Hema is a store here in Holland which is sort of a department store, I think. It's kind of like a cross between Ikea and Superstore. In my mind, anyway.

Today I went to go pick up some stationery for my Dutch class and whatever miscellaneous things I needed to pick up. When I went to pay, I was getting by with my usual pretend-I-know-what's-going-on-by-not-saying-anything-and-nodding. Usually I've caught on to the drill. They tell me the price, which I think I could probably figure out if I listened carefully. I check the register to make sure because it would be weird if I gave them an extra 20 cent coin when it would give me back extra change or something. (A note about coins at the end). After paying, they usually ask if I want the receipt. I'm not sure what the whole word is, but it can be shortened to "bon", so I always try to listen for that. I usually respond with a "ja" and a nod. I've thought about saying "please" but "alsjeblieft" doesn't roll off my tongue as easily as it does for the Dutch. And I haven't figured out if I should say "alstublieft" or "alsjeblieft" either. Then sometimes they wish me well, sometimes they don't. Either way, I usually just kinda nod and smile and say "dank je wel" (which does roll off the tongue since I've used it quite a bit and it's pretty easy) and go off on my merry way.

But every once in a while, someone will throw a curveball and that's what happened today. As I had finished paying and getting my changed, the lady said something complicated which I knew was not "do you want your receipt?". So I said "sorry?" and whenever I say sorry, it comes out with the most Canadian accent you'd ever hear in these parts, and they switch to English right away. Even if she said it in Dutch again, it wouldn't matter anyway.

Turns out you can collect stickers to get wine glasses. Who woulda thunk.

I declined, because I don't need wine glasses and I didn't want to think about bringing them home one day. They would probably break.


A note about change:

Anyone who has been to Europe probably knows that the coins are differently denominated than North American ones. You've got the good old 2-euro and 1-euro coins, which I really like. They both look like toonies, except the 1-euro is smaller and the colours are swapped (silver outside for 2-euro and gold outside for 1-euro). Then you've got 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cent coins going down.

Except in Holland, they're phasing out the 1 cent coin. So I had random change from a trip two years ago, and it stayed in my wallet for forever until I got annoyed and donated it somewhere.

What I was going to make a note of is how terrible I am at figuring out what coins to give to get the least number of coins back. I was already bad while in Canada, despite living there for my whole life. Although these are easier to work with, in a way, sometimes it's easy to forget that 4,75 means you're going to get back two coins.


I just went through my pencil case at home and discovered I have two pencils and I didn't need to buy one. Darn.


Cindy said...

Oohh an Ikea-Superstore hybrid? Sounds cool!

on faith, food and flying
The thoughts and experiences of a college kid on faith, love and life in pursuit of Christ, the loveliest One, while enjoying misadventures and quests for food, which so happen to take her around the world.
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