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The first snow

In the Netherlands, we’re used to all kinds of weather. Our summers can be both wet and cold or awfully hot and dry as your average desert. Our autumn this year, however, is one of a kind. Earlier this month, we (nearly?) broke a heat record for the month November, and last Friday, snow set in.

Snow in a developed, Western country like the Netherlands? Apparently a big problem. A total traffic jam length of 800 kilometres, power-outs in parts of the country (Mark, you were lucky) and many many complainers was the result of a bit of snow. The lights in our home were pulsating because they needed our power elsewhere. Cycling was a very silly experience, as you either didn’t move at all while trying to move rapidly or moved much more than you intended. Cars experienced this same issue, judging by the speed they passed our house.

The contrast is particularly lovely: adults groan, children play. Winter’s coming, people!


  1. Hahahah I’m sorry Rob, the actual developed bit of the Netherlands had no problems at all!

  2. Yes, I was lucky. Haaksbergen, bit more than 10 km away from here (not that I know, just a guess) has been without power since Friday. Not sure if it has been restored today, but it certainly wasn’t last night.

  3. Hayo, how wrong you are. Most of the traffic jams were in the Randstad. That’s definitely where you reside.

    Mark, their power’s supposed to be back in an hour from now, if I heard correctly.

  4. Heh, sorry to hear about that. I’m impressed you weren’t worried about your computer, and were able to post this.

  5. I was referring to blackouts, rob ;)

  6. Hayo, get lost. At least we had snow!

    The latest word is that buildings with large, flat roofs are on the verge of collapsing here in Enschede. This clearly must be one of the biggest snowstorms in years! (Only lived here since August, so what do I know :P)

  7. Living only a couple kilometers from Amsterdam and working in Leiden, I can only say I haven’t experienced any problems at all either. I had no problems going home by train from Leiden to Hooffdorp and then the bus to Uithoorn.

    It was snowing heavily at 4AM saturday night though, but it was too warm for it to remain.

    I was talking to my grandmother who went down to the east of the country this morning and she told me how weird it is to see it changes from a clean landscape to so much snow down there. So weird to hear about the chaos in the east of the country :-)

  8. down there? Hey, it’s the east, not some set-back part of the country ;-)

    (P.S. Rob, just noticed the URI of my posts above was wrong, could you fix it? “http;” instead of “http:”)

  9. Let me use this festive moment and state that I love the Netherlands and the Dutch people :) For all those who are not from the Netherlands or from Germany - our relationship usually is somewhat special ;) Seriously, always enjoy being in the Netherlands, and I got to know lots of friendly and special people there.

    Well, to return to the topic: You were affected by the same problems our folks in North Rhine-Westphalia had, right? In Munich, there was a snow as well, but not as a real issue. Best regards from there!

  10. Mark, ah yes, it’s so easy to forget you guys are now connected to the internets.. ;-)

    I kid, I kid. Don’t hurt me. I am only 13!

  11. Hm, .. actually, I wrote exactly the same on my website. :) I think it’s a bit stupid that public life comes to a halt, because of a bit of snow, especially compared to countries like Sweden.

  12. Haha, snow! Who was in Russia? You don’t see SNOW :)

  13. Will visit Netherlands, Amsterdam at NewYear’s days, hope snow still be there :)

  14. Hah! You think the Netherlands can’t handle a bit of snow? They’re doing fine usually, compared to, say, Greece. When I was there even the tiniest bit of snow resulted in complete chaos. And yes, Greece does get snow in winter - remember there’s loads of mountains around...

  15. And please wrap another stripslashes around your comments, thanks.

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