Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wetter by weather

Just the other day I was wondering how funny it is that Dutch people are always toting around their jackets. Even on lovely warm summer days. Because here in the temperate climate, the weather is unreliable. The morning dew drops might sparkle and burn away in the rising sun, but after a day of work the clouds will have creeped in and are pouring themselves out right when you go home.
And as such, we have trained ourselves to always have a jacket with us.

A record breaking drought that's been going on for weeks? Doesn't matter, jacket.

On vacation in Egypt? Doesn't matter, jacket.

Travelling by car to an inside destination? Doesn't matter! Jacket!

It's simply the norm, one always has a jacket with them. Some tie it around their waist, stuff it in their bag, hang it over their arms or just dump it on the ground in a corner. Because not having a jacket means you could be cold at some point. And then you'll regret it, wistfully thinking of the coat you left at home.

Me and a friend wearing our
sweaters around our waist during a hike.

You might be utterly convinced, that the heatwave that has been torturing our country and makes you melt like butter in a desert, will surely keep you warm enough at night. It might, but then it rains. Now you are wet. Now the wind will start blowing. Now you are cold. If only you had your... jacket.

When I am in Florida, or Alabama for that matter (because that's where I spent the majority of my time with Michael) I always carry a sweater around. At the start I actually brought my jacket to places. But Michael soon taught me the weather in the South is quite predictable, and to be honest,  is Florida EVER cold enough for a jacket?

But I have to bring back-up clothing to keep me warm and/or dry no matter what. I am simply unable to go out in the "wild" without AT LEAST a sweater. If I don't bring one, my whole day will be one of regret. The air-conditioned shops and buildings are often a tad too cold for me. Having a sweater with me, gives me the option, the possibility, to do something about that. Would I have left my warmer clothing at home, I'd be wishing for it the whole time through. Being absolutely sure that I would most definitely be more comfortable if I had an extra piece of clothing.

So I was wondering this the other day. Then 2 days ago, I had my coat with me like always. Even though the weather has been incredible lovely the last 4 days, and not a drop of rain had fallen. All days my coat has been with me at all times, and not once had it been used. Not even at night.

As it was however, I got onto my bike and 3 minutes in, thunder erupted in the skies, echoing on all the buildings around me. Loud and close by. Then a silence, like the world is inhaling. For a few seconds the earth seems to be waiting. And then, the rain came down like a waterfall in spring. Interspersed with hail. So intense that the water was obscuring my vision and I was wiping furiously at my eyes to try and see anything. Now you are thinking, WOW, good thing Doni had her jacket with her!

All that carrying around my jacket and then when it finally rains, I get to actually use it. Reward myself for being so diligent about it.

Well.

I cycled in that almost tropical storm for 15 minutes - which was actually fun! - and by the time I got to work I was soaked through and through. My shoes were wet. Socks were wet. My pants seemed to be a darker shade green, so wet were there. And my jacket? The rain was so bad my jacket was completely saturated with water, and my shirt underneath even got wet THROUGH my coat. Water was forming puddles at my feet.

Good thing I had that jacket. I wouldn't have wanted to get wet. Wait what?
Oh right...





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