Life in The Netherlands – Weather

RO: Ori de cate ori vorbim cu un olandez, primim intrebarea sincera si transanta: “dar de ce, de ce Olanda?!”. Indiferent ce le raspundem, primul lor contra argument este VREMEA. In special vremea din sezonul rece, cand ploua mult, umezeala este cumplita, bate vantul si este frig. Si cum olandezii sunt vesnic in cautare de taramuri mai insorite si mai calde (chiar si proprietarii casei in care locuim acum sunt plecati in Australia pentru sase luni, ca sa scape de iarna olandeza – care da, dureaza pana spre finalul primaverii hahaha), le este greu sa inteleaga de ce oamenii prefera tara lor cand vine vorba de mutat πŸ™‚ Si intr-adevar, oricand inafara verii (cand Olanda chiar pare sa fie o alta tara) vremea este capricioasa, apasatoare si parca indeamna la hibernare (ceea ce olandezilor oricum le place in mod deosebit :D). Si poate ca nu ar fi totul despre ploaie, insa ce este in general deranjant este faptul ca poti avea trei anotimpuri intr-o singura zi si asta pentru ca vremea este extrem de imprevizibila. Ploua, bate vantul, se porneste o furtuna, ploua iar, ninge sau uneori chiar toate in acelasi timp. Dupa doar aproape doua luni de cand ne-am mutat nu putem inca sa spunem ca ne copleseste vremea sau ca este un motiv serios sa ne dorim intoarcerea in Romania (pe care inca o luam in calcul si despre care inca vorbim foarte des), mai ales dupa un noiembrie mult mai bun decat ne asteptam, insa sunt cateva lucruri pe care le-am invatat de cand locuim in Olanda:

EN: Every time we talk to a Dutch person, we get the following direct and honest question: “but why, why The Netherlands?”. No matter what we respond, their first counter argument is THE WEATHER. Especially the weather during cold season, when it rains a lot, the humidity is terrible, it is windy and cold. And considering the fact that the Dutch people are always searching for sunnier and warmer lands (even the owners of the house we’ve living in are now gone to Australia for six months, just to escape from the Dutch winter – which yup, can last until the end of spring hahaha) it is hard for them to understand why people would prefer their country when it comes to moving πŸ™‚ And indeed, anytime except summer (when Netherlands seems to be a totally different country), the weather is fickle, moody and urges to hibernation (which the Dutch people actually love :D). And maybe it’s not all about the rain, what is really annoying is the fact that you can have three seasons in only one day and that’s because the weather is so unpredictable. It rains, it’s windy, it’s stormy, it rains again, it snows or sometimes all at once. After just two months after our move to the Netherlands we still can’t say that the weather overwhelmed us or that this is a valid reason to go back to Romania (although we are considering this and we are talking about it quite often), especially after having such a good November, but there are a couple of things we’ve learned since we live in the Netherlands:
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RO: 1. Sa apreciem soarele
Daca in Romania consideram normala o zi cu soare, aici pare o mana cereasca. Rare sunt zilele in care este soare de dimineata pana seara, asa ca daca aplicatia de prognoza meteo (Buienradar folosim) ne spune ca urmeaza sa avem o zi frumoasa, cu siguranta planificam activitati inafara casei. Si e chiar interesant cum ajungem sa ne bucuram mai mult de niste lucruri atat de marunte ca… soarele :)) Fie el si un soare cu dinti, pe timp de iarna, cand temperaturile sunt scazute si vantul bate cat poate de tare. Insa cumva ne usor sa o facem vazand ca olandezii au un fel aparte de a se bucura chiar si de sezonul rece. Sunt o multime de restaurante cu terase exterioare incalzite (e chiar “a Dutch thing” sa bei o cafea fierbinte, standΒ  infofolit in geaca de iarna la o terasa incalzita).

EN: 1. To appreciate the sun
If in Romania a sunny day was taken for granted, here it seems like a godsend. There are not many sunny days and if the weather forecast app (we use Buienradar) indicates that we will have a nice day, for sure we will plan some activities outside the house. And it is really interesting how we got to enjoy simple things like… having sun :)) No matter if the weather can be deceiving during winter time, when temperatures are low and the wind is blowing quite a lot. But somehow it is easy to enjoy this kind of weather especially when seeing the Dutch people doing it, even in cold season. There are plenty of restaurants with outside heated terraces (actually this is “a Dutch thing” to have a hot coffee while staying at a terrace with the warm jacket on).
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RO: 2. Sa iesim din casa chiar daca ploua, bate frigul si e frig
Chiar daca nu e placut, nu avem de ales πŸ™‚ Simplul fapt ca iesim din casa, pe orice tip de vreme, ne ajuta si pe noi psihic si bineinteles, ii prieste enorm lui Alexei. Ba chiar doarme mult mai bine afara, pe vreme rece si ploioasa, fata de acasa. Cu imbracaminte si incaltaminte potrivita, chiar nu mai pare atat de fioroasa vremea. Ce-i drept insa, am constatat ca mare parte din garderoba este complet inutila si nepractica in Olanda, lucru cu care inca nu am reusit sa ma acomodez. Sunt in stare de negare si refuz (INCA!) sa cumpar haine pur functionale si nu estetice, insa probabil ca va veni si acest moment in curand.

EN: 2. To get out of the house, even if it’s windy and cold
Even if it’s not so convenient, we don’t have a choice πŸ™‚ The simple fact that we go out of the house, on any type of weather, mentally helps us and of course, is extremely beneficial for Alexei. He even sleeps better outside, on cold and rainy weather, compared to sleeping at home. With proper clothing and footwear, the weather is not that fierce anymore. But I have to admit that I realized that most of my clothing is completely useless and unpractical in The Netherlands, and that’s something that I still can’t cope with. I’m in denial mode and I (STILL) refuse to buy purely functional and not esthetical clothes, but most probably I will have to do this soon.
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RO: 3. Sa acceptam vremea asa si cum este iar cand nu mai putem, sa plecam intr-o vacanta la soare πŸ™‚Β 
Sa nu mai ducem dorul celor patru anotimpuri din Romania si sa nu refresh-uim constant aplicatia de vreme, in speranta ca prognoza se va schimba radical si din 100% ploaie vom avea soare si cer senin. Sa acceptam faptul ca vremea in Olanda este foarte neplacuta, in special iarna, si sa nu ne surprinda faptul ca fix cand ne-am facut planuri de umblat si vizitat o zi intreaga avem parte de ploaie, vant sau frig. Sau toate la pachet πŸ™‚ Am facut un mic pact inca dinainte de a ne muta, si anume ca vom alege sa plecam intr-o destinatie calduroasa (chiar si numai pentru un weekend) ori de cate ori ne vom satura de vremea capricioasa din Olanda. Pana acum, la aproape doua luni de la mutare, nu ne-am simtit coplesiti de vreme, insa nu stim daca asta se datoreaza asteptarilor noastre foarte joase in aceasta privinta sau faptului ca nu a fost atat de rau precum am fost avertizati. Insa recunoastem ca intelegem de unde vin acele winter blues despre care vorbesc olandezii πŸ˜€

EN: 3. To accept the weather as it is and when we had enough, to book a weekend getaway to a sunnier destination πŸ™‚
Also we’re learned not to miss the four seasons we had in Romania and to stop constantly refreshing the weather app, hoping that the forecast will suddenly change from 100% chances to rain to having sun and clear skies. To accept the fact that weather in the Netherlands is really unpleasant, especially during winter time and not to be surprised that we’re having wind, rain and cold (or all at the same time) precisely when we planned to stay out and visit an entire day. We made an agreement before we moved here, to book a getaway to a sunnier destionation whenever we will have enough of the Dutch weather. Up until now, at almost two months since our move, we didn’t feel overwhelmed by the weather but this might be thanks to our really low expectations. Or maybe it wasn’t so bad as we’ve been warned it will be. Anyways, we have to admit that we understand now why the Dutch people talk so much about the so called winter blues.
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RO: 4. Sa intelegem ca in Olanda copiii se joaca afara chiar si pe ploaie
Copiii sunt copii, indiferent de vremea de afara πŸ™‚ Iar Olanda este renumita pentru spatiile de joaca pentru copii, interioare dar mai ales exterioare. Sunt peste tot iar copiii se joaca pe orice tip de vreme, fara caciuli, manusi, fulare si fara sapte straturi de imbracaminte. Ceea ce este de apreciat, cu siguranta este extrem de sanatos si benefic pentru copii sa stea atat de mult afara, insa este nevoie de imbracaminte adecvata, urmatoarea lectia invata referitoare la vremea olandeza.

EN: 4. To understand that in The Netherlands children are playing outside even when it’s raining
Children are children, no matter the weather πŸ™‚ And the Netherlands is known for the children playgrounds, interior but especially exterior ones. They are everywhere and children play outside on any kind of weather, without hats, gloves, scarves or seven layers of clothing. Which is remarkable indeed, for sure it is extremely healthy and beneficial for children to stay outside so much, but they do need proper clothing. Which is actually our next lesson learned when it comes to Dutch weather.
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RO: 5. Sa alegem imbracaminte potrivita
Iar aici vom avea multe de spus πŸ™‚ Research-ul de imbracaminte adecvata vremii olandeze pentru adulti este complet zero. Pur si simplu nu am avut nici dispozitia necesara, nici bugetul necesar sa ne documentam despre pelerine, jachete impermeabile si cizme de cauciuc πŸ™‚ In schimb ne-am focusat toata energia sa cautam haine potrivite pentru Alexei. Si asta pentru ca inca din primul moment am avut nevoie de imbracamine adecvata vremii. Pentru vremea din Romania as fi recomandat cu incredere hainele de lana, indeosebi overallurile exterioare de lana fleece sau lana fiarta. Aici insa, desi sunt si acestea foarte bune (in special lana fiarta care protejeaza impotriva vantului), au un mare cusur: nu sunt impermeabile. Nu de putine ori am fost nevoita sa nu il las pe Alexei sa se dea intr-un tobogan ud dupa ploaie sau sa se joace intr-o balta. Pentru ca apa patrunde prin lana si prin straturile intermediare si nu voiam sa risc sa raceasca, mai ales dupa sperietura cu imbolnabirea lui inca din prima zi a mutarii. Astfel ca am inceput sa caut produse (in special overalluri) in care sa se poata juca in voie pe ploaie, in balti, la locurile de joaca, fara sa mai fiu nevoita sa il opresc.

EN: 5. To choose proper clothing
And we will have quite a lot to say about this subject πŸ™‚ Our research for adults proper clothing for the weather in the Netherlands is completely zero. We simply didn’t have the proper mood nor the necessary budget to document about raincoats, waterproof jackets or rubber boots πŸ™‚ In exchange, we focused all our energy in finding proper clothes for Alexei. And that’s because we needed such clothes for him from the very first moment. For the weather in Romania I would have always recommended wool clothing, especially the exterior fleece wool or boiled wool overalls. And even though these are also good here, in The Netherlands (especially the boiled wool ones, which are windproof), they have a major flaw: they are not waterproof. Unfortunately there were several ocassions when I couldn’t leave Alexei to play on a wet playground slide or in a waterholes just because he wasn’t wearing waterproof clothes. Water seeps in the wool and through the intermediate layers and I just didn’t want to risk catching a cold, especially after the first days here when he was so ill. So I’ve started looking for products (especially overalls) that he could play and move freely in the rain, in the waterholes, at the playgrounds, without having to stop him.
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RO: De aproape o luna am folosit si testat salopetele impermeabile de la iELM (link aici). iELM este un brand suedez, prezent in foarte multe tari din Europa, o afacere mica de familie care produce hainute pentru cei mici, iar cele mai apreciate produse de pe site-ul lor sunt overallurile pentru ploaie (impermeabile si rezistente la vant). Au niste print-uri dementiale, vesele si colorate, iar pentru vremea olandeza sunt absolut perfecte. Nu sunt foarte groase insa au un start subtire de fleece pe dedesubt, ceea ce le face potrivite pentru toamna si primavara. Pentru temperaturile foarte scazute din timpul iernii cred ca ar trebui un strat exterior mai gros. Sunt usor de imbracat, au fermoar care coboara pe picior (fara nasturi, fara capse), sunt foarte usoare si confortabile. Marimile corespund insa vazandu-l pe Alexei cum se joaca, as spune ca mai potrivita ar fi o marime putin mai mare (Alexei tocmai ce a trecut la masura 86, in general ii este inca putin mare, dar salopeta de la iELM masura 86 ii vine perfect), si asta pentru ca ar fi ideal ca atunci cand se apleaca sau stau pe vine sa nu se intinda foarte mult si sa nu il stranga la gat. Modelul este oricum mai largut, si atat manecile si picioarele au elastice, asa ca o masura putin mai mare nu s-ar vedea urat.

EN: For almost one month we’ve used and tested the waterproof overalls from iELM (link here). iELM is a Swedish brand, present in many countries from Europe, a family run business that produces clothing for our little ones, and their most appreciated products are the softshell overalls (waterproof and windproof). They have some really nice prints, colorful and cheerful, and for the Dutch weather they are simply perfect. They have a thin layer of fleece underneath, which makes them suitable for fall and spring, but for winter and really low temperatures I believe a warmer exterior layer would be needed. They are easy to put them on, they have a zipper that goes down the foot (no buttons, no hooks), they are very lightweight and comfortable. The sizes match the normal sizes but seeing Alexei playing I would say that a bigger size would be more appropriate (Alexei has just started to wear size 86 and in general this is a bit large, but iELM overall size 86 fits perfectly) so that he can bend down or sit on his hams without having the overall bending too much or gathering under the neck. The model is a bit larger anyways, and both the sleeves and the feet have some elastic strip, so a larger size would not look bad.
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RO: Materialul este similar cu neoprenul la exterior, la interior este un strat subtire de fleece iar intre ele o membrana care asigura 100% impermeabilitate. Exista intr-adevar multe produse potrivite pentru sezonul ploios, si noi avem pentru Alexei o pelerina foarte frumoasa si eficienta, insa principala problema pe care o vad la aceasta este faptul ca e mai rigida si nu il lasa se se desfasoare in voie. Salopetele iELM in schimb sunt extrem de usurele si maleabile si nu afecteaza catusi de putin libertatea de miscare in joaca. Le-am testat prin balti si la locurile de joaca si am remarcat ca exista cateva locuri prin care ar putea totusi sa intre apa: la elasticele de la picioare (mai ales pe ploaie sau in joaca prin balti), insa am rezolvat destul de rapid aceasta problema cu niste ghete impermeabile (avem de la Baby Bogs), suficient de inalte cat sa acopere intregul elastic. Apoi elasticele de la mansete se pot uda foarte usor la locurile de joaca, iar pentru acestea nu am gasit inca o solutie (dar nici nu ni s-a intamplat inca sa se ude). Si la imbinarea cusaturilor – nu exista multe cusaturi in salopetele iELM, insa acolo unde sunt, exista riscul sa intre apa. Nu am avut problema aceasta pana acum, insa este posibil sa apara atunci cand copilul sta foarte mult in apa sau zapada (asezat), insa pentru joaca afara, la tobogane, leagane sau banci ude, nu cred ca poate intra apa prin acea cusatura.

EN: The fabric is similar with neoprene on the exterior, the interior has a thin layer of fleece and between them there is a membrane that ensures 100% impermeability. There are lots of products that are suitable for rainy season, we also have a really cool and efficient raincoat for Alexei, but the main problem with it is the fact that it is a bit too rigid and he cannot play freely. iELM overalls are extremely lightweight and flexible and they do not affect his ability to move. We’ve tested them through waterholes and at the playgrounds and we noticed that there are some places where the water could seep in: at the elastic strips from the feet (especially when it rains or when he plays in the waterholes) but we solved this problem quite easily with some waterproof boots (we have some from Baby Bogs), tall enough to cover the entire elastic strip. Then the elastic strips from the sleeves can be easily soaked at the playgrounds, but for these I still don’t have a solution (however, it did not happen yet, so I haven’t seen them soaked wet yet). And also at the seams – there aren’t many seams on iELM overalls but where they are, water could seep in. We didn’t have this problem until now but it is possible to happen when the child is staying too much in the water or snow (sitting) but for playing outside, at the playground slides, swings or benches I don’t think water can seep in through that seam.
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RO: Ce este foarte interesant la aceste salopete este in primul rand gama foarte larga de imprimeuri, apoi faptul ca fiecare salopeta poate fi personalizata cu numele copilului. Initial nu mi s-a parut atat de utila personalizarea, insa apoi am realizat ca la cresa/gradinita, unde au nevoie de foarte multe haine pentru toate tipurile de vreme, este absolut ideala! Nu se pierde, nu se confunda, nu se incurca πŸ™‚ Bineinteles, salopetele pot fi inscriptionate cu orice alt cuvant, nu doar numele copilului, sau chiar si cu diverse simboluri.

EN: What is interesting about these overalls is that they have soooo many prints, then the fact that each overall can be personalized with the name of the child. At first I didn’t find these personalization useful, but then I realized they are great for daycare/kindergarden, where they need clothes for all types of weather. It can’t be lost and it can’t be taken by mistake πŸ™‚ Of course, the overalls can be personalized with any other word, not just the name of the child, even with different symbols.
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RO: Ca sa fiu foarte sincera, salopetele iELM mi s-au parut ideale pana acum si chiar nu ni s-a intamplat sa intre apa (iar vremea din Olanda este un test destul de greu de trecut pentru hainele impermeabile :D) insa ce nu imi place la aceste salopete este gluga. Este nefiresc de mare, ii cade peste ochi, este larga si nu il protejeaza deloc. Ce-i drept, intotdeauna ii pun o cagula care sa ii protejeze de vant atat capul, cat si gatul, deci nu ar fi nevoie de aceasta gluga in mod special, insa imi da batai de cap ori de cate ori o poarta, pentru ca nu vede bine din cauza ei, se agita sa si-o dea la o parte, nu se concentreaza pe mers si de multe ori se impiedica si se poate lovi. Singura solutie gasita este sa ii indoi putin gluga ca sa nu ii mai ajunga pe ochi, insa nu este foarte estetic.

EN: To be honest, iELM overalls seem to be great until now and we didn’t have problems with water seeping in (and the weather in the Netherlands is quite a hard test to pass for waterproof clothing) but there is one thing that I don’t like about these overalls and that’s the hood. It is unusually big, it falls over his eyes, it is large and does not protect him. It is true that I always give him a warm wool hood to protect both his head and neck so he doesn’t need the hood from the overall but every time he wears it I am concerned that he cannot see well, he’s always trying to push it away, he’s not concentrating on walking and he can fall or hurt himself. The only solution that I found is to bend the hood a bit, so that it will not reach his eyes anymore but it’s not quite aesthetic.
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RO: Cat despre instructiunile de spalare, se recomanda spalarea la 40 grade, fara balsam de rufe (este chiar contraindicat) si uscarea naturala (nu in masina de uscat haine). Nu a fost momentan cazul de spalat, chiar daca salopeta pe care a purtat-o Alexei este o culoare deschisa, insa este bine de stiut πŸ™‚ Speram sa fie de folos acest mic review al salopetelor softshell de la iELM, vom actualiza acest articol pe masura ce mai gasim lucruri interesante ce merita mentionate despre ele πŸ™‚

EN: As for the washing instructions, it is recommended to wash the overalls at 40 degrees, without any clothing balm (it is actually mentioned not to use balm) and dry them naturally (not in the dryer). Until now I didn’t have to wash them, even if the overall Alexei is wearing now is a light color, but it is good to know these details πŸ™‚ We hope that this review of the softshell overalls from iELM is useful, and we will update this article as soon as we will find interesting things that are worth mentioning about them πŸ™‚

 

2 thoughts on “Life in The Netherlands – Weather

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