Nieuws - 10 september 2018

Blog: How I made peace with the turbulent Dutch weather

Kaavya Raveendran

One would expect that, after one year in the Netherlands, blogger Kaavya Raveendran would have aced the art of gaining control of the weather. But no. ‘I still remember entering my lecture hall drenched from head to toe.’

© Sven Menschel

Soon after my lectures began, I was concentrating mainly on adjusting to the Dutch education system as it was unique and hard to crack. Little did I know then that it was not the only code that was hard to crack. I am referring to the turbulent and moody Dutch weather, as predicting this weather or its patterns is next to impossible. Since I come from a tropical country, I was used to knowing the pattern and being well prepared to tackle it.

I thought I was secure in an iron armour as I equipped myself with adequate weather forecast information through various supporting apps and Google searches. But the Dutch weather failed me every time I thought I had it under control. That’s when I realised that this was a war I wouldn’t win easily. Metaphorically, one could imagine me at the rodeo, trying to gain control over the weather, which was like a ferocious bull: angry and ready to attack. With time, that is – one year down the line, one would expect that I would have aced the art. But no, as it turns out, it is as difficult as finding the secret of the Bermuda triangle. Hence, I decided to make peace with it rather than trying to fight it and ultimately fail.

You would think a raincoat would do the magic of keeping you dry.

Most importantly, there are two weathers I would like to talk about: the rain and the winters; my encounter with the rains being more interesting. As much as I love to cycle to the University daily, I hate doing it in the pouring rain with the wind blowing against my motion. I wake up nice and bright to get ready with a nice outfit and my best smile to start my day. But the 4-km bike journey to the University snatches both away as I turn from a beauty into a beast. I still remember entering my lecture hall drenched from head to toe. My hair ruined and jeans soaking, as I had to spend the rest of the day with slight shivers running down my spine. You would think a raincoat would do the magic of keeping you dry. But the wind blows your cap away and the needle-like rain drops trickle into your coat in the sneakiest ways possible. The good side of it, though, is you get to see the beautiful rainbow, sometimes even two at the same time.

Short days
The winters, however, can be typically defined by short days. And when I say short I mean really short. On a busy working day, there are chances that you won't even get to see the sun. I remember how gloomy it made me to wake up to darkness every day. Having had the really long and exciting days during the summer, I understood that the sun is trying to strike a balance of its presence. Hence, I decided to cut it some slack. But then there was a beautiful turn of events, when one day after writing my exam, as I looked outside the window, I witnessed the snow falling. Day by day, as the thickness of the snow increased, so did my love for winters. Wageningen gave me my first snow. From playing with my friends to making ugly snowmen – I did it all. Hoping that my craftsmanship of building snowmen will improve over the next winters, I bid farewell to that magnificent snowy winter with a heavy heart.