Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Day of Rest

Today is Sunday, a day to rest. Germans take their Sundays very seriously. All of the shops are closed on Sunday. In fact in my town, the only things open are the church, the gas station, a bakery (for a few hours), my gym (for a few hours), and McDonald's. Although it is a bit inconvenient, I have learned to deal with it. However, my inability to plan meals ahead of time and then actually buy food often leaves the German and I no choice but to go to McDonald's on Sundays and I am good friends with the gas station attendant, where I often by things that I forgot at the store on Saturday.

I do wish that stores would open for a few hours on Sundays. A friend of mine complained that if the stores opened on Sunday, then she would have to work. I told her that she did not have to work if she did not want to, and in a country with over 10% unemployment, I am sure there is someone who will want to work. I understand Germans wanting to retain a certain quality of life, which is nice, but sometimes a girl has to buy tampons; no it cannot wait until Monday!

There are several things that you are NOT supposed to do on Sundays, which leads us to another German Social Sin.

5. Washing Clothes on Sunday

I have been informed that you are under no circumstances to wash clothes on Sundays. Sundays is a time for family, not for the wash. I guess the family is supposed to walk around in dirty clothes. You may think that I am exaggerating the strictness of this rule, but I am dead serious. One Sunday, I watched as my neighbor questioned the housekeeping skills of the woman up the street because she had the wash outside on the line.

I do not see how doing laundry takes away from the family on Sunday. I just don't get it. I do laundry when I have time, period. Often it is on Sunday. I don't have a lot of free time during the week so Sunday is the only day that I have to wash. Also, I do not own a dryer, I only have one line to hang clothes on, and my washing machine is small. That means it takes about 24 hours to wash and dry one small load of laundry. I do laundry all the damn time! I thought getting married was a big step in becoming a grown up, but the day I feel truly adult is the day I finally buy my own washer and dryer.

The Sunday rule perplexes me. One day I asked the German if he feels neglected because I wash clothes on Sunday. He grunted "No" from the sofa as he continued to watch his soccer match.

I have a load of towels in the washing machine right now. I feel so subversive. Fortunately it is night and thus dark and the neighborhood will never know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased you're keeping your subversive streak alive! I can't even conceive of not having access to the stores on Sundays. Looking at all those glossy inserts in the paper always compels me to take a trip to the stores. But you do have to appreciate the relaxed vibe the country is going for.

For me, my defining adult moment was when I had to replace the furnace. Being an adult sucks at times :-) Liz