The leaves on the street that make that specific noise when we walk on them. The smell of something burning, even if we are nowhere close to a bonfire, and the smell of chestnuts slowly baking in huge pans. This is what fall feels like in my mind – and possibly a good book, a blanket and a warm tea. This is my ideal kind of fall.
However, now that the season is approaching, I realize that what I picture in my mind is not exactly the reality – especially in the Netherlands. As much as I like this country, the weather here is horrible, and not only in winter time. I was kind of looking forward to wearing a thin jacket, and walking around town with my freshly made matcha latte, and my special fall playlist in my headphones.
But, as it turns out, autumn in the Netherlands is a pretty wet season.
So far, the number of times I left my apartment without a rain jacket because it was sunny and I got back home completely soaked by the rain is way too many. I know, I should have learned the lesson by now, but I still go out without a proper Dutch-weather-proof attire. In my mind, I still want to romanticize my life, and look like the mysterious foreign girl wearing a cute outfit, and minding her own business with a cup of tea to go. But of course, this quickly shifts into a poor international student without a weather-appropriate outfit struggling to bike, with her cup of hot water in one hand and a broken umbrella in the other.
Nevertheless, if I have to be honest, there are some moments that I actually enjoy during fall in the Netherlands. For example, the warm and cozy feeling when at night I slip under my blanket with a hot cup of chamomile and my kindle – or when I am studying at university and outside it is pouring rain but I am in the library and life is good.
I have never been a fall-lover, I was always the little girl who, at the question ‘What is your favorite season?’, would answer without hesitation ‘Spring’. You know, with the flowers, warm weather and pastel colors. But I recently came to the realization that autumn is not bad either, or at least my (very unrealistic) idea of it: the cozy sweaters, a rewatch of Gilmore Girls, pumpkin soup and books. If when I was little, fall was the season of sadness because it meant that winter was coming soon, I could not play outside anymore and I had to wear a jacket to go outside, now it kind of grew into me. It is comforting: not in the sense of a fireplace but more in the sense of a cozy pair of socks or a hug from your grandparents – as a kid I did not really appreciate the importance of them, but growing up I realized how essential these two things are.
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