The Maastricht Paradox
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Milli Ehringhaus and Catharina Wahls
Leaving home for the first time every student yearns for the freedom to do and please as he or she desires. The precedent image of “college life” that we have all gained from iconic films such as “American Pie” sets high expectations. Studying in one of the most liberal countries in Europe, should that not be the foundation for a fabulous fiesta?
And even though when walking through the FASoS Faculty, with the Venus sex store and Coffee Shop “Club 69” right across the street, you feel as though you are strutting through hipster central in Berlin, however those vibes do not go much further than the faculty itself. In reality, the hipsters of Maastricht are the ones with the man buns, and the party scene stays within the walls of the library. However, for the more adventure-seeking students, the occasional night out consists of multiple stages.
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Typically speaking, all events in Maastricht are known several days if not weeks in advance, therefore all plans are usually those of the forced kind. Let’s take “Double Trouble” for example. Everyone knows that this diverse event of multiple DJs in the same venue takes place regularly. And even though, one could calculate the date of Double Trouble easily, it is just as fulfilling to anxiously await the Facebook event with anticipation. If we are really honest, everyone loves the fact that the abandoned warehouse vibes of the Muziekgieterij bring us back to the Hippie vibes found at UCM.
8:30 am Tutorial
When deciding whether or not to actually leave the books behind and enjoy one night of freedom, usually the answer is: “I have tutorial at 8:30 am tomorrow.”
To this there are two solutions or even opportunities that present themselves. Firstly, you could decide to be responsible, study and pretend to be grown up. Or you adapt. Meaning, you learn how to learn when you are hung-over. Worst case scenario you consciously decide to be a border-liner with a steady grade of 5.5 or you redo the course next year. If we adhere to the latter, we are able to move to the third stage of an “occasional” night out.
Let’s get BUZZED
Arriving at the holy doors of Aldi, the two Euro wine usually saves most students from a hefty debt, quantity over does quality in this case. You can already feel the headache of tomorrow with the first sip. For those of us that missed the 7pm deadline of Aldi, the night shop is always a promising option for a beer or more on the road.
“Who lives here?”
Whilst drinking for the sake of drinking, one of your friends receives the enlightened text: “House party.” Usually this message comes from a friend of a friend of friends, but because of Maastricht’s size you end up knowing half of the people there anyway, which works out in your favor or not. Upon arrival, both groups are too trashed to care and social networking takes its toll. If you are lucky, the house party ends up being better than most clubs in Maastricht. And, if you are very lucky, the Politie on bikes roll in around 4 am, exceeding almost all opening hours of downtown Maastricht.
However, in the instances that the House party does get “shut-down” before 1 am, if you can call four Politie on bikes that omnipotent, Il Cavo presents itself as an alternative. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by a senior bouncer who stands in front of a door, which you would never notice during the day. If you are lucky enough to make it down the stairs without falling, behind this door lurks the first steps to a prominent night life in Maastricht. One can laugh and dance away all the sorrows of what turn the night will take, and where the party will continue next.
De Last Resort De Alla
We can all agree that De Alla gives some kind of unification and feeling of togetherness in Maastricht. All desperate to continue the festivities meet there. You have already decided to either skip that 8:30 am tutorial or brush your teeth with a bottle of Jack and survive until 10:30am. De Alla is for the survivors. Even though you have to pass through sketchy metal detectors or bribe the occasional bouncer, once inside you meet all sorts of personas and probably your best friend who you lost three hours ago. From Ralph Lauren law students to black eyed techno-lovers. Once you pass the stage of vomiting your guts out in front of De Alla, I think it is safe to say, you can call Maastricht your home.
You would think that Maastricht has a strong foundation for a glamorous night life. If we take into consideration, that every second person you meet is an aspiring DJ. Medicine students who you normally never see or hear and reside on the other side of the bridge, but are willing to supply party favors for all those in need, and the famous SBE students who could probably support the Bouncer’s whole family with their pocket money, then you would think that this town has the potential to become the next city that never sleeps. But wrong. Sadly, reality strikes here, the library seems to be open longer than most of the clubs and the Politie rolls in fairly early most nights due to complaining neighbors.
Of course, alternative places exist and often give a refreshing insight on the night scene in Maastricht, like the LBB or Food Bank, which give more of a calm atmosphere. You would think that because of all the cultural diversity in Maastricht there is a high tolerance of everyone and everything. This noticeably does not apply to some students however, who have to disguise to enter the Food Bank on Fridays. Sad but true.
If we take into consideration the Maastricht Syndrome and the Maastricht Paradox, it appears there is no hope. All jokes aside, we are striving for a brighter future. Until then, see you in De Alla.