Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Fail: Supermarket Edition

We've been doing so well adjusting to our new "home."  But just when you think you've mastered a simple task such as going to your Dutch grocery store; life comes and bites you in the ezel.

An Ezel
It was a routine shopping trip for tonight's dinner menu, lemon chicken. I  breezed up the produce aisle snagging the last head of broccoli; there was a guy next to me that had his eye on it too, but I was the victor!  As a reward I decided to pick up a La Trappe Tripel, one of my favorite Trappists and brewed in the Netherlands.  Fighting temptation to buy a few more brews, I moved on to the cheese counter, to snap two free samples of Jong Belegen (young belgian) [EDITOR'S NOTE: It was politely pointed out to me I miss translated "Belegen;" it's not "Belgian." See the comment below for correct translation].  Then a quick turn down the wine aisle. There I had to leap over a women's cart who was blocking the entire shelf of Albert Heijn (AH) box wine.  That was it, I was done; off to checkout.

Friday, at 5:30pm usually finds the AH busy with shoppers, and tonight was no exception.   But for some reason I found myself slipping right into the "Pin Only;" no cash, lane with no line.  Could this really be happening?  Placing my items on the belt with a sense of confidence I then handed in my AH bonus card.  Then it hit me.  I FORGOT MY PIN CARD.  I was trapped; another shopper began to place their items on the belt.  Now what?  The sweat began to build on my forehead.  I then tried to explain in broken English how I forgot my pin and started collecting my items. This brought great amusement to the checker.  So I figured no worries I'd jump in the cash lane; only one problem, NO EUROS either.  BLAST!

So again in broken English, I ask the same checker if it was ok to leave my basket and return with my card.  Smiling, since she witnessed my entire conversion from confidence to cowardice she agreed. I then sleeked out of the store, pulled my Philles hat down, and started a light jog back to the apartment. Lucky, I was sporting my Adidas track suit, so it added to my quickness.

Upon my return, the check out girl was ready for me, I think she was "impressed with my speed." Too embarrassed to look her in the eye and out of breath I tried to say "dank u wel" or "thank you" but the words came out jumbled, I have no idea what I said.

Defeated, I began to walk out with my purchases but not without first giving a friendly wave to my friend the Afghani Olive Salesmen. He was with customers so I didn't interrupt him.  Besides, I just wanted to get back and forget about this trip.

On the bright side, I'm guessing the jog back and forth worked off those free samples of cheese.


  1. I smiled at the translation of "Jong belegen". It's not young Belgian :-)
    Belegen means "has been lying there for quite a while" of "rather old".
    Cheese is either Jong (young), Jong belegen (not so young anymore), Belegen (quite old), Oud (you guessed it), Overjarig (long overdue, but still very tasty).

    1. Thank you for that. For months, I've been wondering why if the Dutch were famous for cheese why was it that I could only find "Belgian" cheese. Sorry about my naivety (I think that's a word). I'll make the correction. Cheers and thanks again. OH! and thanks too for reading!