I write this as I’m shooting in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. With a country that has the second longest beachshore in the world, it’s no wonder a lot of leisure time in Rio revolves around it. Sundays see the seashore packed with people of all ages playing football (what else!), kadima, volleyball, swimming or simply running. That got me thinking of how people in different cities spend their Sundays.
Sunday brunch is a huge tradition in New York. On Sundays, New Yorkers pour into restaurants, preferably outdoors, and eat a leisurely brunch. Married couples share the New York Times and spend hours eating in the sun. Families come en masse — I have never seen so many baby strollers in New York restaurants than on Sundays. A walk /hike in one of the many canyons in Los Angeles is a huge favourite on Sundays. Those who are close-ish (nothing is really close in LA) to the beach, head there.
Like New Yorkers, a large number of Losangelenos go out for brunch. That’s no surprise considering Sunday brunches originated in America. Hong Kong sees most non-expat families getting together in homes and having a dim sum lunch. It’s a day to catch up with family and relatives. Expatriates normally give their domestic help a day off on Sundays so lunch for them is invariably at a restaurant. Sydneysiders stream onto their beaches but unlike Cariocas (citizens of Rio), their activities are more centered around the sea like surfing and swimming, although beers and the barbie(que) aren’t far away. In London, Sunday activities tend to centre around a pub.
A greasy pub lunch chased down by many beers or gin and tonics is an end-of-the-week staple. For a non-alcoholic Sunday, Bangkok’s the placeto go. There, Sunday is a day for shopping. (Not that any other day isn’t in that city) The malls are packed to the rafters and you need to be seriously fit to buy anything — I can testify from personal experience.
Barring the national madness for cricket and the movies, Bombay, now, Mumbai, must be one of the few big cities that doesn’t have an active Sunday, with Bombayites/Mumbaikars preferring not to stir out till the evening. The reason for that is pretty obvious. This is easily the most exhausting big city I have ever known and most of us work six days a week. We deserve our rest.