Hello, beautiful Roermond!
I’ve been doing it wrong!
As my Dutch gets better (LANGZAAM!), my kind neighbors and friends try to have small talk with me. The main thing they talk about is the weather.
I don’t think the weather here is at all bad. The American city I used to live near (Portland, Oregon) is well-known for rain and gray skies. Portlanders don’t bother much about the rain, they just go about their business. They think rain is normal, not anything to complain about.
The friendly rain in Roermond feels very much like my old home. (Although it seems to me we’re not getting much rain this winter…)
The internet says Portland has about 156 days of rain (or sometimes snow) each year, and Roermond has 197 days. True, that’s a lot more rainy days…
Anyway, when people make small talk with me in Dutch about bad weather, I always say “Oh, het is niet zo slecht!”
But now I remember people telling me that complaining about the weather is a big part of conversation here. Is it rude to contradict someone by saying the weather is not so bad? Am I hindering the conversation? I’m trying to learn Dutch, so hindering conversation is not good. And being rude to neighbors and friends is very not good.
I guess I’ll have to learn some complaining-about-the-weather Nederlands!