Adventures (Or: Hair salons, libraries, and birthdays)

So it has been a cool last few days. Today’s Friday! And tomorrow is my birthday with some nice things planned for the day. 30th birthday to be exact. I’ll definitely miss my 20s. But I do already feel older when I have to get up or move quickly. ;p

Yesterday around lunch time I went to the Brainwash hair salon in Leyweg to get my hair cut. My bangs (pony in Dutch!) were definitely too long and getting in the way. The wait was a bit long, but for a price of only €16.50 it was worth it. I didn’t speak a word of English while I was there (a new personal record!), although there were a few sentences the stylist said where I did not understand. nod and smile = the life of an expat.

Today I went to the library as my books were due on Monday and I didn’t want to renew them again. I figured I had them long enough as is. It was a  book with 800 words to study and a book about Dutch word order (sadly – not as good as I hoped as I knew most of it already but still have problems with that grammar area).

But anyway. This meant using the book return system for the first time. I knew where to take them, but I wasn’t sure how to use it. Basically you walk up to it and put in your item (Let op! Één item per keer – caution, one item at a time) on the conveyor belt inside. Before you put the item on the belt, the area is lit from above by a green light. Once you put in the item, a wall of plastic descends and the light changes to red. (Yes, I wasn’t paying 100% attention and tried to put in the 2nd item too quickly, but it only hit the wall of plastic). The items you return are automatically scanned and displayed on the computer screen above.

That’s where I ran in trouble – I stood there for a second waiting for it to do something else or acknowledge I was done. One of the workers came over and kept saying something (in Dutch of course) about ‘the receipt’. I was a bit confused, but it’s hard to remember exactly what he said. I understood the first few lines (press the receipt button) but not why I had to do so. He said some more stuff in Dutch and I felt pretty lost. But on the second try he used different vocabulary and it got through to my brain. You HAVE to ask for the receipt, but if you don’t want it you put it in the mini trash basket on the left. The person after you will get your items on their receipt if you don’t (=the transaction only ends when you print it). “Oohhh, dankuwel, ik begrip je!” (Oh, thank you very much, I understand you!)

After that, I went upstairs to find another book or two and study some Dutch. I found a nice book with present perfect/past exercises (perfectum/imperfectum) which I decided to check out after doing some exercises in it. Checkout computer (fully automated):

Checkout computer at The Hague library

Another cool service. The screen basically just says to place the material on the desk. It will automatically scan it from beneath. After that, it asks you to scan your card, and then it prints your receipt when you’re done (automatically this time!).

So, a fun day (or two) at the hair salon and the library. Who would have thought!

Categories: Speaking | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Adventures (Or: Hair salons, libraries, and birthdays)

  1. Congratulations for your using Dutch only! You’re a very fast learner! I can relate to the situation at the Library, I had a similar one at the library in Leiden when we moved. – And: Happy Birthday, or better: gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!! 😉

    • Thanks! I was a little late noticing this comment, as you can see. The birthday party was fun though. 🙂

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