Most Hamilton offices follow the North American and English counterparts, with an official eight-hour workday Monday through Friday. Staff in retail outlets start winding down at 4:30 p.m., in readiness for a prompt 5 p.m. exit. The “rush hour”—a misnomer, since it is more a motorized crawl through the parishes—typically runs 7:30 a.m.–9:15 a.m. weekday mornings, and 5 p.m.–6:15 p.m. evenings, as residents make their way to and from Hamilton en masse. Traveling to and from the East End in these hours is usually not too difficult. Try to avoid being caught up in the western flow of traffic, however; all three arteries to and from Hamilton (Harbour Rd., Middle Rd., and South Shore) are crammed with bumper-to-bumper cars, with scooters zipping down the center line to get ahead.
Major Front Street stores stay open during the summerlong Harbour Nights street festival (7–9 p.m.). Stores throughout Hamilton usually keep longer Friday hours (until 9 p.m.) during the Christmas period.
As a conservative, religious society with more churches per square mile than nearly anywhere, Bermuda has been slow to embrace Sunday shopping. The law was finally amended in the late 1990s, and since then, most supermarkets are open 1–5 p.m., though you will see their liquor departments roped off (it remains illegal for stores to sell alcohol on Sundays). Most bars stay open until 1 a.m., though nightclubs and a few private after-hours clubs wait shut their doors until 3 a.m.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition