certifiably tourist

May 30th, 2006

It was another classic damage control grocery mission. The time is 19:49, I suddenly remember I haven't had dinner and the store closes at 21. Since today was cleaning day (yes, that time of the month), I just wore a t-shirt, shorts and sandals around the house, it's practical for cleaning in case of spills and whatnot. It's also comfortable, if a little light for this time of year. It's also sunny out, and no sign of wind, so I hop on my bike and I'm off to the grocery store. At the checkout line, I recall that I haven't checked the balance in my account for a while and I have a rough ball park idea of how much is left on it. The ball park value was "hopefully about €50". For some reason I also decided to pick up some luxuries today - honey, a bag of oranges, noodles, jam, milk (still have some left), orange juice etc - aside from the base essentials (ie. tonight's dinner). My total adds up to about €23. I run my card through the card reader and punch in the code wrong. First sign of something amiss, I never get the code wrong. So I hit cancel, swipe again, type it in and confirm. It beeps. "Insufficient funds, pay otherwise." I ask to use a credit card, but for some reason Albert Heijn doesn't approve of them.

So there I am, in beach wear at the grocery store, explaining to the cashier in English that I only have €10 in cash. More of a tourist I could not have looked I bet. So I tell her I'll have to take some of the stuff back, she calls up a co-worker and we go over the problem again. I suggest paying part in cash, but even then I don't have the funds in my account. I pick €10 worth of groceries and pay for them, the guy scoops up the rest and takes it back. "Sorry about this." "No problem, have a nice day." Very professional.

I get back on my bike. All in all it's quite chilly out to be wearing a t-shirt and shorts. A light breeze flows through the street as well. I head home when suddenly I bump into a friend on the way. He's wearing jeans, a woollen sweater and a big coat. "My god, how obvious is it that you're Norwegian, look at you." While he was a bit overdressed, I was certainly underdressed for the weather in comparison with people out on the street.

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1 Responses to "certifiably tourist"

  1. erik says:

    Hahaha classic Martin. Good read