Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Down the British Rabbit Hole

August 24, 2009 · 1 Comment

Up until the day we left the US, we could go to our 24 hour grocery markets, convenience stores, and cafes. It never crossed our minds that this would change. We thought that the 24 hour 7 days a week mentality was an attribute of the modern world, not one that would be characteristic of the United States. So yesterday it was startling to find all the stores and restaurants, excluding pubs and Starbucks, closing by 6 pm. Six o’clock on a Sunday evening back home typically would translate to dinner with the family and all preparations for the coming week. This would include trips to the grocery store, gas stations and other last minute errands. Here, though, it seems that Sunday is still more so a day of rest, especially in the sense of shops and restaurants having shorter hours. Back home Sunday is the day of catch-up, which requires shops and restaurants to remain open.


At six o’clock after our walking tour of Bloomsbury, we attempted to go to Tesco’s to purchase some pasta and bread to cook our own dinner. Unfortunately, they were closed and upon further investigation we found the only places to still be open were the pubs and Starbucks. Over our dinner at the Marlborough Arms, we discussed how a chain store like Tesco’s back home would have longer hours on a Sunday. It made us realize that the perception of time is something that is different here. Perception of time is something we have been thinking a lot about since we visited the observatory and Prime Meridian at Greenwich and had to start considering time differences in talking to our families.

Something that wasn’t a consideration other than making sure we got to our classes and appointments on time has become a huge part of our daily lives and now we’re dictated by time and how it is perceived by the British.

On a side note, cookies for whoever understands the reference.

Categories: Kimberly · Mara · Uncategorized

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