What time is it?

I notice that for some visitors, the notion of 24-hour time takes some getting used to.

It's pretty simple though. Zero is always midnight. Twelve is always noon.

08:00 = 8:00 AM.

13:00 = 1:00 PM.

17:00 = 5:00 PM.

21:00 = 9:00 PM

23:59 = one minute to midnight.

Transportation schedules will always be shown like that. However in conversation, Dutch people still tell time in the old twelve-hour way. They won't say 'meet me at nineteen-hundred,' but rather 'meet me at seven in the evening'. In fact the Dutch have their own peculiar way of expressing time as a displacement from the quarter or half hour.

07:15 = kwaart over zeven. Quarter over seven.

07:25 = vijf voor half acht. Five before half to eight.

07:40 = tien over half acht. Ten over half to eight.

19:40 = tien over half acht 's avonds Ten over half to eight of the evening.

Time changes. I don't like em, but we have em. The disconcerting thing about 'summer' and 'winter' time is that different countries in the temperate zones will switch forward or back one hour on different dates. For example, in Nederland they 'fall back' on the last Sunday in October, whereas in the US they do the same one week later, the first Sunday in November. So, where Amsterdam is almost always six hours later than New York, for one week in the fall and one week in the spring it's only five hours. This can sometimes play havoc with airline flight schedules. One time I was to depart from Boston to Amsterdam at 19:10, but suddenly found out my flight was really leaving at 18:10, so as to arrive at the correct time at Schiphol. Good thing I showed up early that Sunday.