Being back in Amsterdam feels like a party.
All right, the first days we suffered, a bit. Because of the weather. The transition from 40 degrees to almost zero (at least that is how it felt) was too big to be comfortable. Instantly we felt we had to go to the gym instead of being able to go for a run outside. There I realised I have neglected to work out my upper body and arms. While working out on the rowing machine I felt how flabby my arms were. Not to mention the muscles in my belly. A valuable learning experience for the planning of my workout for our next trip.
And suddenly we had to spend most of the day inside. Instead of sitting in the garden to work, or going for a walk at the end of the day, we found ourselves inside, glued to the radiator, trying to get and keep warm.
But now, since the weather has changed, all has changed. Like every spring, once it became a bit warmer, it’s like everyone is outside most of the time. Most probably also felt like they’d been locked indoors during the cold weather, and for a lot longer than us.
People are busy in their gardens and cleaning their balconies. Squares are full of people having lunch, parks and beaches are used for sunbathing and barbeques. And the whole day long, you see people walking, jogging, cycling, or traveling in boats.
It’s like everybody has been waiting for this moment. And once it is there, there is no stopping. Trains, roads and waterways are busy, with people looking for places to enjoy the sun with a picnic or a drink. Facebook pages are filled with pictures of friends having breakfast or barbeques in sunlit balconies and gardens.
And the same applies to us. Like everyone else, we go outside as much as possible. Windows and doors are open all day to enjoy the fresh air. We try to work outside as much as we can, or go for runs, long walks, and bicycle rides, together or with family and friends.
While in Thailand, most people were shying away from the sun and the heat. Here almost everyone seems eager to be outside, walk, cycle or run, and enjoy the sunshine as much as they can.
But here, in northern Europe at least, in these first few sunny days of the year, it always feels like one big party. Rejoicing the days when the sun has finally arrived.
It’s great to live in a country with great weather all year round, but it’s very special to be able to celebrate brighter days.
Although we dreaded coming back to the cold weather when we saw the forecasts, it’s been great to see the contrast from those first days we were back, when the streets and parks were still deserted. Now that the sun is there, everybody is out and about. And, like everyone else, we’re going to enjoy it. While we can