Monday, August 24, 2009
In Brussels, Even the Bus Gets a Vacation
August in Europe can only mean one thing: vacation. You probably already know that this is the time of year when European families, couples and singles take a few weeks to recharge their batteries and enjoy life. But did you know the same benefit - vacation time guaranteed by law - also applies to public transportation? Well, at least in Brussels it does. As an American friend recently pointed out to me, the schedule for the city's various transport options is currently reduced, running on what's called the "grandes vacances" timetable. This basically means that every hour (including the traditional rush hours) offers a few less options for hitching a ride. It hasn't been a major inconvenience or anything; I'm still able to get to work on time and find my way around town. But it did make me wonder: what exactly has my life come to when bus routes, a network of trams, and a subway system all have more vacation time than I do?