Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moonlight shopping

There is no indoor mall in Leiden. Department stores, boutiques and chains stores like C&A (British, affectionately known as Cheap and Awful) and H&M have storefronts on the Haarlemmerstraat. The Haarlemmerstraat is about half a mile long and is a car free zone. Pedestrians rule! Cyclists are supposed to walk their bikes during daylight hours and most do so. The few who don't, ride so slowly that walking their bikes wouldn't make a difference to safety. It's a very civil and pleasant place to wander through. Except for the shopping. The shopping is very tough for me, being unemployed and not independently wealthy. The number of fashionable shoe stores amounts to a very long day of pretending that I desperately need boots because my sturdy pair wore out and I must, absolutely must in a practical sense, buy a new pair. I'm not sure how long I can keep pretending to pretend. My boots are looking more worn and old every minute. In any case, shopping is easy, comfortable and the only oddities are the hours. Stores open late on Mondays, some don't open on Mondays. Stores are open late on Thursdays. Some Sundays are shopping holidays, some are not. The rules for the hours are a mystery to me... Apparently the Dutch have more holidays than I'll ever know. The above photo is of a giant sign stretched over the Haarlemmerstraat, announcing the website for Winter in Leiden. I memorized it and looked it up at home, hoping to find lots of great things to do this winter.
Here is the website:

It's a gif! No links. No features. No more information than would fit on the giant banner in the first place. Yay, Extra Koopavonden (night shopping) and Extra Koopzondagen (Sunday shopping) and Moonlight shopping! Hmmmm. I get the feeling that they want what little money I have. Even Lady Talk turns out to be a promotional event for shopping. Oh, those new boots are going to happen, maybe under the influence of some whisky.

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