The Netherlands Heatwave Plan
The Netherlands has been experiencing freak weather for weeks. By freak weather, I am of course referring to a prolonged heatwave. At the time of writing this, it hasn’t rained for weeks. I see confused and shocked expats and locals on Facebook asking each other, “what’s going on? is the world about to end?'” Most residents of the Netherlands are simply not used to hot weather which is why the Dutch government has a Netherlands National Heatwave Plan. As this essential piece of information isn’t currently available in English, I’ve decided to translate it so that my expat readers learn how to stay safe in the hot weather.
No need to thank me. The things I do for my readers!
How to survive a heatwave in the Netherlands
So the Dutch department of health has come up with a cunning plan to ensure that people remain healthy and don’t waste valuable medical resources or their eigen risico.
1. Complain regularly about the heat (in Dutch)
An important part of the Netherlands heatwave plan is, of course, complaining constantly about the weather. It’s a well known medical fact that complaining about hot weather can actually reduce the body temperature of the complainant. (While irritating those on the receiving end of the complaints). To do this properly, complain in Dutch. In a loud but world-weary voice say the following. “Wat is het warm, hè?” (Oh it’s so warm). This statement will not only reduce your body temperature but make you immediately sympathetic to all Dutch people within earshot.
Even the mice in Amsterdam are complaining about the heat.
2. Wear appropriate footwear
It’s a known fact that most heat escapes the body via the head, therefore it’s ok to wear socks with your lekker stylish sandals on a day when the temperature is over 35 degrees.
3. Remain hydrated
During a heatwave in the Netherlands, the sight of micro denim hotpants (worn by men and women) along with an excess of people wearing Havaianas, flip-flops and cheap sandals on unmanicured dry scaly feet, tends to make the Dutch more sexually aroused than usual. This, in turn, can cause lots of perspiration that can cause dehydration. Therefore it’s critical to make sure that you drink enough. Especially, if you’ve left work early so that you can sit on a terrace and smoke and shout with your friends in the sun. Be careful not to drink too much alcohol. Remember that in the Netherlands it’s illegal to charge for tap water, so drink away, it’s gratis!
4. Keep your apartment cool
Another wonderful piece of advice in the Netherlands Heatwave Plan is to keep your apartment cool. I’m grateful for this piece of advice as I’d never have thought of that without assistance from the Dutch government. There was I keeping my central heating on when all I had to do was keep the place cool. Bedankt!
In the Netherlands, keeping an apartment cool is easier said than done. Airconditioning is as common as a room to let in a Dutch student apartment that’s open to internationals. Leaving windows open is also not a good idea unless you enjoy being bitten to death by hordes of mosquitos. A fan is equally useless as they tend to simply recirculate warm air.
5. Cover your skin with sunscreen
Another piece of advice that a cynic might say is rather obvious is to use sunscreen. To be fair though, they do actually have an extra warning for young ladies in Amsterdam. “Make sure that you don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the parts of your skin exposed by ripped jeans”.
6. Check on people in your neighbourhood that might need help
The plan recommends that you check on neighbours to see if they need help. Handig! This is a perfect opportunity for you to go to the hot Dutch guy next door and offer him assistance with applying sunscreen. If his partner happens to be there, just tell her that you’re a well-integrated expat and have adopted typical Dutch female behaviour 😉
7. Don’t forget to keep your pets hydrated
If like the Shallow Man, you have a garden, make sure that you leave a bowl of water outside so that when the neighbourhood cats come to have a poo on your grass, they can have a nice drink at the same time. If you live in a typical old Amsterdam apartment building make sure that you leave a saucer of water by the mousetraps, so at least the mice will be able to wash down the cheese they’ve taken from the trap with a refreshing sip of water. God forbid that they’d dehydrate and die all over your apartment.
8. Take a picture of your thermostat and post it on social media
Something that will definitely help you with keeping cool is to take a photo of your thermostat and post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Hyves, MySpace, VK and any other social media you can find. It’s lekker belangrijk that everyone knows how hot it is in your home.
No government employees with too much time on their hands were hurt during the writing of this post.
Until next time, rot op naar je eigen dorp!
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