Thursday, July 8, 2010

Metro only takes Bankomat

And it helps if you bring your membership card and you know some German. Metro is a mega store – Costco like. Not really Costco like if you’re a Costco fan, but it does certainly have bulk items (as well as non-bulk) and you must be a member. Perhaps it’s more like a super Walmart? Of course, being who I am… I haven’t been in the SWM.

Kasia and I took the car! It took some doing as we had to actively search for the keys. One of the small, eensy weensy problems about arriving for the 50th anniversary alumni celebrations is that we aren’t receiving a lot (any) information about the house or how to manage our new jobs. Much of that will come in August when we have a “transition” time scheduled, but for now I still need to know where the car keys are (new car – only 130km on it!), when trash day is, be given some house keys, get access to the bank accounts, etc.! We’ve been hanging back for most of the week, but Jim and Eva go on holiday right after the celebrations end, so we’re moving into active mode. This included searching rooms for small keys. Found it! Off we went, with Steve’s cry of – don’t scratch the car” in the background. Don’t forget we live on the top of a large hill with small windy roads and the drivers are European.

We got to Metro without problem, although we didn’t go the way … we planned it with the map. However, they wouldn’t let us in. No membership card. Alas, I had seen a metro card near the car key, but I had thought it was like a special debit card or something. So… back to the house via a different way, also not the map way. Through tunnels, old towns. 20 minutes. Got membership card. Back. Shopped to hearts content, a bit more. It takes a long time to shop in a foreign place. You have to figure out what everything is, you wonder why you can’t find the items you desire, etc., etc. We get to the checkout. Can’t pay because we don’t have Bankomat card. Can’t communicate effectively. Big sighs and hand gestures from everyone. End result: we get in our car, find bank. But, the problems don’t end. Although it was easy to get money from the ATM, we couldn’t get out of the parkinglot. You need a token for the gate to get OUT, but everyone gets IN without token. Where do you get a token? From the florist who you turn to in despair, and who takes pity on you ad gives you the needed token. Then back to Metro, back to our groceries, and back to the cashier. The good part of the story is that I am getting much more familiar with the streets between my home and Metro.

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