Semester, break, holiday, vacation…

When my brother was living in Stockholm, he told me that everything comes to a halt after midsummer and until about mid-August. Until a couple of days ago I didn’t think anything of it.

Lots of people at work are on holiday at the moment. That is normal to me. But what I am not used to is the busses being on holiday too. Yesterday I was a little late getting out the door and when I got to the bus stop, I had to wait 20 minutes for a bus, making me late for work. I realized that the summer schedule has started, but I didn’t truly comprehend that pretty much everyone is on holiday.

The car parks on the island where I live are almost completely empty. Normally, if you are a little later than normal, you cannot find a space. The few busses that do come (in pairs…sigh) are only about 3/4 full, sometimes only 1/2.  It finally sunk into my brain. OHHHH, 5 weeks holiday a year means you can have a summer break!

Yup, 5 weeks is the standard for everyone. And the Swedes are serious about it. Many people I work with are taking at least 3, sometimes 4, weeks in a row. Others, like me, are only taking a week, but I think I am not normal. I am saving my holiday for the fall, but even if I think about it, I am so used to having only 3 weeks a year (and that has only been for the last 5 years, prior to that, for years, I had no weeks…), that I am hoarding my time.

But even those 5 weeks disappear quickly. I have taken a day here, a day there, and poof, I only have 4 weeks left. 1 week in July, 2.5 weeks in October, and a few other scattered days and it is all gone. I cannot believe that the majority of Canadians and Americans only get 2 weeks a year and there is no one lobbying for more!

And I am not the only one thinking about this. A very recent article by Morrison World Media Morning Post story says it all

Japanese Get Only 9 Holidays Per Year, World’s Lowest http://morrisonworldnews.com/?p=15774

Anyway, I set my alarm 8 minutes earlier this morning so I wouldn’t miss the bus and be late for work. Thank goodness I have a break coming next week. This is far too stressful.

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