“Take the day off or be stuck in traffic”
Hang on a minute! Sure, the kids should get their presents on time for Pakjesavond, the evening before Sinterklaas, which for those new to Dutch culture is in fact more important than Christmas. But seriously, even though it sounds logical, the idea of taking an entire day off from work to avoid traffic has to be messed up. As far as I am concerned, take the rest of your working life off and avoid traffic for ever!
Basically, with the new timetable of the Dutch railways, hailed as nothing less but “chaos”, taking the train won’t get you home on time. The image of a little boy crying because he thinks Sinterklaas forgot him is something I am sure any parent wants to avoid. So you take the car to work, like many people who believe in sitting down when they travel (when trains are full at 140% capacity, you have to stand) and who don’t believe that green guilt trip (pardon the pun) about how if we all took the train, the train would magically improve and become a Disneyland ride. Cycling to work if possible is great, but does not work for everyone.
So picture a small country, a major Dutch holiday and the entire flippin’ country has some 500 km of congestion, almost twice the congestion around Paris a few weeks ago with the public transport strike. It’s not even a strike!
Conclusion: public transport blows more than ever before (Merry Christmas to you to), motorways suck big time and who cares about work? Stay home, your entire country is under siege. But by all means, enjoy the gifts.