Ratisbonisms | The Day of Rest

Ross-5-1024x623Un­ser Au­tor Ross kommt aus dem ver­reg­ne­ten Nor­den Eng­lands. Letz­ten Herbst ver­liebte er sich in eine Re­gens­bur­ger Erasmus-Studentin. Nach zwei Se­mes­tern war ihr Aus­lands­auf­ent­halt vor­bei. Sie ging zu­rück nach Re­gens­burg – und er kam mit. Doch die Stadt und ihre Ein­woh­ner be­sche­ren dem Zu­a­groastn seit­dem den ein oder an­de­ren “what the fuck?!”-Moment. In sei­ner wö­chent­li­chen Ko­lumne „Ra­tis­bo­nisms” er­zählt Ross mit sei­nem dry english wit von Re­gens­burgs Eigenheiten.

“On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrate and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed”

                                                                                             Constantine the Great – A.D. 321 

The Great; a perfectly fitting title for the man who is probably directly responsible for the stress-free, workless Sundays which the majority enjoys today. In England, on the venerable day of the sun, the pace is slowed down but families still head to supermarkets for the big shop (the trip in which you buy everything you’ll need for the week), every shop is open and people are encouraged to traipse around crowded shopping centres and spend their hard-earned pennies.

The first Sunday I was in Regensburg was the day after I moved into my flat. Naturally the fridge was looking miserable and my supply of duty-free Toblerone was heavily depleted. I decided to take a trip to a local, cheaply priced supermarket where I would pick up a few fridge-fillers and essential breakfast cereal. From a distance I could see that there weren’t any cars in the car park and the inside looked dark. Closed! How are people supposed to do the big shop?! Facing the prospect of a hungry night, I cycled back towards home. Then I had what I like to call a ‘Trueman Show moment’. You know when something happens that makes you look around for the hidden cameras? A small leaflet lay on the floor advertising a supermarket at the train station and it was open on Sundays!

This is the type of supermarket that people only go to when nothing else is open. It’s like a post-apocalyptic refuge, there’s a terrible selection of canned food and people are prepared to fight for the last bag of rice. But it sold food and that’s the only thing that mattered. A thirsty man will drink from the muddiest of pools.

It’s taken me a while to adjust. I can no longer nip to a shop to pick up milk for Monday’s breakfast or a salty bag of nachos after a Saturday night in Suite. But shopping aside, Sunday here is perfect. A day to enjoy the city at its ancient and beautiful best. Cycle into the beautiful countryside or do whatever one likes is exactly what England needs. Without shops and busyness and bustle we get peace. I’ll soon return to England for a hectic family Christmas which will no doubt include frenzied days of last-minute present buying and distant relative visiting. So for now I have to savour every single day of rest.

Constantine the Great may have sentenced his own son to death but he certainly knew a thing or two about Sundays!

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