The American Dilemma of ‘Paper or Plastic’

Sometimes I feel sorry for American tourists that visit the Netherlands. Not always, there are times when I’m cycling and a tourist (and a lot of those are American) hops onto the road without even looking to see who’s coming, forcing me to swerve across the street, while avoiding other cyclist, causing a chain reaction of road rage. Also, don’t think that I’m being too harsh, because I’m counting on enraging half the States by the time I learn how to drive (when I’ve actually mastered the skill it will be okay, but who knows how long that might take). Anyway, one of the times I feel most sorry for American tourists is when they go grocery shopping.

I didn't want to give away any spoilers, so here's a very happy woman doing groceries in Holland, Michigan.

I didn’t want to give away any spoilers, so here’s a very happy woman doing groceries in Holland, Michigan.

 

You see, in the States there is a certain luxury when you’re doing your groceries. You get your basket, walk up to the register, pile your stuff on the belt and pay while someone else packs your bags. The confusing part in the Netherlands is that it sneaks up on you. You get your basket, walk up to the register, pile your stuff on the belt and pay while you’re at the same time supposed to pack your own bags, that you should have bought before you got to the register. No one is packing your bags for you. I feel a lot of sympathy for those tourists that go through this the first time. As a teenager, this was the worst part of doing groceries. By the time I started packing, a big line had formed behind me. I would get nervous by having all these people wait on me, packing bags and getting my wallet out at the same time. Of course, the nervousness would cause my wallet to burst open and spray coins all over the place, so after picking them up, I’d carelessly pack my bag, throwing the eggs in first and piling cartons of milk on top of them, getting more and more nervous by the minute and walking home with broken eggs, leaking cartons and enough to cry about for the next two weeks. That’s why I feel sorry for those who didn’t even see it coming.

It didn't help either that half my basket was filled with the stuff you use to fight acne.

It didn’t help either that half my basket was filled with the stuff you use to fight acne.

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3 thoughts on “The American Dilemma of ‘Paper or Plastic’

  1. I love how you compare the Netherland vs. U.S. In Canada, we bring our own shopping bags and pack our own stuff too. The cashier might help after the transaction of paying is complete if there is no-one behind you.

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