Monday, November 12, 2007


Brown Boots
Did I imply earlier that Germans don't enjoy shopping as recreation?

Scratch that.

Here in Bavaria, the "most German part of Germany," we spend our Sundays walking in the park and frolicking with our families. We never ever spend the day grocery shopping or picking up a spare lightbulb or, heaven forbid, shoe shopping. It's against the law for stores to open their doors on this most holy day of rest. I'm not bitter about that or anything.

I've learned to appreciate some of the quirks of German culture that used to irritate me. I no longer have the impulse to turn right on red, and I even drink half beer/half Sprite by choice. But when someone inevitably tries to convince me how relaxing and healthy it is to have a day off from running errands, I smile tightly and struggle not to tell them my theory that this just creates complete mayhem in the stores on Saturdays as every working person in the country tries to cram his shopping into one day each week. Still, I get a condescending smile, reminding me that Sundays are for resting, just take your American craving to spend spend spend and walk it off. Preferably while sporting some of those Nordic ski poles.

But two or three times per year, each town gets a reprieve from the retail therapy ban and is allowed to open on Sunday afternoon. If my local acquaintances are to be believed, the stores should be deserted, since who wants to spend another day slogging through the terrible chore of buying some new clothes?

Or some new boots, perhaps?

Judging by the tangled mass of humanity at my local shopping area yesterday, everyone does. Don't try to tell me they weren't having a good time shoving one another out of the way to get to that rack of discounted sandals.

Because I had a good time buying new boots. I've been searching for these boots for a while, and it just took a Sunday afternoon of shopping to find them.

Alas, when I'm looking for some fun next Sunday, I guess I'll have to locate some ski poles instead.

THEO'S BREAKFAST SOUNDTRACK: Hang On Little Tomato : Pink Martini

1 comment:

britten said...

Blythe, this reminds me of those painful Sundays during my study abroad experience in Italy in college. We just dreaded Sundays, especially when the weather was crummy and hanging out in the park was not particularly exciting (or warm). And the worst was that if you didn't buy your groceries on Saturday, you wouldn't have ANYTHING to eat on Sunday. Toward the end of my 6 months, though, I gradually became okay with it...