I will not repeat my opinion of the Dutch weather... if I were to do that I would not avoid writing very bad words which have no place in these attempts to find (and write about...) the best things in life! However, it is a truth universally acknowledged that, well... it sucks!! Most of the time... But every now and then, a couple of times a year more accurately, it doesn't! Because then, it's summer! Briefly, but for real!! And, yes, we are in one of these rare moons right now!!!
The sun has been shinning, the temperature has risen, people took the summer clothes out of closets and put on their sandals (yes, me included, what did you think??) and everyone has a big smile on!! It is amazing how the weather affects people's moods... Even the ever grumpy ones become a bit more friendly, a bit more happy when the sun shines in this place... Even politeness shyly makes an appearance!! And of course, we all run outside!!! Anyone who has lived in The Netherlands for some time (say, more than a year) knows that they need to save some annual leave to use when the summer comes here... a couple of days are usually enough... and then, massively we go out!!
Most people like the beach... I don't... it smells like wet dog and it is very dirty and crowded... Not to mention that the sea is never blue which does defy my definition of "the sea"... So, on sunny days I avoid the beach and head to the city center... Often I take a book and I go read on a bench under a tree, I go for shopping (because, hey, summer may be better than shoes but it's also the best time to buy shoes... ;) and it's exactly on those summer days that I love to go out for dinner with my friends!! And when I say out, I mean "out"!! Under the starry sky!!
That's exactly what we did last night! A lovely small restaurant, the chef and owner of which really knows how to please a palate, a good wine list and a friend who is a sommelier by hobby (could we be more lucky??) a table outside by the canal, a great conversation... who could ask for anything more? Let me tel you, it does not get much better than this in this place... And yes, I could think of many places in the world that offer a far better scenery for eating outside... But after all, when you have nice company, good food and wine and a warm evening, there is not a lot to complain about, is there??.. And I would not be fair if I were not to classify this experience in the "better than shoes" category!!