Friday, 4 March 2011

Service as Usual - Virtually Non Existant!

"Not in Service"
Today is a nice day. The roads were clear this morning, and traffic was flowing freely. There were also fewer people on the pavements, and best of all, not a single bus to be seen. The buses of Brussels are a menace - drivers are surly, ignorant, and appear to have no idea what their mirrors or indicators are for. Imagine a driver who recently escaped from Alcatraz, a bus that doubles as a recycling dump for vomit and cigarette ends, and roads that resemble the Congo before the aid arrived, and you will have a pretty good picture of a bus journey through the city that likes to think of itself as the "capital of Europe".

The respite on the roads this morning is because there is something of a general strike in Belgium today. They strike a lot in Belgium.

In terms of industrial output this will have a negligible effect, as very little work is ever actually done here on a Friday anyway. It appears that the unions are unhappy about a new legal framework for pay and conditions in the private sector. It does not affect the public sector workers, but isn't it nice to take Friday off anyway and have a long weekend - there are plenty of expats here to get on with the work and keep Belgium's tiny little economy ticking over.

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