(if you’re under 16, you’re reading this at your own risk)

Tonight I woke up around 4 am. Other nights I refuse to look at the time but it’s always about and around the same time.

School started a month ago. I study in Ghent and as I love the beautiful city on itself, lots has changed from when I started studying.

About 4 years ago, I loved the then so called freedom. Going out every week, eating chips for dinner, not doing much for school during the week and that without my parents complaining every step of the way. Heaven.

Except for when exams come up, that’s when my parents catch up with complaining.

Never thought I’d say it but I miss home during the week. In Belgium most of us are in student housing from Monday to Friday and we go home for the weekend to drop off laundry … and see our family of course. I probably miss home more than usual cause I am going through a break up as well and I need more people around. Most of all I miss home cause I’ve been deprived of my sleep. Oewh just thinking about my bed at home makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Ok, so here’s my problem. My lovely neighbour lures girls from the famous ‘Overpoort’ to his room. His room is next to mine. I can tell you that every girl he brings over is a different girl. I’m not a 100 per cent sure cause I wasn’t able to do qualitative research but I was able to observe (without informed consent though).

Never the same girl/boy twice, right? How do I know? I can hear them say in the hallway ‘is this your room?’ – eum no, it’s my girlfriend’s. Couldn’t care less, but I do care cause I love love love sleep.

One of last weeks scenarios was them having sex (the bed squeaks and the walls are extremely thin), him or her stumbling out of bed – puking in the sink – only to resume what they’ve started.

You see where I’m going with this?

As I said before, I love my sleep a lot. I get grumpy and emotional when I’ve been deprived from it more than once a week. As a first year I would’ve never said anything. Though I can’t really say cause it’s never been this bad. Nonetheless I’m no first year anymore and I’m certainly not one to keep my mouth shut.

One night I knocked on his door, hit my neighbours’ wall, laughed my head off with my sister during the night (to make a point to my sexually active neighbour) and yelled in the hallway ‘put your mattress on the fucking ground’.

Another time I actually spoke to him saying I’m very happy he’s exploring sex so much but I prefer not to hear it and asked him nicely (this time) to put his mattress on the ground. His face all red. If he would only feel that ashamed to never have sex again at 4 am in the room next to me.

This week on the other hand my lovely neighbour took my advice to heart and put his mattress on the ground. It sounded more like he was moving around his room instead of taking his mattress off his bed at 4 am. In my opinion, he could’ve left the mattress on the bed since he still woke me up. But … this week they didn’t even like the bed cause the walls were literally shaking.

condom

Most of all I hope they’re using a condom (the responsible adult that I am) and that the guy isn’t too selfish and not only takes but gives as well. As far as I could hear there wasn’t much to give.

I’m also wearing earplugs and I’m still hearing aaaaaall of this. I could just join them, I guess. I bet he wouldn’t mind but I’m not much of a threesome kind of girl.

So, what’s my point? That I wish the walls were better isolated, that I wish he wanted to save his first time for the night before his wedding (or is it after?) and most of all I wish he considered everyone on his floor + the person sleeping a floor under him.

Yes, Ghent changed for me. I no longer like the ‘Overpoort’ where disgusting guys grab your ass (or anything else for that matter) as if it is their right, I miss the spontaneity with friends and I miss the light-heartedness (and sometimes the ignorance) that was there when I was 18.

Yet Ghent still captivates me with its charm at night. The street lanterns that light up along the water when it gets dark, the lovely and cosy coffee places (for hot chocolates), the little book places, the cobblestone roads that hurt my butt while biking and most of all the anonymity the ‘big city’ guarantees you.

I started typing this at 4.08 am, now it’s 5.17 am. They fell asleep. I’m cautious though, cause they might pick up where they left off. I’ve had that before.

Written 19/10.