No. 11: Discussing the weather

Looks like a storm's a brewing

Dutch people love to discuss the weather. Want to join in a friendly chat with your Dutch co-workers or neighbours? Not sure what exactly they are discussing fervently by the coffee machine? Chances are it’s the fascinating and captivating topic of… the weather! Is your Dutch a bit rusty? Throw in a “‘Mooi weertje, he?” (nice weather, eh?) or a dramatic“Wat een hondeweer!” (what miserable dog’s weather!) and this is sure to lead into a lengthy discussion with a stranger.

Dutch people also all seem to highly in-tune with the eminent and future weather conditions.  Need a 4-day forecast? 10-day? Heck 14-day? Chances are a Dutch person in your vicinity will have a very accurate prediction for you. No need for trained meteorologists in this country, the Dutch spend so much time discussing, analyzing and tracking the weather, they practically all have honorary degrees in the subject!

hmmm...is that Holland under those gray fluffy shapes?

Technology has allowed Dutch people to get even further ahead in war-on-weather. Its no surprise that one of the most popular iPhone apps is actually Buienradar –a weather tracking system, showing you nice little rain clouds above the outline of the Netherlands, predicting the exact time it will rain and for how long. Now yes, I will admit, that the Buienradar app may have somehow made it onto my iPhone, and may have somehow been frequently checked….but I digress.

Dutch weather can also be used to predict the collective Dutch mood. Rainy and gray outside? Chances are the Dutch are feeling a bit down and cranky. Sun shining? Christ –the Dutch are practically singing on every street corner! But — if the sun is shinning the Dutch also aren’t fooled “rain is around the corner” I’ve been warned for remarking on such a nice day. Don’t get your hopes up for God sakes!

Slippery when wet!

Dutch people also know how to prepare for rain like to no other people. Rain ponchos, designer wind-proof umbrellas, complicated rain gear — there are many ways to battle the elements once you’ve verified online that the day isn’t looking great.

Truth be told, there is an average of 90 minutes of rain per day in the Netherlands. Call me a genius, but I’d count on getting a bit wet every day of the year in this country. No need for fancy technology to tell me that ;)

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39 Responses to No. 11: Discussing the weather

  1. Pingback: Amsterdamize » Blog Archive » Amsterdamized

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  4. Michiel says:

    Dutch love to complain: the picture of the cyclist falling flat on his face is from Hong Kong, or perhaps Singapore (but the bus makes me think it’s HK).

    • José says:

      It is from Hong Kong, for sure, not just because of the bus, but the taxi is telling as well.

      That the picture could never have been made in .nl should have been obvious to the poster: this kind of slap-stick falling would not have happened to a Dutch person. They have pretty much perfected the art of riding a bicycle while holding an umbrella – even in strong winds and carrying a bad of groceries on the steering wheel, with two children loaded onto the bike for good measure.

      • Andrés says:

        Theres not a way to say that better

      • Bas says:

        Sorry for this late reply, but it cannot be HK: they drive on the left side of the road. This is clearly the right side. Or has the image perhaps been reversed?

  5. Jordy says:

    Today it is very hot, without a cloud in Holland!
    But it’s true that Dutch people are talking very much about the weather.
    Sometimes it’s annoying.

  6. Anna says:

    I thought the British were the champions when it comes to weather-based conversations? The BBC now even has a tv programme called “The Great British Weather” (“BBC’s live magazine show celebrating and tapping into the nation’s obsession with weather”).
    I always find that bad weather brings people together in a kind of “us Dutchies vs the Weather” kind of way (it enables us to connect to strangers and have a joint lamentation). We do find ourselves rather tough riding our bikes whatever the weather (weer of geen weer).

  7. John R says:

    This is something encountered quite often among sea-faring cultures, especially bordering unpredictable and potentially dangerous waters such as the North Sea. Keeping a close eye on the weather can pay off for fishermen if they can identify potentially harmful weather changes timely enough to make it back to port.

  8. daan says:

    The weather in the netherlands is very random

  9. Jen Smith says:

    I think this is why the Dutch get on so well with Canadians. We are also excessively weather obsessed!

  10. silver says:

    discussing the weather goes hand in hand with discussing the weekend….the same category for our inspirationless co-workers. Dutch or naturalized ;)
    the classical Monday morning question ” How was the weekend? ” or just a simple “Good weekend?” ..is enough to break the ice…
    and by Thursday already you can hear them ask ” Any plans for the weekend?”

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  13. Lukas says:

    I just wanted to implement the joke about ‘Buienradar’ here. Want to crack a nice little joke on the topic of the weather and instantly prove you have well intergrated in dutch-land, say:
    I don’t like that site of ‘buienradar’, when are they going to come up with ‘buienweter’ ?!
    (Ik vind buienradar (rader) maar niks, ik wacht op buienweter.) I suppose this little pun is also a little test on how much of our impossible language you’ve mastered by now :-)

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  15. Ehh I dont get that last joke… Radar means… well, radar… not ‘Rader’. Avoid awkwardness and don’t try it please.

  16. Allison says:

    And I here I thought this was just a Canadian thing lol

  17. max says:

    hahahahaha, this site is awesome. I just moved to Amsterdam two weeks ago.
    I just commented about how the weather was finally nice coming into work this morning and sure enough my coworker said “Yes, but it is supposed to rain this afternoon”

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  24. Danny says:

    John R hits the mark on this one I recon. The Dutch were and still are a nation of farmers, fisherman and sea-faring traders. knowledge about the weather was priceless and it seems to have found a special place in the minds of the dutch people and its almost impossible to count the number of Dutch expressions about the weather. (morgenrood is water in sloot..etc.) I know I’m guilty.!!

  25. JML says:

    The weather is indeed always a good topic here, today it was cold and dry, so not hondenweer today ;)

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  31. sick says:

    awsome blog!!

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