Wednesday, 5 September 2012

7/11 oder verkaufsverbot

Legal augurers, deciding that there is too much creeping in shop opening hours in Bavaria and creative license to skirt the limitations, have reinterpreted the exceptions granted to petrol-stations to expressly apply only to car and truck drivers and not pedestrians who are interested in using the attached convenience stores. Some people are quite disgruntled with the suggestion that the passing shopper would not be allowed to make purchases after eight o’clock in the p.m., the latest hour that retail stores and markets are traditionally allowed to remain open.

There are a few gas stations here in this rather rural area open around the clock (with only a nighttime register) and some fast food establishment whose drive-thru window is in operation twenty-three hours a day, which seems like another assault against people moving under their own power, but before this bit of news, I had not given the idea any thought and took it for granted that in some place, somewhere would be open. Nowadays, I’ve only ever bought the odd pack of cigarettes or cup of coffee from a gas-station, thinking the inflated costs a sign of the unholy alliance between the oil industry and food packagers and the price one pays for not planning ahead—though I know for some, the convenience is a necessity, like for those who work themselves at the stores and restaurants and Tankstelle until late. The mark-up on baby-food, beer and pizza, I suppose, is not so great as the margin on gasoline—nor as variable, but should they lose this other source of income, attendants will lose jobs. Further, people in the tourism industry say enforcing such restrictions will hurt Bavaria’s reputation as a functional and well-situation vacation destination, as holiday-makers will be frustrated with not being able to walk into a shoppette at all hours. I don’t know how legislators will move forward with this proposal and I am not sure what consequences it would have should it come into force but I does seem strange to ration purchases to someone with a motorized means of transport. Maybe it won’t only be underage kids hanging on someone with an ID in the parking lot for a favour but locals too on anyone driving a car.