As a boy walks up to order his cheese from the local market he’s offered his usual. Two pieces of fuet, a dried meat with a white fermented outside. The boy replies, “No, no, tomorrow, I’ll get that tomorrow.” The butcher throws his hands in the air and exclaims. “Tomorrow is Sunday, you are in Spain. Here on Sunday, we live.” Nosotros Vivimos Los Domingos. The boy not sure what to reply orders two pieces of fuet while the owner continues to explain that Sunday is for sleeping, for eating, for resting – for living.
I first experienced this phenomenon while in Munich 3 years ago. We had to make sure that we had everything we needed for the next day before heading out on Saturday because nothing is open on Sunday. First, it came as a shock but I quickly warmed to the idea. The only exception seems to be cafes and restaurants, so that you can go out and eat, and share a meal with friends and family.
In Barcelona, it is the same. On Sunday, all retail is closed as well as major supermarkets. The markets are closed, the malls are closed (only allowing access to food stalls). The bookstores and cellphone shops are closed. At first, it was a bit difficult to adjust to, not having the supermarkets open but it’s possible to adapt quickly. I enjoy thinking that all the workers are at home enjoying a Sunday lunch with their families. During the week certain retail stores close for lunch as well. Many places in the Barceloneta close from 2 pm to 4 pm. So the workers can return and eat at their homes. Maybe even take a quick siesta.
I remember days in New Zealand where there would be an absolute rush at the supermarket if it was going to close for a day. Making sure we had our cupboards full. What would really happen if we closed a few more things on Sundays? We may plan and be resourceful for a day. We may focus on each other and go spend some time in nature rather than in malls. It is important to take the time to live, to recharge. I say bring on a tradition of #sundayfunday. What else are we here for if not to enjoy the company of those we love?
#sundayfunday is a great way to do something new. Check out that new restaurant you always wanted to go. Play a game. Have a theme day, a yoga and juice day. Go meditate in the local gardens. Go try somewhere new for a coffee. Make a traditional meal from a country you haven’t been. Anything. We put ideas in a box, and on Saturday we pull out one idea and plan the next day. We are never disappointed by experiencing something different. Pick your favourite people and go do something new.