boxes. Every day, the freshmen are forced to eat two industrial buns. What comes along with it varies, but it’s not unthinkable that some students had to eat a cheese bun whole week.

This year, I was an introduction daddy for international students. It wasn’t long until my kids started talking about ‘the box’. First out of curiosity, but later on because of torment: “Not another box daddy, eating the same food every day is just boring.” I explained to them that the Dutch just like to eat bread. Whose do those foreigners think they are, complaining about our bread?!

But they do have a point that our meals are boring. Admittedly, these weren’t the best buns, but we often eat the same sandwiches, while just varying the spreads a little: same temperature, shape and crust. Do the Dutch even think about the repetitive nature of their food? Imagine we would keep track of our eating habits through a sort of happiness chart, you’ll reckon that Dutch breakfast and lunch are quite dull: much of the bread is part of habitual eating. Most of the happiness is acquired through, what we Dutch call ‘in-betweeners’. All in all, it’s not quite convenient: one gets happy of being healthy, but healthy food is boring. Is boring food all that healthy then?

To unite the mental and physical, we have to pimp our eating habits. Get rid of those morning moods induced by old sandwiches. Finish off the crushed sandwich lunch break chagrin: we should improve our bread and vary our eating habits. Our international university should be a living, eating lab, serving lunch from different countries each day.

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