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A Trip Back In Time (Or The "Albert Heijn" Effect)
One day last week I was bored so I decided to browse YouTube and see if they had any interesting videos to watch.  Little did I know that the video I picked to watch would be doubly funny for me because I knew exactly what the comedian was talking about (from both sides).

The comedian was an English man I had never heard of called John Fealey - the subject was one which had fascinated me ever since the first time I remember walking into one of them (I was probably around 5 years old).  I sometimes get intruigued by them even now - over 30 years later.  Correctlion - I can spend hours in these places just mingling with the natives and watching their behaviour - a bit like a David Attenborough nature film.

The subject was one of my list of top five Dutch shops (Ter Meulen and Konmar have shut, Vroom & Dreesman isn't as good as it used to be.  Hema does great Rookworst - or smoked sausage - cheaply.  Albert Heijn is in a league of its own.

Albert Heijn is a Dutch supermarket (it did have a branch in Herefordshire at one point).  The connection between Albert Heijn and Heineken is that they were both started by Dutch people of the same name as the company (in the case of Albert Heijn it was literally started by a Dutchman of that name.

The comedian and I were apparently both fascinated by the Dutch method of purchasing fruit and vegetables.  No fussing around putting your fruit and vegetables in a bag and taking it to the tills to be weighed and priced for the Dutch.  The Dutch are allowed to play "Snap" when buying their fruit and vegetables (outsiders may even learn some simple Dutch words too).  The machines have pictures (or more drawings) of every fruit and vegetable they sell in their department.  The aim of the exercise is to match the item in your bag (or "zakje") with the drawing on the corresponding button on the machine.  Then attempt to work out which button to press to get the label for your bag.

I might be encouraged to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables if the shops over here did the same thing.


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