Is it just me? The city seems happier to me than it was in summer. Maybe because half of Amsterdam residents apparently fled the city this summer, taking advantage of favorable pound and dollar markets over their holidays, which made the yuppie neighborhoods like ghost towns.
But it's not just that all the residents are back snugly in their homes. To me there is a relief that came over the people with the first cool rain and the first chilly evening. As if, finally, their belief that skies must be full of dark clouds was affirmed. The Dutch have a Seize-the-Sun mentality that appears to be genetic. They fill the public parks in droves at the first hint of sunshine. But at the same time, I have never seen a people so resilient in inclement weather. It's perfectly normal to see friends riding their bikes side by side on their way to work or play, talking and smiling as the rain soaks through their hair and splashes up their legs.
And, like the relief of returning to a humble home after a dazzling holiday, they greet the inevitable autumn gloom with a relaxed smile. After all, there is nothing so comforting as the familiar, and they have had centuries to acclimate to what most would label "inclement weather."
For La Naranja, this bodes well, as we sell things that are perfect for getting cosy. I've definitely seen more interest in our wares since the temperatures dropped, and the unique rugs are really getting attention.
We had a fabulous summer this year in Amsterdam, a nice long stretch of idyllic clear skies and mild temperatures, so, as one Dutch acquaintance said to me, "now it's time to pay," a perspective which I find a very sensible.
Then again, if you are paying for your idyllic summer with months of gezillig coziness, then just how steep a payment is it, really?
Do you have a great idea for keeping your thoughts sunny during the Dutch winters? Let me know, and I'll share.