Had another nice treat today...one of my newfound friends invited me to the Lido (beach island) where she lives to experience the market that happens there every Tuesday. This is an open air market of just about anything you could want (except non aerosol hairspray, of course!). If I had to guess, I would say it is close to 1/2 mile long and just filled with vendors selling clothes, cheese, vegetables, plants, household goods, and best of all, SHOES! They are so cheap there....boy, am I in trouble. I didnt buy any today but I imagine I will have to go back to the market and check it out in detail....one never knows when one will HAVE to buy a pair of shoes.
I found out some insight to the whole cashier/exact change issue. But this was after my latest run in with them. When you go to the grocery store, you have to put a euro coin in in order to get a shopping cart unlocked (you get the coin back when you put the cart back). So, I had to go to the store and only had some 50 cent pieces and a 2 euro coin. Knowing this in advance, I stopped in a few stores along the way to the grocery store (Billa) asking for change. Do you think anyone would give me 2 euro coins for 1 two euro coin? Absolutely not. Not only would they not give me change but they felt the need to express what a cardinal sin it was that I ask such a feat of them. It was so surreal that it was almost funny. So, here I am now in Billa and need to ask a cashier for change to get the cart (what I really should have done is just go home and shop another day!). I ask the one who looks the nicest (hard to tell because they never smile) and she reads me the riot act--arms flailing all over, pointing to her cash register, blah, blah, blah. Well, being amused was not an option at that point and I pretty much rolled my eyes at her, said 'whatever' in a condescending tone and demanding the two coins. I got them! I didnt feel good about it...shouldnt have to be so rude for such a silly thing--in fact, what I really wanted to do was rant and rave at her and give her a piece of my mind (which we all know I can do quite well), but I figured she would only be receiving the wrath of the 6 other people who ticked me off earlier. So, I shopped instead.
Now, today, I asked my new friend about this change nazi issue and she laughed, knowing exactly what I meant. She said that when the cashiers open their registers in the morning (she has a friend who works at Billa), they only have one coin of each denomination!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, handing out change is a big deal because they might run out of coins. When asked why they dont start out with a roll of each coin, the standard answer was 'because we have always done that'. So, there it is...mystery solved. Guess I will just have to get used to this phenomenon and build more of a backbone for the verbal beatings I will be taking.