So I’m in Barcelona. Got here late last night, and it’s too early to judge the city – the back of a taxi in the middle of the night speeding through empty streets isn’t the best way to judge a city. Will go out later today and possibly check for myself.
But one thing I know for sure is that Barcelona is in the wrong time zone. I woke up at 7:30 this morning and it was dark. Like Bangalore is dark at 6 in the morning! And though I’m yet to see an evening here myself, I’ve been told that nowadays it gets dark here only at 7:30 pm or something.
The problem here is that most of Europe wants to be on the same time zone – this map explains the whole issue.
Notice the green region here, in which I’ve been for this week so far. Macedonia on the East and Galicia (that portion of Spain just to the north of Portugal) on the west are on the same time zone! And as you can see from the longitudinal lines on this map, that is like a difference of thirty degrees! Or two hours in terms of the earth’s rotation!
While having the same time zone might make sense in terms of coordinating work timings across places in the same economic zone and could thus lead to better trade and commerce and coordination (see this post on Samoa’s move across the International Date Line for the politics of time zone), having a wide degrees of longitudes share the same time is plain absurd, in terms of the usage of “daylight” in these places!
Thus, it will get dark absurdly really in the day in Macedonia, while the sun just doesn’t seem to rise in Galicia! I’m thinking I should go out for a run tomorrow morning, but what time do I go? By the time the sun is up the traffic will be in full swing!
This whole concept of a common European time is no less absurd than the much-maligned concept of Beijing and Xinjiang (at the western edge of China) being on the same time zone! Yet we don’t hear much criticism of Europe’s time zones. Wonder why!
And on top of having such a wide time zones these guys want to impose daylight savings! This is firmly in the “measure with a micrometer, mark with a chalk and cut with an axe” territory!