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Thursday, February 07, 2002

After five weeks of using the euro, I have to confess that they are still a mystery to me. The coins are not becoming more familiar with use, I never seem to have any 50 cent pieces (the coin needed to unlock a shopping cart) and the stores really don't like bills larger than a fifty.

I don't seem to be alone in this. We went to buy a new table and chairs yesterday. When it came time to present us with our bill, the salesman scribbled wildly on a sheet of paper for a few minutes, then muttering deprecations against the euro finally pulled out a pocket calculator to add up the bill.

The ferry ride home was 1.88 euro. The driver of the car told the ticket seller to keep the change, it was only a nuisance. Which seems to sum up the general feeling about the copper-colored coins very well.

Sunday, February 03, 2002

The "foreign" euros have finally landed here, too. I got my first foreign euro yesterday from the train station when buying a train ticket, and I was sure to show it to everybody. It took me a little figuring out and guessing to finally realize exactly what country's euro it was, though. It turned out to be German, although a lot of people I showed it to thought it was French or Dutch.

My father wanted to bring some of his left-over marks to the bank (a whole bucketful...) but it turns out some of the banks were closed because of a strike of some type. I turned in my piggy bank in the first days of January, and I still haven't received the money on my bank account. According to the newspaper, it was to be expected. The banks are a month and a half behind the schedule in opening those piggy banks.