Amsterdam

I keep missing the trains I have to catch. And it’s a matter of 1 or 2 minutes most of the time. Note to self, “start 5′ earlier”.

Den Bosch

I missed a train to Utrecht and I arrived there 2 minutes late to catch the train to Eindhoven. Beatriz and Marina were kind enough to wait for the next train with me although i felt really bad to have made them wait. Moving on, as we were on the train to Eindhoven Beatriz had the spontaneous idea to visit the location in Den Bosch. Our train was passing by the station where it is located so it wasn’t much of a delay.
The location normally has two floors but the one was closed so we only got to see one of them. But it was a nice one. There were two things that stood out for me. Firstly there was a continuous weblike design on the walls across the meeting rooms that was kind of telling a story with the names of the rooms and connecting them all together. I like the interior design in every single one of the locations that we have visited. This one was one of the best.

There was also a rather curious object in the room. I would describe it as a piece of readymade art. It’s title was “serendipity machine” and it represents the algorithm that is behind the serendipity machine that is implemented in the Seats2Meet website. The piece of art doesn’t have any lines of code though. It consists of lots of gears and tracks and some small glass balls. It is even functional we were told. You put the balls in on the top and they roll towards the bottom. Then, six wooden “pizza slice” shaped pieces close to form a circle and in the middle there is the outcome. The outcome is random. It either is TSM for “the Serendipity Machine” or STM for “Seats to Meet”. Clever, right? Below you can see Marcel Nicolaas, the owner of the location, and the Serendipity Machine.

Serendipity machine

It’s a shame we didn’t see it in action, but we were too afraid to break something in order to use it. We grabbed a cup of coffee, and in Marina’s case a hot chocolate, and went on to catch the train to Eindhoven… and some Pokemon while waiting for the train.

Eindhoven

Have I ever mentioned I like stuff being made inside old factories? No? Well I do. Firstly because they usually have a really high celling, not many interior walls, they are big and have big windows so they create a feeling of being outside while being inside. Secondly because I don’t like places being deserted. It saddens me when once thriving places fall apart. But I love how people use stuff that is unimportant to others, and with determination, time, effort and craftiness turn it into something living again. It’s kind of like with nature if you see it in a broader perspective. Something dies and something new is born. The circle of life applies to everything I guess. And in order for Society 3.0 to be born, the industrial world has to die. What a poet I am. What a time to be alive. I think I’m getting sidetracked here. The second location…

Is in an old Phillips factory. We had to walk past some graffiti to get there from the Eindhoven S Stripe Station but I really didn’t mind. I won’t describe the place much cause you can see some action of it in this video. What I will do is tell you that the food was amazing and made out of organic Dutch farm products and that this was one of my top 3 favourite locations.

I will also go a step further and share something I realized. All these places’ design and furniture remind me of recently opened cafeterias in Athens. Putting the dots together I tried to think of the people that go to those places and they are mostly students who want to work on group assignments or freelancers that want to work outside of home. Only there is no real interaction. Maybe the idea behind seats2meet is already in Greece and we only need to twist and apply the formula to those kind of places. Or maybe it is something in between. There is a cultural difference between Greece and the Netherlands for sure. If you think about it, it is only reasonable. I think we have to respect that fact as we try to make this project work in Greece. I strongly believe it will benefit both parties.

But those are just thoughts of the top of my head. I’ll give it more organised thought through the weekend and come right back at you with it. Until then think about your career and the meaning of life. (Go and Catch ’em all!)