There he stood, strumming his old guitar, as I walked down the escalator at Hoog Catharijne. He wore a bright, green sweater and had a beard down to his chest, and grey hair tied up in a braid at the back of his head. At first, I walked by without stopping. I was on my way to an appointment, but then it hit me. Somehow the softly sung words of the musician’s song reached me, as if they were there just for me. And I stopped. And I listened. It was something about his guitar, that kept me nailed to the ground. The instrument looked old and battered, with chipped varnish on the spots where the musician rested his hands. This guitar had a history, as did its owner. So while I stood there for a few moments, absentmindedly digging up change from my pocket, the man in the green sweater turned at me. He looked me in the eyes and kept singing. When I dropped the change in his guitarcase he thanked me, not interrupting the song. After what seemed forever, the song was finished and I finally came back to my senses. The man stuck out his hand and said, “I’m Viktor, Utrecht’s own troubadour”. “Laura, a student”, I replied. Viktor said he was glad to hear that I was a student, so I wouldn’t end up like him in ten years. That was a funny remark because in my opinion, a degree is not necessarily a garantuee for success. I was moved by the kindness of this man and the quality of his performance that I asked him if he wrote the song himself, but he said: “No, I just ripped it from Acda & De Munnik”.
Moral of this story: It’s better to have borrowed something nice than to have made up something aweful :)