Why it’s not always bad to not know what will happen next?
Not an year back, I was obsessed with Job applications, I had sent over a thousand applications in just over 6 months to various Industries, Companies and Universities (It was probably needed), Attended many tests and few Interviews. Finally! Ghent, A place to stay after a long journey of short spurts of stays. The first time I heard about Ghent was when I got a call for an interview to work as a Research assistant at the University of Ghent. Which is funny, because I never remembered sending an application to the University (It was at a time when I was sending at-least 10 job applications every day). The person on the phone ( My current boss) told me that I was one of their top candidates (never had anyone say this before haha) and before he could continue I abruptly stopped him and told him that I had to talk later because I was at the visa office and asked him to call me after an hour (I think I freaked out a bit). Meanwhile I went and did an email search of all the applications I had sent and I was not sure if I heard the person say ‘ Ghent ‘ or ‘ Kent ‘ , because I had applied to both the Universities (damn!). The same person called me exactly an hour later and asked me to come to Ghent to give a presentation on my Master’s thesis. They did not know that I was in the visa office applying for a visa to visit Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain. I was quite happy that I was asked to come to Belgium during a time when I would be there and I replied saying that I would be there and asked them to send me more information to my email address.
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I was busy planning the trip for the next few days that I never replied to his email (for 15 days!) , it was only when I was in Düsseldorf that I realised that i have not replied yet and luckily I still had the number on my call log (My phone stores logs upto 15 days), I decided to use one of the pay telephones by the road side to make a call, I told them that I would be there on a particular date and I cut the call immediately because I did not have spare euros for the pay telephone. Part of me was still not sure about the job as I could not see myself doing research at that time. I was all into start-ups and getting into the industry, but there was always a different story (Never could predict my last four years correctly). We were on the trip from Düsseldorf to Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
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During the last day of our trip at Rotterdam, we were out on the streets trying to find a terrace and I was quite obsessed with finding a terrace at that hour ( I read it on the map, it had to be there somewhere!). After walking along the coast repeatedly we found one bar by the coast that was open and we decided to ask the bartender if he knows about this place with the terrace. The bartender welcomed us and was extremely kind like most of the people we met on the trip so far, He came all the way out to explain the directions to a possible terrace that was nearby. Before we left, he added that we could join him for a drink if we could not find this magical terrace (Most of the magic was made up in my head). As we started to walk a bit, we decided to go back to join the bartender at his bar, we laughed and he remarked that we came back quite fast. As we were sitting at the bar, he asked each of us our names and our plans for the trip. He suggested us to have the Belgian beer La Chouffe, it had quite a taste. My friend told the bartender that I will be going to Ghent for an interview, But we never heard of Ghent, and we were not sure if the place was worth staying over and exploring. The Bartender talked over to a girl at the bar in Dutch and before I knew this girl was sitting next to me and she introduced herself and told that she went to Ghent University. She looked extremely happy to talk about Ghent, She had just finished her studies there and moved back to Rotterdam. She talked about how much she missed the place and gave me a few suggestions about the places to visit in Ghent. We were sold. We were going to Ghent and see what it was all about.
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It felt a bit like it was meant to be.
We were in Ghent around 11 in the morning, it was a long walk from the Megabus station to the city. We just managed to catch some sleep in the bus and I was wearing a suit, but that was about it. I could not see if my hair was alright or if I was looking too sleepy. I decided to go to the Interview right away, while my friends crashed at the hostel (Backstay hostel), not far from the University building. The building was pretty old and now I know that it used to be a factory once. So I gave my interview and it went well I thought, But I have felt this way before and it never was for good. I was given tips about places to visit and a map and I was on my way to explore Ghent for that night, It was the best city we visited in Belgium during that trip ( and we were going to miss it!). By the time I was in Barcelona at Montjuic, I got an email stating that I was their best candidate and that I got the job. Well, after a long duration (4 months) of paperwork, I started working at the Ghent University from February this year(2015).
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It just feels weird and awesome to know that you are somewhere you never imagined to be and that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes all you have to do is give the numbers a chance (Make all the effort) and before you know you are looking at the next big thing.
Have you ever wondered what will happen next?