Summer holidays

Today, Sidelines begins a four-week break – taking advantage of the general shut down that hits the Netherlands every summer.

The railways and buses get summer timetables – i.e. operate less trains. Shops and even some restaurants close down for weeks at a time. That can’t be because there is no custom. It’s the height of the tourist season.
Try to get hold of a council official and they are usually on holiday. The building sector even has its own traditional four-week stoppage when no work gets done. The automatic reply messages on emails are working over time.
And, like every summer, the one subject everyone is worried about is the weather. By next week, we will have the first news items about how the beach bar owners are facing bankruptcy.
The front pages will carry photographs of damp families playing cards in their waterlogged tents. Then will come the run on last-minute holidays in warmer climes, as soggy campers give up, pack their potatoes and peanut butter and head for the sun.
Until August.

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