On Monday, January 7th, I show up at work and it is a normal day. Then, at 12pm, I was alarmed (pun intended) to hear an extremely loud siren going off outside. This was definitely no fire alarm. I looked around the office, and everyone else was going on with their business as usual. Am I going crazy?
My Dutch colleague explained to me that it is the regular test of the civil defense alarm, which goes off everywhere at 12pm every first Monday of the month. I’m not making this up. Some 4,200 alarms are placed across the country so that everyone in the country can hear it, no matter where you are.
The sirens can serve as an advance warning system in the event of a nuclear attack, air raids, natural disasters, or a coordinated alien attack designed to abduct the entire stock of stroopwafels from the Dutch nation.
The Dutch are a cautious people.