Spring it on!

12 Apr 2018

I am German. That is usually a fact that I do not pay much attention to. I have been living in the Netherlands for almost two years now and I speak, write and read as much in English as I do in my actual mother tongue. And yet, I am German. My family is living in Germany, most of my closest friends are German and I have a German high school diploma. But of all the things that make me German there is one thing that manifests my national identity in particular: I am, like virtually all Germans I know, talking about the weather. A lot.

Living in the Netherlands has provided a good basis to talk about the weather. Because ‘talking about the weather’ actually means ‘constantly complaining about the weather’ — and several months of Dutch rain, wind and general gray can fuel some solid wining. Last weekend, however, for multiple days in a row, the Dutch weather made an unusual turn. 21 degrees, sun and long, enjoyable days. It was beautiful. Finally ice cream again. Finally summer dresses again. Finally being able to feel your face after taking a fifteen minute bike ride to university again. And that is when I discovered that I truly am German.

Because even though I genuinely enjoyed this weekend’s temperatures, the minute I stepped outside I became aware of it. I have to put on sunscreen again. The sunscreen is going to make my clothes sticky. I have to shave my legs. I really don’t like shaving my legs. Urgh, I can’t see, the sun is too bright. I have been denying the German stereotype my entire life — and it took five minutes of spring to pick out all the things that are wrong with it. That’s German.

The truth is: the weather will never be perfect. There will always be too much snow or too much sun or too much wind — or too little of everything. Life will never be perfect. You’re never going to wake up in a perfect world that doesn’t need at least a little bit of fixing. It is a law of nature. Being happy, however, includes accepting imperfections. You could therefore continue complaining about mistakes — or you could enjoy the perks. And why would you put yourself down making everything into a pet peeve, when you could just listen to your spring playlist and have some ice cream? And while the ice cream is something you have to take care of yourself — this week’s playlist has got you covered with some songs for the first days of spring.

Every two weeks, Antonia will add the songs she writes about to the Spotify playlist below. This way, she creates a soundtrack to her time in Nijmegen. Click left and right for more songs.

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