Ok, they’re not formally snow boots, but they did make my otherwise crappy day. See, I managed to make it to the city hall in time for my passport renewal; only to learn that they would not help me because I don’t have my no-longer-valid ID card with me, which I chose not to renew because I already have a drivers licence AND a passport. Then I got told off for it ‘It says you should bring that too on the website’. No, it does not specifically state I should bring invalid ID cards, it states I should bring ID and my old passport. (And my friend ran into the same issue, so it’s not just me). I protested, said it did NOT say so on the website, then I got a lecture about how all forms of ID are government property and I only get to ‘borrow’ it. (Fair enough, but then why charge me?). Then the lady went on about me being there in the first place; why did I come to the city hall and not to one of the smaller offices in all parts of the city except the centre? I pointed out that I came here because I live in the city centre. Then she told me that that doesn’t mean I couldn’t go to one of the other offices, unless of course this is the closest council office. Exactly. After being told off she said I could go and make another appointment for the passport. I did not, I didn’t bring my planner and I was too pissed off to act normal.
This was my second effort at getting the passport, last time I was late because of a vet emergency. Trust me, the Dutch won’t accomodate for things like that. Having to make three appointments to get a simple passport is ridiculous, and having to face these rude council workers is not fun at all. There are days that I still really hate this country and today is one of them.
So, where do the snow boots come in? Well, there’s about 10-15cm of snow laying around. They come in handy… It’s I think the 4th or 5th year in a row Holland has had significant snowfall. I hate winter, I hate ice, I hate snow. That’s not the point, it’s here and there’s not much I can do about it except adapt, and maybe do it in style. The first winter-winter came as a surprise to me; I’d never experienced something like that before. Snow in Holland is fairly normal, actually, if you look at the past 100 years, it just hand’t been around for a few years which happened to be the few years I was here. I ruined a few pairs of shoes, but also revamped some of them. Viva creativity. Up till then skateboarding shoes turned out to work just fine for the few times you had to deal with snow. After that first winter, I ruined another pair of boots, my wide-soled FitFlop boots, and I used them for the snow ever since. FitFlop doesn’t actually do what they promise, and caused me cramps instead as they got worn out. This year, I was right on time and decided to get a pair of snow-proof boots BEFORE it started freezing. I refused to wear the ugly ones everybody wears. Turns out everybody slips like crazy in them anyway, and they’re usually more expensive than the 35 euros I counted down for my winter wellies.
As far as snow boots go, the ones I have look kind of good. They’re formally rain boots made winter proof, the bottom bit is nothing more than lined wellies. But they’re waterproof, have good enough grip and keep my feet toasty while still looking better than those slip-sliders with their ‘real snow boots’. Plus, my good shoes can stay nice and pretty. The wellies have thinner soles than actual snow boots, but have grip since they’re made for slippery conditions. The thinner, softer soles mean I can feel where I’m walking, giving me a better natural grip… kind of like barefoot trail running but with wellies and snow. If it gets really icy I can always put spikes under them, you know, when it half starts melting and then starts freezing again.
I started really enjoying it when I noticed that I was getting along quite well, stomping past everybody else without slipping. I was really pleased when I got home and my feet were still very much dry and toasty… and rather than stepping in an entire snowstorm stuck to my shoes, I could simply shake them off outside. Nothing like an idea that works out really well! How come nobody else thought of it?