The good news, the sun has finally decided to make an appearance and stick around more or less consistently. And it has become quite the night owl! You emerge from a restaurant after dinner to find the sun waiting up for you, and query, “Shouldn’t you be in bed?” But you ask cheerfully, as it is rather nice to be accompanied by such a sunny disposition on your way home. And there is so much you can accomplish with all that extra daylight! Whether you work at home or travel to school or to your externship, you no longer start and end your working day in the dark. Somehow all those hours spent doing research don’t seem quite so onerous when you know the sun will outlast your attention span. At the end of your working day you can still follow the sun, here, there and everywhere! You can go running outdoors rather than on a treadmill at the gym, or go for a long bike ride in the countryside rather than sprinting through town in the dark. Late outdoor festivals, diverse water craft drift along the canal late into the evening, and the barbeque calls out for a light. Good day, sunshine!
However, there is also some bad news. Although the sun is staying up later every night, it never seems to sleep in anymore; it just keeps getting up earlier! Now you ask, “What goes on in your mind?” You wake up in what seems like the middle of the night, and there it is, streaming through your window, more audaciously insistent than a hungry cat. Golden slumbers indeed! You pull a pillow over your head, groaning, “I’m only sleeping!” Sure, you could use a sleep mask, but the problem is that the sun has awakened the birds and those birds can sing; it’s Blue Jay Way outside your window. Ok, make that a sleep mask and ear plugs, and pretend they are singing in the dead of night. And in the end, you finally just get up; nothing to say but it's OK. Thinking of all you can accomplish on what promises to be a very long day – if you can stay awake, that is! On such a hard day's night, the Sun King can wear out his welcome. Mr. Moonlight, come again please!
Ah well, that’s a day in the life in the Netherlands, always the tradeoffs. No free refills of coffee or tea, but always a cookie or piece of chocolate served alongside. No hot water in the W.C.’s, but heated towel racks in the bathroom. All those rules and regulations, yet with respect to personal choices always letting it be. No place to park but a ticket to ride on always-timely public transport. Because, there is always something. It’s all right!