"Love blossomed over a game of cards in the PUF Café"
Many loves have their origins on campus, though not all of them last. Some campus couples are still together to this day. Towards the university's 100th anniversary, we collect their love stories. How it actually began they don’t exactly remember. But they found love at Tilburg University, that much is clear. Ed (50) and Kyra Goos (51) tell about their time at university and about the places where life has taken them over the years. Spoiler alert: to Sweden and Czechia!
Ed and Kyra both started studying in 1992. Kyra studied Language and Literature at the Faculty of Arts, Ed studied Economics. “We had discovered the student café, PUF (Pluriforme Uitspannings Faciliteit, “multiform catering facility”). It was a place for students to go to for a game of darts, pinball, table football, or cards while enjoying a drink and some music,” Ed explains. Kyra adds: “It was the best place on campus. At the end of 1993, Ed and I met there, over a game of cards.”
First date on the beach
What started as a warm friendship grew into a romantic relationship. But that took quite a bit of time. Kyra: “We usually met in groups because you could only play klaverjas with four people. We also met the other players outside PUF. In 1995, we were going to spend a day at the seaside but everyone cancelled. It was just Ed and me. We went anyway and then we clicked. We had our first kiss in the surf.”
We did one of the two student houses up so it became a home, and the two of us started living there
From the parental home to Tilburg
During their studies, Kyra and Ed lived in digs in Tilburg. Kyra from the very beginning because she had to: her parents lived on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee. Ed continued to live with his parents in Rijen in his first year, and then “had” to move out. “Both my parents and I found it was high time,” he laughs. “In 1993, my dad bought a house and I moved in with three other students. Two years later he bought another house, close to the one where I was living. Kyra and I were already dating then. She moved into that other house.”
Kyra and Ed have good memories of their student days. They enjoyed living in Tilburg, so they stayed on after graduation. Ed: “We did one of the two student houses up so it became a home, and the two of us started living there. Later we bought our own home in Tilburg.”
We had both been raised in a village and had had enough of city life for a while. So we looked for a quiet place to live.
At the end of 2004, the couple moved to Diessen. They married and had two children, a son and a daughter. Kyra worked in education, first teaching Dutch in a high school, later at Inholland University of Applied Sciences, and after that at Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Ed worked in accountancy for a while and then for credit insurance company Allianz Trade. “We had both been raised in a village and had had enough of city life for a while. So we looked for a quiet place to live,” says Kyra.
Swedish and Czech adventures
They enjoyed the peace and quiet, but all the same they were more than ready for an adventure when Ed was asked to lead a project in Sweden in 2012. “We had been to Sweden before, on holiday. I liked the country, and I wanted to live there for a while,” Kyra remembers. Ed continues: “It was rather unexpected and the children were quite small. So I left immediately while Kyra and the children finished the school year. I flew home every weekend to see them. Not very sustainable, but enjoyed spending time with my family.”
Ed and Kyra took an integration course, the children went to an international school. “Fortunately, Swedish is the easiest language to learn if you are a Dutch native,” Ed explains. “The children never complained, and we really enjoyed living in Sweden. It is a beautiful and well organized country with pleasant people.” In 2015, a new adventure was in the offing: a move to Czechia, again because Ed’s work took him there. “That was quite a culture shock for us. In Czechia, things are not so well organized. But the children were very happy there. In Sweden, I taught language classes and I was president of the Dutch School in Stockholm. In Czechia, I decided to start up my own business and teach language and music. I created my own challenge as it were,” Kyra says.
I don't rule out the possibility of the two of us going abroad someday
Three years ago the family returned to the Netherlands. They had held on to their Dutch home all that time to have a place to go back to but, once they were back, they sold it and bought a home in Best. Kyra: “Our children had become so English-oriented that we wanted to live close to an international school.” Ed commuted between ’s-Hertogenbosch and Brussels, where he is working now. He even has an apartment in Brussels. And Kyra is working at Fontys again.
If Ed should ever be sent abroad again, Kyra and the children – now aged seventeen and fourteen – will stay in the Netherlands. “They have built their lives here now. And Europe is not that big, traveling is easy, and video calls are a good way to keep in touch. But I don't rule out the possibility of the two of us going abroad someday. Sweden is a place that both would like to return to. I can see us growing old there.”
Date of publication: 20 December 2023