Normally on Sundays, Gabriel and I reconcile ourselves to the fact that all shops/most restaurants are closed in Hilversum. Of course everything is open in Amsterdam, but usually Sundays are a relaxing day for us at home. Yesterday, however, we decided to venture to the Amsterdam IKEA to pick up a few things for our new apartment. When we arrived at the Amsterdam Zuidoost store, it seemed like all of the Netherlands was there too!
It was only 4:00 when we left, so we decided to do our weekly grocery shopping before the stores closed. The Albert Heijn Seinhorst, where we usually do our big shopping, was still open, and, similar to IKEA, was packed with people. Normally, when I do my shopping during the week, I see Dutch people only buying a few items. I'm usually the "weird Canadian" filling up a cart-full of groceries as if preparing for the war. Yesterday, however, it seemed that most people were pushing around carts heaping with food! So this is when the Dutchies stock up for the week: Sunday evenings. Never, will I ever, ever, ever go back to an Albert Heijn on a Sunday evening. Not only was there a very limited selection of everything, and many bare shelves, but there were also lines of 20+ people at every cashier! What confused me was that some people were only buying a piece of chicken and some tomatoes, and they actually waited in those half-hour lines! As I did the groceries, Gabriel dutifully waited in line. That system worked out ok, but after circling the entire store, we still had to wait for over 25 minutes. Bah.
It was worth it, however, when we ate a huge roasted chicken, with potatoes, carrots, beans, cranberries, and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was just like Thanksgiving (minus the pumpkin pie).
Lesson learned, only venture out on Sundays when you absolutely need to. Otherwise, take the time to go for a bike ride, a walk, or to catch up on some movie-watching!