April 1, 2007

Sunday shopping

Sunday. Slept late. Morning run in Villa Pamphili. Nice, leisurely family lunch on the terrace. Put in a load of wash – detergent finished. “Oh well, I can do that tomorrow, or….shall I try the new supermarket?”

I brought my camera along for the short walk.

The bar was closed.

The alimentari / fruit and vegetable store was closed.

The tabacchi, shoe repair and pharmacy were closed.

But, the new GS was OPEN. Actually at first glance it looked closed as there were no clerks at the checkout counters and no one inside. But the doors opened and behind the cereal I met one man and by the bread section one woman. Just as I approached the checkout counter, a clerk popped out from a nearby aisle. I asked, “are there usually more people here on a Sunday?” She explained that the mornings are busy but the afternoon opening was an “experiment”. From the look of things, not a very successful one.

From my blog meanderings and work with study-abroad students, it seems that many Americans believe being able buy anything at any time of the day or week to be one of those inalienable rights along with life and liberty. Or, in any case, 24/7 store openings is high on the almost all lists of “what I miss from the U.S.” To others, Italians in this case, Americans in desperate need of “24/7” while abroad look oddly like drug addicts suffering withdrawal symptoms -- "Just relax, it's OK, don't worry, you can buy it later," they assure.

Judging from today’s trip to the GS, Italians still manage quite nicely without a visit to the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon. It would be out of sync with their orderly and pre-set daily/weekly/monthly/yearly rhythms. Going to the store and Sunday afternoon do not go together – like oil and water. Sunday mixes nicely instead with family and friends, a movie and a pizza, a stroll up and down the main street, a walk in the park, or a visit to the pasticceria -- now that is a shop that is packed on a Sunday afternoon!

I started up the washing machine, but really, it could have waited until tomorrow.

A domani,

1 comment:

KC said...

Wow, the ipermercati around here are usually packed on Sunday afternoons!