Something that can be really frustrating for someone moving to Vienna/Austria from a somewhat ‘normal’ country where shops are open on Sunday, is just that: Shops are not open on Sunday. Not even supermarkets. Nix. Nada. Even though I grew up in a country where the situation is similar, I had become accustomed to do my grocery shopping on Sunday in New Zealand, when I finally could find the time to do so. Stress free, no fuss. So, I often ended up without food on Sundays when I first got here, and it took a while before I found the shops that are open on Sunday. There are five supermarkets that I know of: Billa Franz Josef Bahnhof (in the picture above), Westbahnhof supermarket (really small), Spar Pronto at Landstrasse (small), Spar Pronto at Hauptbahnhof (small to medium but pretty good), and Billa Praterstern (Quite decent even on a Sunday but crazy full of people). Perhaps you can detect a pattern there… (Train stations!). There are also Turkish supermarkets around the place that are open on Sundays, so you’re lucky if you end up living next to one of those.
The experience of Billa Franz Josef Bhof though is one that always fascinates me. The place is always full of bogans, with a lot of dogs. The proliferation of people with bright coloured hair, piercings and collections of dogs don’t always go well with the streams of people pouring into the supermarket on Sundays. I’ve never felt threatened or unconfortable, but I have seen those who have got into arguments with the bogans when they’re asking for money. Some people just don’t want to look at things that aren’t “pretty” when going shopping, I suppose. The worst thing that’s ever happened to me here was that someone asked me for 10 cents. Can’t say that that’s scared me off! 🙂