Summer Amsterdam displays outstanding weather changeability, as I learned the hard way that day. One second the rain somehow goes up your umbrella and the wind threatens to snatch valuables out of your hands, and the next – the sun is kind in the most softly golden way, it caresses the houses, the canals, the bicycles and the grateful noses and shoulders of people basking in the warmth. They’re so awestruck they forget to wear a hat or cover themselves with sunscreen. They roll up their sleeves and trousers. They’re blissful. For now.
When the sun goes down, however, they might find their skin turning an alarming shade of red while starting to itch and burn not unlike that of someone dying from the ancient Chinese torture with bee stings. Their consciousness slipping away into a red hot Kafka-esque dream. Their will to live slowly fading away. Those, my special friend, are the signs of a sunburn.
Enjoy your summer, it will speed past you as fast as a car that almost hits you on a pedestrian crossing. Enjoy the sun, the heat and the nakedness. But I trust your judgement on these scorching summer days. Don’t focus your SPF love exclusively on your face. Spare some for your arms, legs, ears (an easily overlooked body part) and shoulders. Save the burning sensation for your emotional feelings, not physical.
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