If there was no super-urgent need to do so, I never used to go outside when it was raining, not even to go somewhere by car. But my behaviour has changed since I came to the Netherlands two years ago.
Once, when I was still new here, I was really in a hurry to get to class. I had not paid much attention to the weather forecast, not being in the habit of doing so back home. Outside, I found it had just started raining so I went back for my umbrella. I wasn’t happy as I hate the long wait for the elevator to reach the 19th floor. Once I had my umbrella I grabbed my bike, but I soon discovered it is hard to ride a bike and hold an umbrella at the same time. To make it more dangerous, there was a strong wind which almost blew me off my bike.
Learning from this experience, I decided to wear my raincoat next time. I felt a bit silly in it because it is a colourful poncho with polka dots. It is also hard to take off and when I got to the university I felt embarrassed being watched as I struggled.
At the same time I noticed that many Dutch people were simply ignoring the rain, casually cycling through it. Compared to my complicated way of dealing with rain, this looked really easy. And I even live close to campus. It made me wonder: why am I so afraid to get wet?
Fitria Rizkyka, an MSc student of Food Technology, from Indonesia
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NL: Welke regen?
Niet naar buiten in de regen als het niet per se hoeft. Dat was lange tijd een van Fitria Rizkyka’s leefregels. En als het dan echt moest, wapende ze zichzelf met een paraplu of poncho. Maar in Wageningen heeft ze geleerd dat je ook een heel andere relatie met neerslag kunt hebben. Het viel haar op dat veel Nederlanders de buien simpelweg negeerden. ‘Vergeleken met mijn ingewikkelde omgang met regen, ziet het er heel gemakkelijk uit. Dus waarom ben ik eigenlijk zo bang om nat te worden?’