... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

o is for opening hours

Thursday, April 17, 2014

When I first met Will, I lived in a small beach town in Australia's Central Queensland.  The town had one local grocery store, a Woolworths, two pharmacies and a handful of restaurants.  People that lived there were beyond excited when the first 24 hr McDonalds was built (in 2008) because even though nobody particularly enjoyed the food - it gave them a meal option past 9pm.  Nothing in this town was open past 9pm!  If you had any kind of (un-medical) emergency, you called your friends or knocked on your neighbours' door and hoped to heck they had whatever you needed!  My American husband was shocked by this.

It got even worse Will and I became serious and decided to move in together.  For a change of scenery but mainly for work reasons, we did so at the other end of Australian continent in a slightly larger beach town called Scarborough Beach on the coast of Western Australia.  Here, business hours were even worse!  Many places closed at 5 or 8pm and many more remained closed on Sundays!  It used to irritate me whenever Will would complain about nothing been opened because, well, how dare he say anything cross about my beloved country!  Damn spoiled, consumeristic American, I used to think.  Can't bare the slightest kind of inconvenience!  Now, three years after living in the States myself, I've become just as spoiled!  This became obvious on a recent trip back home to Brisbane, where I complained the whole time about not being able to get anything done without an appointment! HA!

I've really come to enjoy my impromptu massages, salon trips or shopping 'emergencies.'  Not that Americans need to justify ducking into a Walmart (like a BIG W) at 1am - but it still feels exciting to me!  I giggle just thinking about it sometimes:
- need a prescription at 11pm? You got it!
- getting ready for bed, only to remember you're out of toothpaste?  No problem!
- friend called you up crying at 9.30pm because her idiot bf just dropped her like a sack of potatoes?  Don't stress!  Run out, buy her some flowers, a bottle of wine and their favourite chick-flick and head on over to her.

Here's the low-down: in most major American cities:
- retail stores remain open until 9pm every day!!
- grocery stores are open until midnight every night - some are 24 hr!
- restaurants stay open until 10-11pm every day!
- banks and post offices are open on Saturdays!
- if you happen to stop at a petrol station that isn't open, it's a pretty safe bet you'll be able to get gas anyway because most petrol stations leave their pumps on over night, so you can pre-pay with a card, fill up and be on your way!

Ahhh extended opening hours... they're a wonderful, wonderful thing!


  1. Haha...you are spoiled. This story reminded me of a time (1974) when I was newly married and living in Cornwall. My father-in-law decided to take for a drive one Sunday to show me the scenery. It was coming up to lunch time...time for a pint and fish and chips..so Dad started looking for a pub. There were plenty but not a one was open. Unbeknownst to him we had crossed into Wales where everything closed down on the Sabbath. Oh the horror!

    1. lol, that is too funny! But that's exactly what going back to places that don't work Sundays is like now-a-days! I'm like what kind of backwards village did we just stumble upon? LOL it's horrible! How will any of us survive without it I wonder :P

    2. PS: I didn't know you lived in the UK! I'd like to hear all about it! I'm dying to visit - it's #1 on my bucket list :)




About unwavering me

Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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