My Amsterdam winter rant

I don’t swear in Vietnamese but I find it rather acceptable to swear in English. So here it is: It is so freaking cold today. My Lithuanian colleague would disagree with me here. She once said Amsterdam didn’t have a real winter. But by being Vietnamese, I think I have the right to rant whether this is a freaking real winter or not. It was so cold that I couldn’t feel my ears on the way back from work. I suspect that I felt my legs only thanks to cycling. I love cycling but it is much less fun in the winter, especially with the hundred canals around the city. Days get so short that no matter how early I leave work, I’ve got no chance to distinguish the beauty of the canals from the darkness. It is mostly dark when I leave home for work too. So all ones get from those canals are the risk of falling into one and the moisture that comes in the wind. What is worse, this country is so flat that the wind just blows all the way through it. Last Saturday, it was so windy that I didn’t dare to dream of cycling. I know the Dutch still cycles regardless but this is not a competition. I am just a tiny Vietnamese girl who can’t even swim.

Picture this: It’s New Year’s Eve (or early morning New Year’s Day to be precise). It felt like below 0 degree. We were leaving a pub in the Jordaan after quite a few drinks. The Jordaan is literally made up by canals and bridges that go over them. It was so cold and damp despite the tons of fireworks exploded earlier that night. My bf was cycling with me on the back. That 15-minute ride felt like a week. Well, I exaggerated it a bit. My point is that Amsterdam winter is too cold and too windy. Days are too short. Nights are too scary when one has nightmares of falling into a canal. Did I say that there are too many canals? And that I can’t swim?

Man, I think I start repeating myself here. I just feel like a rant can actually do me some good after a hard long day like today. A kind of meditation. My apologies if you love Amsterdam or if you are in a even colder place, like Finland. Don’t get me wrong. I am utterly in love with Amsterdam too. However, there were days when I wish I were in Hanoi, on my scooter to a street selling hot, spicy and tasty snails.

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