21 June 2013

Sun Worship

(Attention: in this entry I attempt to sound like a grown-up.)

It has come to my attention, ever since I first heard the complains from my old host mother back in 2009 in Amsterdam, that the Dutch have followed the footsteps of the many ancient civilizations, sun worship. Back then I was not very ‘into’ the whole sun rage. I mean, here I was, my first ‘cold’ (or fresh) summer and they wanted me to ‘enjoy’ the sun. Sure. It was hard for them to comprehend the why’s behind my sun apprehensions. Soon they believed I was just depressed. And perhaps I was, but for completely different reasons, and certainly none of them would wish me to lose my chance at a ‘cool’ summer. Whereas the only summers I knew were filled with 40C (100F+) temperatures.

After the indubitable fact that the Dutch indeed do worship the sun more than anything (well, orange comes close enough, but then again orange and sun are related, no?), I realized that even if they do enjoy the sun, they do not know how to pay their respects to it. In fashion, that is. Although their BBQ attempts are admirable, as an American I am yet to encounter a worthy of praise Dutch BBQ. But that is for another subject.

Fashion… right. For some time I heard that the Dutch have no sense of fashion. I considered this untrue, at least every winter, until summer. When it’s winter, you see people wearing beautiful coats and accessories. Seldom you see them change or their clothes beneath. Chances are they are wearing their winter sweaters, from which they can own up to two, and repeat their use all through winter. All that matters is the coat, right? I love coats.

In contrast, during summer, they get to wear all those beautiful combinations of (mismatching) colors and fabrics and seeing how short summers in The Netherlands can be, they have to wear it all as soon as possible, all. Specially dresses. It doesn't matter if it’s 7AM or if you go to an event or not, you have to wear the dress that only comes out at certain temperatures, or you never will. I think I have to join them in that sense. I love dresses.

I have never grasped any understanding as of why they insist on wearing jackets though, or what’s worse, coats, (yes coats) during cloudless sunny days with over 25C temperatures. I keep wondering why. Are they too embarrassed of their lack of color in their inner outfit? Did they come across a fashion misfortune and their clothes are ruined? Are they allergic to the sun? (It wouldn't surprise me.) Or are they simply too lazy to choose what to wear properly, and as I learned with winter, the coat is what matters.

Hot days in the trams are something to observe. There will always be that person with weird pants and bright shirts that make your eyes bleed because of the overload of colors. There is the person who will try to hide every inch of their body no matter how warm it is. There is the guy next to you wearing a winter jacket and you can tell he is warm, because the smell is indescribable. Why? I keep asking, why? Then again, I’m lazy with fashion too. Less is best. Until you see what I saw. Which brings me to a conversation I engaged with myself during my journey towards the AH (Grocery store).

First I saw this girl wearing a light white dress. Light. She was walking basically in her underwear. To those like her, there are under-dresses in the store. Please, buy them. After her, I saw a woman with a coat and a few others with their jackets. Which made me begin, “why do they wear those things still? Do they know what warm means? Are they allergic to the sun? They should be wearing light clothing! –not like the girl-, yes, like that! RAWR!” I said without even noticing when I saw a construction young man without a shirt and all his awesome body lines. Summer in Holland. Yes.


What peculiar things have you noticed in summer?
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