I was going to continue immediately on from my previous post and I did start to write “Part 2” (which I will finish and post at some point), but it ended up featuring this massive digression in the middle (so unlike me, I know) and it got to the point where I decided that the digression probably actually deserved a post in its own right. So here it is.
Sunday in Paris is a bit of a funny one. It’s sort of caught between the very recent past/the rest of France, where everything was/is closed on a Sunday, and the UK, where it might as well be any other day of the week as far as consumerism goes, minus a couple of hours at the end of the working day.
As such, nobody quite knows where they stand and going out in search of anything specific on a Sunday is a bit of a gamble. Even Googling the opening hours isn’t a sure thing. For example, the mini Auchan (supermarket chain) around the corner from my apartment will tell you on Google maps that it’s closed on Sundays – BUT sometimes there’ll be a badly Word-processed paper sign in the window on a Saturday to let you know, actually, it will be open the following day after all. And then an equally badly Word-processed sign will replace it on the Sunday to let you know the opening hours.
Then you have the places that just close whenever the fancy takes them. I checked the opening hours for my nearest Franprix (another supermarket chain) a few Sundays back and the window displayed the opening and closing hours Monday – Saturday, and then underneath, “open from 9h” on Sundays. There was no corresponding closing time given for Sundays, so I assumed this meant it closed the same time as every other day and continued on my merry way to wherever it was I was going for the day, satisfied that I’d be able to pick up dinner ingredients on the way home.
No closing time literally meant no closing time: as far as I can tell, anyway, Franprix literally closes when it feels like it on a Sunday. Great concept if you work in retail. Pain in the ass if you’re a would-be-shopper with an empty fridge.
The uncertainty is generally a bit of a pain in the ass, actually. It would almost be easier if everything was still shut all the time, and then at least we’d all know to factor it in. Most shops do open, at least for a while – definitely enough that it’s statistically worth taking the risk if you’re tied for time the rest of the week. Unfortunately, though, favourable statistics have a knack for simply not applying to my life. I’m much more proficient at finding myself in situations which defy all odds, leaving leave friends, family, and random passers-by sort of staring in amused “how-on-earth-do-these-things-happen-to-you” disbelief.
I should really just do my shopping on Saturdays.