Saturday, December 4, 2010
Side of Onions
In newer apartment buildings they probably have better, more efficient heating systems than ye-olde hot-water radiators, but our apartment building was built in the 70s or thereabouts, so ye-olde hot-water radiators it is, to combat the winter cold.
Fortunately, most Dutch winters are relatively mild. While the days are cold and sunless, the temperature tends to hover in to 5-7° C range, which to my mind is "annoying but not devestating".
Unfortunately, ever year since I've been here, the winter weather has been atypically Dutch: we had a surprisingly hard cold snap in 2007-8, in which the frost literally grew out of the trees:
This is NOT snow. It's frost. All of it.
2008-9 was a snowy year as well, but nowhere close to the winter of 2009-10, where it snowed so much that even the trains couldn't run and the buses in our neck of the Netherland shut down completely.
And now, this year, we've had almost 2 weeks of sub-freezing temperatures, and it's snowed almost every day for a week. Luckily, not a lot of snow comes down at once, so we can get around, but it makes a dangerous ice/slush layer when people and cars have been stomping on it.
What can I say...like the Finn brothers say, "Always bring the weather with you", and I seem to have done just that. Maybe customs should be more stringent...wouldn't want a Saharan drought here, now would we?
This is why my boyfriend purchased a little oil-burning stove. It's sort of like a portable fireplace. The Tweeb has discovered that it's very nice and warm in front of it, and when we placed the cushion in her favorite spot she promptly started roasting herself in front of it. It's not quite as cozy as the real thing, but far better than staring at an open hearth on your TV.