A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I think one good thing about the climate here is that it’s never too cold or never too hot. I mean, I’m from a country where in the summer it can plummet over 40 degrees Celsius and spent 4 years living in another country where in the winter it can drop below minus 30 degrees, so I have to say Leiden’s weather is fairly benign to me. Except for the wind, but we can talk about that in other occasions.
That said, I still feel like summer here is missing the point because there’s absolutely no need for air-conditioner and I still use my blanket at night. Last summer I toured around Europe and when I came back to Leiden, it was chilly. I should actually appreciate that, but somehow I did wish if it could be a bit hotter because I didn’t get to wear my pretty summer clothes, like shorts and dresses, at all. It was chilly like that. But of course, it’s a whole different story for the Dutch.
One lesson that I’ll never learn here is ‘never trust the Dutch to figure out what to wear.’ If you have a window overlooking a pedestrian street, you probably often look out to see what those people walking outdoor wear so that you’ll have an idea of what the weather is like and dress accordingly. But here, don’t. If anything, the Dutch is completely obsessed with sunshine, and I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what the weather is actually like, as long as it’s sunny, they will take off as much clothes as possible. I was “cheated” so many times, but I couldn’t help it. Think about it, the sun is gorgeous out there and everyone’s wearing short-sleeves, so why shouldn’t I?
That’s another lesson that I’ll never learn. Blue sky and sunshine do not mean it’s warm, and gloomy does not mean it’s freezing either. Very much often it’s the opposite. Certainly it’s not something that happens only in the Netherlands, still, to me it makes my Dutch experience very unique 😛 Dressing for the weather here is quite tricky, but don’t hesitate to bring out the fashionista in you!