Living in The Netherlands

Wow, that is quite a big title for a blog post. But there are some things I like to share about living in The Netherlands. My guy, as you may know, is British. Having a partner that comes from a different country helped me to look at the country I am living in with new eyes. Almost. You know: things I take for granted are suddenly strange, because I can’t really explain why it is normal for me! Continue Reading

Long distance

It’s not so much a ‘long distance relationship’ thing, though we did have to go through that phase for a while. It’s more a ‘being apart for a week’ thing, when F. has to be away for work. And it’s just weird. Especially since we did the whole ‘long distance relationship’ thing before. Now I feel as if I have to be just okay with it, because it is only a week and we can keep in touch much easier these days. But still. Fun it ain’t.

Why is it that when you are in a relationship you get that attached to someone’s presence? It’s not like I roam around the house crying and not knowing what to do. I do get on with it. In some ways I get more stuff done when he is not here, than when we plan our evenings together. I guess it is just boring when I am alone. That does not stop me from doing things we don’t do together. Like watching tv in bed … in the morning! That was one of my joys when I lived alone. I haven’t done that since we moved in together. Mind you, when you wake up in the same bed, my first thought is not ‘where is the remote control?’. But when he is away, me and the cats will watch some tv in bed before we get up.

The cats, that’s another thing. M. the girl is heartbroken every time F. packs his suitcase. E. the boy simply enjoys his absence, by lounging on F.’s side of the bed. M. greets F. when he gets back, as if life without him is worthless. Yes. She sometimes makes me feel guilty for not missing my guy more than she seems to do. E. is annoyed, and demonstrates that by not moving off the side of the bed that is contested between the two men of the house.

One perk is that my guy brings back goodies I love. Like tea. And chocolate. And magazines he picks up at the airport. So really. What do I have to complain about? Besides it being boring, and includes me doing lots of work around the house and, well, that I just miss him.

Self-service shopping

We live very close to a shopping center where they offer self-service shopping. You get a scanner, scan your products and pay at the register based on what you scanned. Yeah: they do trust you to scan all the products in your trolley. About as far as they can throw you. So they do ‘spot checks’ where they randomly pick you to scan a number of items to check if you scanned them. But you have to wonder how random it is, when you get picked every single Friday night.

Every Friday evening we do shopping. Not always at the same time, but most Friday evenings withing the same hour. And we get picked for ‘random checks’ 9 out of 10 times. We joked about it at first. Until the joke is just starting to wear thin and we say things to each other like ‘it’s still faster than normal queueing’. I would not mind if I had the feeling there were frequent checks and every other customer got checked. But I have not observed that. I have observed we get checked 9 out of 10 evenings based on I dunno what kind of spooky random algorhythm that they use. Can I borrow it for my lottery draws, please? I’d like a 9 in 10 chance to win sometimes.

So how random is it? I really have no idea. But I am mistrustful of these things, to be honest. I know there has to be a button the register-person can push to force a check based on whatever they rely on for instinct. That’s what I would built in anyway. So the supermarker employee can look in our cart and think ‘they probably try to get that beer for free. Better scan them!’ Because it always happens when we have alcohol in the cart. That’s how random it is. We don’t buy alcohol all the time and when we don’t have any in the cart, we have a better chance of not getting scanned.

In the UK the self-service shopping is slightly different that in The Netherlands. You pick up your stuff, go to the register and there you scan your products under the watchful eye of one or two employees. And they never re-scan your stuff. It is bloody difficult to get something passed them unscanned anyway. But no one seems to even think about it either! So… why us, why in The Netherlands?

I just wish I knew what made us so untrustworthy. … They never ever find something we did not scan. They thought they did once, but I KNOW we scanned it and it was on trhe scanned list. They just denied it was on there so we had to move to the regular queue. Weird huh? It’s just weird.