Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shopping is tough!

I'm sure many of you have had that experience of going into a new grocery store in a new city, not knowing where anything is, and spending lots of time in the store trying to find all your things.

Well - that's my experience every time I go shopping! First, I don't know where anything is, Second, everything is in Dutch, so it takes longer for me to figure out if I'm buying the right thing, especially for speciality items.

Like today - my goal was to buy shampoo (easy), and rubbing alcohol (hard). The rubbing alcohol was for my computer... I had spilled coffee all over my Thinkpad keyboard during a sleep study. Luckily, the Thinkpads are really tough - the coffee didn't damage the computer, but made the keys super sticky. Luckily, there are YouTube videos on how to clean the keys, using alcohol.

So I go to the drugstore, and start looking around. While I entered, I found 3 Chinese students who were also equally confused. Hilarious scene... 4 foreigners all really confused in the drugstore. I was trying to figure out if brandspiritus (95% ethanol) for EUR0.85 or alcohol ketonatus 96% (EUR2.50) was the same as isopropyl alcohol. Google translate on my phone didn't help either.. then I had an idea. Just smell it! brandspiritus definitely wasn't isopropyl alcohol... wish I had figured that out instead of trying to figure out the labels.

While I was searching, one of the Chinese guys came up to me, said hello in Chinese, and we started chatting a bit. It was s nice to find somebody else who is equally confused.. This guy was looking for face soap, and didn't know where to look. So, I tried to help, but it was really like 3 blind mice! must have been hilarious for the staff to watch. In the end, after a lot of searching, I found the soap... in two different places!

I think I lost over an hour in that shop trying to figure where things were at, and it wasn't a big shop!

Repeat that with the new grocery store I tried, and it made for a long (but entertaining) afternoon.

More great stories to come, including:

  • my new apartment
  • bike locks
  • toilets
  • how to buy beer if you want only 1 bottle...
Update: Now that I think more about it, brandspiritus is probably something for burning (wicker candles?), since brand = burning.... it would also explain why it was in a huge bottle vs. the smaller bottle for rubbing alcohol...

1 comment:

chris said...

"It is used as a cleaning agent and as fuel."

it seems like sterno camping fuel.