So many things have changed in Tilburg since we first arrived 7 years ago, just before the start of the academic year in 2005. The Midi theater closed, opened and closed again. We went from having zero sushi restaurants to more than 5. Pieter Vreedeplein opened. But, the change that had the biggest effect on our lives must have been the start of TIC in 2008. (Ok maybe the birth of our daughter had a bigger effect on us, but more about that later.) I think I was one of the first University employees to sign up for TIC.
While I made many good friends through the University, I often missed having friends who weren’t economists—they do call it the dismal science for a reason J. So, TIC seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn more about the country I was trying to make my home, to explore the area and most importantly to make new friends. Over the years, I read fascinating (and a few not so fascinating) books with the book club; Water for Elephants was definitely my favorite. But, regardless of how much I liked the book, I could always count on the other members of the book club for a great discussion.
I also attended a lot of borrels; at one point I had been to more borrels than any of the TIC board members. It was always fun to unwind and chat with a small group. In fact, I think the borrels and the New Year’s dinners were the events where I got to know people the best. I learned to make chocolates, sushi, and Christmas cookies. I got to see things that even “echte Tilburgers” never see: like the tour of the Schrobbeler factory, which was definitely my favorite TIC event ever.
Mostly I made great friends! Friends who visited me when I was on bed rest during the last stages of my pregnancy (we even had a book club in my living room since I wasn’t allowed to leave the house) and friends who celebrated the birth of our daughter Callie in December of 2011. Friends that I knew I could count on and always have a good time with. Thank you all for making our time in Tilburg so memorable. Please keep in touch and let us know if you are ever in Southern California!
Katie Carman & Alerk Amin