Here in Luxembourg, and in many parts of Europe, stores cannot merely have a sale. Sales are regulated by the government and happen twice a year - in January and July. This summer's started last Saturday.
Understandably, they are eagerly awaited and can get... well a little busy.
This afternoon I left work a little early (I decided that my lunch meeting *yawn* did not count as a lunch break and skipped out 1/2 hour early) and hit the mall near my office at just after 3:30. The mall was chosen for it's grocery store (needed food) and the fact that there is an H&M where I was hoping to pick up a couple of pairs of shorts for the Stu who is going through a growth spurt.
Well - even after 6 1/2 years of living here I was unprepared for the throngs of people milling aimlessly through the mall - at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon! Do they not have jobs? Do they have to wander like unherded cattle blocking any possible opportunity to walk quickly to one's destination??
Inside the stores is a different story. You can feel the tension as you walk in - people grabbing, no change rooms, 10 deep at the cash. I found not a single pair of shorts in H&M so I hit the Zara kids department next door, where I had far more sucess and found young Stu 3 pairs of shorts on sale.
I also found Julia a green top... in fact I don't think I ever intended to buy it even though it is quite cute (and I am hoping big enough!!) but there was this annoying woman who came to sand behind/beside/on top of me as I was looking at white t-shirts and this green one fell off the rack into my hand. Turns out (after a few minutes of me ignoring her and her standing even closer) that she wanted the green shirt in my hand. And yes, I was uncharitable and bought it for my daughter.
I'll be sure to take a picture of her wearing it... really , it's cute...