UNIque houses: White Wilma

This old house is a student house for 40 years.
From the left: Mirjam, Lennart, Simon, Hanna and Aranka. Photo: Julia van der Westhuyzen | Text: Coretta Jongeling

There are student houses and there are weird and wonderful student houses. In this feature we visit the latter. This time: White Wilma.

House: White Wilma
Residents: Aranka Kolmas, Hanna Hogenboom, Lennart Sattlegger, Maharshi Thakkar, Matteo Grella, Mirjam Schibler, Simon Fines, Soraya Lamochi, Yoost Raevel, Hummus the cat, and a couple of chickens.
UNIque because: the house is over a century old and has been a student house for 40 years

Hanna: ‘The house is called White Wilma because it is on Wilhelminaweg and is white. The current owner painted it white again when he bought it in 2013; after years of poor maintenance it was more like Grey Wilma.’

Mirjam: ‘Simon has painted a beautiful portrait of Queen Wilhelmina, which is up on the living room wall.’

Simon: ‘I don’t know about beautiful…’

Hanna: ‘Well, I certainly couldn’t do that.’

Simon: ‘Hanna recently did some research on the history of the house.’

Hanna: ‘Yes, it was built in 1911, in 1960 it was a wine shop and it has been a student house since 1981. It has been a vegetarian house for as long as we can remember. But that’s a bit less strict than it was at first.’

Mirjam: ‘In what way?’

Hanna: ‘In the past, no meat was allowed to enter the house, except for the cat.’

Aranka: ‘We eat together almost every day, often extensive, three-course dinners and the like. We share all our vegetables and fruit and things like rice and pasta.’

Simon: ‘Our neighbours are very nice. They play in a band, and we can hear them sometimes. It’s kind of folk, what do you call it? Klezmer?’

Hanna: ‘They used to come over when we had a house party.’

Lennart: ‘For the internationals, it is nice to have contact with the neighbourhood, so you get some idea of the local community.’

Lennart: ‘White Wilma is old and there is always maintenance work to do. You don’t have to be afraid of ruining anything, in fact you can only improve things. There are lots of homemade things in the house, like the cupboards and even the sofa. And Simon has built a pizza oven.’

Aranka: ‘I sometimes wonder what we would do with the house if it was ours.’

Hanna: ‘The door!’

Lennart: ‘Yes, a door from the kitchen into the garden. Now we have to go the long way round all the time.’

Mirjam: ‘And a window in the living room, which is very dark now.’

Lennart: ‘The downside of living in an old house is that it’s badly insulated.’ Aranka: ‘Hm, yes that will be a problem next winter. Can we put a donation link under the article?’

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