Spending two weeks in the Netherlands last April was truly a delight. Not only did I visit a beautiful country but at the same time, experiencing fresh air and cool breeze was nice for a change. I have always been living in Metro Manila, and in general it is always hot. Temperature can reach as high as 35-40 degrees during summer and is very humid. The weather in the Netherlands is very cold for me given that I am used to the heat of Manila. For that reason, when I had my business trip for the second time I really prepared in terms of what I would wear. I brought my black trench coat and my thick maroon scarf. In addition, I also brought gloves just so if in case it gets so cold then it would be easier to get warm.

When I hear the topic of cold weather and the importance of wearing something that would keep you warm, I could not help but think about what happened last April 26, Tuesday. On that day, I went to the office wearing my blue dress and a black blazer. I decided not to bring my black trench coat thinking I would not stay outside for too long. During lunch time though, a colleague invited me to eat out in Markthl and I said yes. It was windy. On our way there, we came across another colleague (a manager) and he said, “you do not have a coat? This is not the Philippines.” Another colleague said almost the exact words to me later the same day. I decided to work late in the office since it was holiday the next day. I usually work in the hotel anyway so I stayed until 9 in the evening. The office was almost empty except for 2 colleagues (a woman and a man) who were working for 24/7 team. We had a great chat while working and when I decided to leave the office, a male colleague was nice enough to accompany me outside the building as we were not sure if my building pass still worked. When we were already out of the building I told my colleague that I could already manage to walk to my hotel, and when he noticed that I did not have a jacket he said, “where is your jacket? This is not Manila.” Good thing though my hotel was just near. I did not bring my coat thinking I can easily run to my hotel, which I did on my way back (well, not really run but walk fast).

I was really quite shy during the 2 instances but my collegues were right. Even if my hotel was just near, walking outside on a cold weather without a jacket could still possibly makes me get a flu. The next day after the holiday I already brought my jacket in the office. I did not leave the building during lunch but atleast I was prepared. Thinking about it now, the memory made me smile. The next time I visit the Netherlands I will make sure to bring my trench coat and use it everyday.