The 10 things they don’t tell you about Groningen

1.    Not all eierballen (eggballs, Scotch eggs) are vegetarian. Groningen’s pride, the eierbal, even has its own festival where you can taste a lot of different flavours. Even though the main ingredient is an egg, some eierballen are not vegetarian. Just so you know.

2.    All bikers cross at crossroads at the same time. This happens only in Groningen and even confuses Dutchies from other cities. There are no rules, because everyone gets a green light. It’s just a matter of going.

3.    Beer isn’t cheap.

4.    The bars don’t close. If you want to party from five straight after work until eight in the morning, the closing times of the bars won’t stop you. It’s as if time doesn’t exist when you’re going out in Groningen.

5.    We’ve got earthquakes too. You probably won’t notice, but the houses bear the brunt. Some walls break and home owners aren’t happy, because the earthquakes are the result of  gas drilling.

6.    Your dealer sits next to you in the lecture room. Drugs are everywhere and students sell them as well. This doesn’t mean they’re not acing their studies.

7.    Urinals come out of the ground at night. If you don’t go out much, you probably haven’t noticed. When it gets dark, urinals sprout like mushrooms throughout the city.

8.    Student societies are quite alright. You mostly hear all the horror stories, but the societies are super nice. Also, there are a lot of them, so there may actually be one you like. Try one out.

9.    Buying a bike from a homeless person isn’t stealing, it’s part of the cycle. Everybody gets their bike stolen at least once. You can’t do anything about it and you’d better not buy a fancy new bike. Best to buy another stolen bike instead, right? Well, it’s one way to look at it…

10. Groningen has the largest student introduction week in Europe. You may not have attended the Keiweek before you started studying, but luckily this week is a yearly event. It’s also nice to join when you’re already studying here, because it’s open for everyone. It’s the best place to meet people and find a new room.

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