|Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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Bag Yourself An Opening Time 

!Hola!It’s your friendly Canario from the Islands flying high and fancy free. Unlike the shopkeepers and their customers around here who are tied to restricted opening times.  I flew past my friend’s, the hairdresser, the other day and she was doing a haircut in the dark! “Why?  Have the lights gone out again?” – No – so that the “Out-Of-Hours Police” didn’t catch her working and give her a hefty fine.  That got my plumage into a ruffle! 

No Sunday opening hours, closed on a Saturday afternoons – that’s only for anything you might actually want to buy at those times – like DIY or Car Parts, fashion accessories or sports bags, not forgetting that great week-end activity: the Garden Centre! (Not for Canary Folk say the powers that be). Unless, of course, you are in a “let’s-forget-about-these-ridiculous- out-of-date-out-of-hours-opening-time-free-zone” like Alcampo or Leroy. Makes me get all in a flap about freedoms and unfair-competition!

That’s not the worst of it!  Café owners are allowed to switch off their coffee machines at 18.30hrs so that customers have to buy more expensive drinks!  (I can’t see that happening in Starbucks in London – but then I can’t think of a more expensive hot beverage either!)

And whilst tweeting-on about costs: have you seen the price of carrier bags at the supermarket?  Don’t you wonder how much they must make from them alone? Don’t you hanker for the times when taking your weekly shop home was free?  (And guilt-free too … “It’s all about the environment” these over-packaged-experts insist). And all the supermarkets are at it.  It’s a monopoly cartel.

And so my bird brain got thinking…. to a time when foods weren’t long-life, freezers didn’t exist and carrier bags were free.  A time in which archaic Spanish Opening Hours are stuck … 40 or 50 years back.  And here’s the prime example: The Bread Shop.

Open by law 365 days a year, from 7am to 10pm, except 25th Dec, 1st Jan and 6th Jan (Reyes – Three Kings), when it’s open from 7am to 3pm – and where “customer service” is regulated by the State  (General Franco was partial to his crust, I’m told) – I almost fell of my perch laughing at my own thoughts!

So next time you’re off to the supermarket, go to bread shop first.  Pick up three rolls, but ask for three bags. The bread’s fresh…it’s cheap by law… and crumbs… the carrier bags are free!