The Uptown Hostel
lindaWednesday afternoon, mid April. Armed with a double espresso and some cigarettes I cross the grounds toward a free spot. From behind my sunnies I scan the area on chair pirates. The “Blue Tea house” is packed, so finding a spot in the afternoon-sun is serious business. We are all here. Sweaters are still on but our sunglasses have been dusted and spirits are high. Every year we Dutch follow the same cycle and every year it amazes me...

Life in Holland is determined by seasons. The beautiful and nostalgic fall, together with the long and cold winter carelessly plays with our moods. While the promising spring and the dream of summer creates a natural high and a skip in our step. As soon as the first warm sunrays defeat the clouds, we stand up and leave our fireplace. A little uncertain hot chocolates and mint teas are ordered on the terraces. But only 3 days of sun are needed to get us out of our coats and into white beer and pina colada! (A common cold then usually occurs because we Dutch dress too little too soon).

This year started out no different for us. But then, out of nowhere, came this twisted turn that changed everything. Al Gore and his inconvenient film. No more enjoying the early sun. No more carefree picnics or cursing the Gods when it rains. We have brought it all upon ourselves and if we don’t change our behaviour we are all doomed. Suddenly my chair feels very uncomfortable and my face very warm. Do you realize what this means? Those lovely early sunrays are now called ‘global warming’. Carefree sunbathing is done for, because crucial icecaps are melting as you put your towel down. No trips to the beach anymore because the oil of our cars turns water into a fish-killing-machine. Think twice about that holiday away from work, kerosene is like poison on our vegetation. Snorkeling? Definitely out of the question because what if you damage that vital coral!

And you know what the worst part of it is? It has taken a ‘should have been’ (vice-) president to walk over to Hollywood to wake us up.  No tsunami, hurricane, earthquake or mud stream has ever been able to do that. They should have made a blockbuster thriller out of the Kyoto meeting and who knows what could have happened.

Nonetheless my summer longing is now filled with guilt and sadness. This is not a mood that should be present in this season. TELL ME! How are we Dutch supposed to survive our f**king winter if it is this we have to look forward to? See, worlds start to collapse when politicians start telling the truth!