What Do You Do On A Sunday When Everything Is Closed
With my wife still in the states and me alone in the house I experienced my first solo Sunday in Denmark and boy it was eye opening. As Americans know we really don’t close stores. Labor being as cheap as it is right now it rarely makes sense to close a place if there are people who want to shop and people love shopping on Sunday.
Denmark is different. Almost everything is closed on Sundays. Remember that most businesses and phone lines stop working around 3:30 on Friday. So Sunday is a real ghost town. It seems like most Danes use Sunday to hang out with family or friends. As i don’t have either one of those here i mostly milled around town and just observed it.
I’ve never seen anything like this before. I can’t imagine the US having this kind of solidarity with working people. Like nobody wants to work on Sunday but working on the weekend is basically a caste system thing in this US. The people who are better off get to shop and those lower class people have to work and then we give them like Monday off maybe if we feel like it.
But as an American you also feel a bit lost. You’ve never not been able to fill time in a day with idle shopping. Everything in our culture is set up to ensure that those with money can always spend it regardless of the time of day or day of the week. So to be in a place where you are kind of on your own on a Sunday is eye opening.
If you are me you realize you don’t really have any hobbies. Like I enjoy doing things but I don’t really have anything where i can turn to it during a full day uninterrupted. It’s like I’d been handed the time I’ve always wanted, the window of idle time I’ve dreamed of my entire adult life and I am at a bit of a loss on what exactly you do with it.
Danes seem determined that you spend some time every week mentally idle. It doesn’t mean not doing anything. People are exercising or socializing or just walking their dogs. I think it’s more that you should sort of be alone with your thoughts for awhile. It sounds appealing to Americans and I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time but at first it’s a bit alarming.
I’ve always had something I should be doing or need to do on the weekends. The weekdays are just for grinding through work. Friday and Saturday you pack in as much fun as you can and then Sunday is spent preparing for the week. So to have a day when you can’t really prepare for the weeks out and about because everything is closed, you can’t really get a lot done because you aren’t supposed to be working, instead you are left sorta pondering.
It’s also hard to be alone when you are walking by houses full of people socializing speaking in a language you want to understand but just can’t yet. It’s more isolating than I realized it would be.