It’s taking some getting used to, this holiday malarkey. In fact, just today I urgently needed to head to the shops to get some supplies and pick up a brand new bicycle lock en route. I’d lost the other one during the CPH Marathon a few weeks back.
As I headed down Valby Langgade I couldn’t help but notice how quiet it was. Then it dawned on me for the xth time this year: it’s a public holiday, and DK is on lockdown.
This doesn’t happen where I come from. And an American man I met a few weeks back summed it up nicely. “In the States, when there’s a public holiday, businesses make the most of Capitalism and sell sell sell.” It’s the same in England, too. And with the weather like it is today here in CPH, some serious dollars are being lost in the shops and stalls whose doors are firmly shut.
To be honest, I’ve moaned about this a lot. The end result for me today was a pointless bike ride (albeit in the sunshine) with a list of chores that still need doing tomorrow morning when it speaks of rain. If I’d been called out on a photo job today, I would’ve struggled to get from A to B on my bike because I don’t want to risk leaving it unlocked, obviously. Thus I would have been in a bit of a predicament.
So I hate the whole idea of businesses closing on a public holiday. It’s a legal requirement apparently, though I’m not sure about the exact ins-and-outs of the law itself. The question is: am I wrong?
This whole thing stinks of Jantelov in my humble opinion. It’s a holiday and everyone deserves the day off, regardless of what they do (except the bar staff and waitresses, and me, of course). But isn’t that a nice thing? If a country decides to give it’s citizens a day off for whatever reason then isn’t that exactly what we should be doing? Looking out of my window today I can see families playing together in their gardens and couples sunbathing with a bbq burning away in the corner. If you already know that everywhere will be closed for the day, then surely you get everything sorted beforehand and you just accept that that’s the way it is. It’s how it used to be in the UK, too.
When I was kid, the shops were always closed on Sundays and therefore we went to get our food and school clothes the day before. It left Sundays free for cooking a roast dinner with the whole family and catching up on The Simpsons at 6pm. It was nice. It was simple. With all the department stores (but never the banks) now open on Sundays, all that has disappeared.
It seems that my biggest problem with Denmark being closed today is me. How long is it going to take me to get used to it? And what the hell am I doing still sitting here writing this? I’m off out.