Dear Amsterdam summer,

Look, I’ll be honest: I didn’t move here for the weather. I knew about the endless rain, the wind, the short winter days when the sun never seems to rise. And this is not our first time through the cycle of Dutch seasons. We’ve learned to deal with the 5-minute hailstorms and dramatic swings in temperature. We bought rain suits at Hema for cycling in bad weather. I leave the house every day with my umbrella and my sunglasses. Just in case.

But c’mon…it’s July 2nd. Yesterday I was wearing boots and a fleece jacket under my raincoat. Today the sun is shining but the temperature is only supposed to rise to 16. (That’s about 61 for you Fahrenheit folks.) More rain is scheduled for tomorrow.We’ve got visitors in town, and we want to show our guests how lovely you can be, summer. We want to take a boat around the canals and sit and have a beer in the sun at a sidewalk cafe.

So apologies if this sounds rude, but in the spirit of Dutch directness, I have to ask: where the hell are you? Are you ever going to show up? We had some great days in early June, strolling around in skirts and sandals, eating ice cream in the park. Will we ever have that again? Or are you gone for good, leaving us with this mash-up of late-Spring-early-Fall, where we hold our breath and hope for just a light misty rain instead of a downpour?

Maybe all of my complaining and whining will come to nothing in the end, and I should learn to do as the Dutch do. They deal with the weather, put on a raincoat or a scarf, and get on with it. They enjoy the sunny, warm days as fully as they can, moving their couch out onto the street and soaking up every last bit of daylight. And when they want to see you, summer, they head to the south of France.

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