A matter of convenience

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Comments from a couple of people this week got me thinking. What hours are facilities generally open where you live? I’m in a big city, but nightlife and retail is pretty limited; there’s not a lot open after hours that don’t involve drinking or overpriced movies.

Banks – Business hours, with branches inside malls usually open weekends too

Post offices – Usually business hours

Retailers – Roughly 9-5, usually 10-4 on weekends, with late nights on Thursday and Friday

Museums/galleries – Business hours

Cinemas – Movies run from mid-morning until maybe midnight

Supermarkets – Some are 24/7, others open till about 10pm

Butchers/grocers – Usually business-ish hours, and weekends

Bottle shops – Open til about 10pm from memory

Bars – I wouldn’t know; I’m long gone by whenever they close, though I’m told its quite early compared to other countries

Petrol stations – I think most stations I’ve ever known of are 24/7, although at a certain point they shut down the kiosk and you can’t go inside – only pump, pay through the window, and leave

Call centre hours vary – some services are available weekends and evenings, others…are not. And if you head out on a late-night jaunt, be wary of certain big parks/local volcanic mountains – they’ll often close up the gates during the night and you don’t want to have your car stuck in there until the morning. Typical Auckland.

7 thoughts on “A matter of convenience

  • Reply Kara May 30, 2011 at 03:58

    I think our hours here are about the same. Most of our grocery stores close between 10pm and Midnight, and out bars have to shut it down by 2am.

  • Reply Andrea May 30, 2011 at 04:58

    I live in a pretty quiet community… I think things are pretty similar. Bars have last call at 2AM nd there are only a few gas stations around that are 24/7, it’s enough.. I think.

  • Reply Emily Jane May 30, 2011 at 05:13

    Interesting, I remember when I moved from the UK over to Canada that was one of the first things I noticed – back home most stores closed at 5 or 6pm and weren’t open on Sundays (although this was over ten years ago), and to see things open well into the night here was very interesting indeed!

  • Reply Liz May 30, 2011 at 05:23

    From my brief experience of Auckland a couple of years ago I found it to be very similar to Brighton (UK) where I used to live.

    I would say that the list above also applies to Brighton in regards when things are open/available. The only change being that the pubs and clubs in that city took advantage of the change in law in the UK a while back and most open all night.

    There is something surreal about going to work at the same time people were coming out of the clubs!

    As for the car getting stuck overnight, my sister in Wales had that happen to her recently. Could not get hold of anyone with the keys (the car park sign has been covered up) so in the end had to ask her Dad (who she was visiting) to collect her from the car park of a local landmark.

  • Reply Stephany May 30, 2011 at 08:03

    I think most of our hours are the same, although most retailers stay open until 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, and only close early on Sundays.

  • Reply Mel May 31, 2011 at 10:29

    This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I lived in Auckland until I was 27, and constantly heard people (mostly kiwis!) complaining about the appalling business hours. Personally, it was very, very rare for me to want something and not be able to get it – even outside of the centre. The memorable exception is decent late-night food! The Open Late Cafe on Ponsonby Rd was often a saviour.

    But, here’s the thing. I now live in Europe, and travel often. In the UK, don’t bother trying to get groceries on a Sunday after about 4pm! My sister, who lives there, says there’s a limit of 6 hours (I guess with some exceptions) shops can open on Sunday. As a result, the normal Sunday hours are 10-4. In Paris last year, I wanted to pick up a few things – sunblock, a book and postage stamps, I think. This was a non-holiday Monday, and the only things open seemed to be cafes and restaurants. I figured I’d be fairly safe with a shopping mall – nope, the place was locked and deserted. I seemed to spend most of our time there trying to find open shops!

    My new home – a capital city – is much better, but still not as good as Auckland! There are 1 or 2 supermarkets open till midnight, most close about 8 or 9pm. Shopping malls are generally open till 8 or 9, every day. Most banks are open til about 4pm, some more ‘progressive’ ones stay open a few hours longer, and I think there’s one branch of my bank open on the weekend. Petrol stations shut about 8pm, but 7 days (although no grocery selection!). Normal shops are open business hours, sometimes also on Saturday. Post offices are usually open business hours minus a lunch break, a few are open 8-10am or so on Saturday. Anything government it gets interesting! Often only ‘open’ open on Mon & Wed, something like 9-12, 1-5. And everywhere, everywhere tends to close way early (like an hour) if it’s slow!

    In short (sorry for the ramble!) – As with roads, I think a lot of people who complain about NZ compare it to some perfect view of “cosmopolitan” Europe that just doesn’t exist.

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic May 31, 2011 at 12:19

    The hours are more or less the same here in Chicago. Some places, like bookstores and shopping malls, will stay open until 9 or 10. I don’t usually go to the bars unless I’m with other people, because those places don’t really become active until late at night. And I’ve always been a morning person, so I’m usually the only sleepy person in a bar when it gets to be midnight.

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