Don’t get me wrong, the Dutch are very personable people. That becomes a whole different story when it comes to the weather though. The weather is a topic often spoken about on a casual basis. Most of the time I’m asked about my thoughts on the weather. I also get “Why are you wearing so many warm things?” It’s because I came from very warm place! If I’m too cold then I leap into my cozy sweatshirts and warm socks. But how much can the Dutch talk about the weather? You’d be surprised.
There’s too much or too little sun
While the Dutch love the sun, there can always be too much of it. See the thing is, few households have air conditioning. Businesses are where they can be found because no one can work if it’s too hot. I can’t explain why having an AC at home is an uncommon thing but it is. The Dutch have invented other ways for staying cool during the warmest months. Sander’s parents have several fans out in the living room during the summer. Most windows are open in the late evenings. Yet there’s a fine line of a good time and a bad time to keep the windows open. The Netherlands is a water based country. What sort of bug thrives on huge, still standing bodies of water? Mosquitos! I was bitten often last summer and I expect the same to happen this year.
The same goes for too little sun. If it’s spring then the flowers don’t bloom. Once the sun comes back the flowers explode out from the soil and die off almost as fast as they came. Spring in The Netherlands can be a delicate time for tourists wanting to see the tulips. One wrong move in mother nature and someone could miss all the flowers for the entire trip.
Sometimes the weather is unpredictable and hard to dress for. We’ve had days where the sun had a major impact on what we wore. In the shade it was freezing and we needed a coat. If the sun was out though, we could be in short sleeves and shorts. This can happen on the same day!
There’s too much rain and wind
The sidewalks are dead when there’s too much rain. Don’t get me started when both rain and wind combine. It’s difficult to keep a hood up when the wind is smacking you in the face. It’s not easy to get around but the Dutch will do it. And you can bet they complain the whole way! Many women have their long locks tied back and out of their faces. Umbrellas are only needed when heavy rain hits but can you imagine heavy rain and wind? Yikes! Plastic ponchos are common during that time. The rain here is frequent but only heavy on rare occasions.
I do need to caution that once the fall hits… The rainy days are frequent. Expect to arrive at your destination completely soaked if you aren’t protected.
Oh and don’t forget those freak summer storms. We get those too. One moment the sun is out and the next is a downpour!
There’s too much snow
While there hasn’t been heavy snowfall here in years, the Dutch complain about it too. The snow makes it difficult to use a bike because of the hidden black ice. While it’s not impossible to ride after a snow, it can be dangerous and caution is advised. I have seen people take their bikes out but honestly, I see more cars used than bikes. The protection system here is quite good though. There are salt distribution vehicles that take many rounds. They distribute salt over the roads so cars can have an easier time. There are also salt deposits where the salt can be taken by the public and used at will. So while there are precautions taken to prevent accidents, it is still not advised to go out.
Of course there are also the Dutch who are content with any weather. Here it is good to be alive and the weather doesn’t matter. If it’s sunny, then go for a walk. If it’s rainy, then go out with an umbrella and rainboots. Regardless of how it is outside, these Dutch are the true warriors of the outdoors.