Early Birds, Unite

by Rosalie Fidder

It is the place where you go if you are out of milk. It is where you meet up with friends for a social lunch or dinner. And, starting November 11th, where you could go for an extra early breakfast. Yes, Dining Hall breakfast is back again.

At the ungodly hour of 08.00, my alarm clock beeps me awake. Today is the big day: Dining Hall is serving breakfast. Rumour has it there will be pancakes, and with that joyous thought in mind, I am able to kiss my bed goodbye and adorn myself with three scarves to prepare for the chilly morning. 

A good thing about breakfast in Dining Hall is the short morning stroll it requires. Sure enough, my limbs are freezing and I get some weird looks from the USE students (apparently they have never seen someone walking around in pink PJs). But at the same time, I am getting some fresh air – the best way to wake my sleepy head.

When I enter DH, I am overwhelmed. It has never been this quiet. The place I associate with laughing people running around with trays full of food and waiting in line for more is nearly empty.There is a Sodexo employee, three early birds at the coffee machine, and me. Once I get used to the silence, I notice something else: there is a radio – yes, DH has a radio! So I am actually able to enjoy the wonderful Dutch music that is being broadcast (surely Dutch heartthrobs Nick en Simoncan make waking up nicer).

Then there is the food – lots of it, and without any queues. Unfortunately, no pancakes or waffleswhatsoever – the person who got my hopes up will be hearing from me very soon. However, there are croissants, chocolate rolls and sponges on bread that pass for ‘omelet’.I take the chocolate roll because, well – chocolate, and move on to the coffee machine. My unit is an empty, lonely place before 10a.m., and, more sadly, a coffeeless place. So I hug my beloved machine in DH and add a load of caffeine and sugar to my morning nutrition – best preparation for any Research in Context lecture. Basically, breakfast is the same as Dining Hall’s lunch minus krokettenand crowds of hungry people, but with the pleasant addition of music!Shame about the lack of pancakes…

According to Keesjan van Spronsen, manager of Dining Hall, Sodexo will serve breakfast beyond the initial three week trial period. They are even thinking about themed mornings, like an English or Dutch breakfast. If the Dutch one does involve pancakes, I will most certainly get myself out of bed before 8 a.m. again.

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