Spring arrives (But: Just for a few days)

While my winter jacket was perfectly acceptable this morning, it was less acceptable in the afternoon when I went out for a longer walk. It is still jacket weather, of course. But you can feel Spring inching in, however briefly. Which makes sense if we really do hit 16-17C or 60-62F this weekend.

Quick note on the curfew: Dutch curfew to remain in effect for at least a week while court considers verdict from nltimes.nl. it is a stark contrast with how crazy Tuesday was – no more curfew, maybe we have one still, we do indeed. And now they need a week, which is a bit ironic since the law is currently set to expire on 3 March. I suspect they will extend it again, though. There will also be a planned press conference next Tuesday, but considering the 7-day average of infections has started to go up again I don’t see much room for lifting measures.

Random news: ING, the last Dutch bank to cash cheques no longer offers the service from dutchnews.nl. Huh. I’m going to admit I did not even know that was a possibility, but it just means you can’t cash checks. You can still deposit them. I’m a big fan of payment methods in this country. The first is pinning with a debit card. There is no signature, and if the purchase is under €50 you only need to enter your pin every once in a while. It used to be €25 but the limit was raised to promote contactless payments in corona times. When using the card you just put it near the side of the machine and wait for it to beep that it was successful. The beep is slightly different if you then need to enter your pin, but the benefit is the card never leaves your hands.

The other payment method is iDEAL (English Wikipedia) which allows you to buy things online using direct online transfers from your bank account. In other words, the payment request happens between the company you are buying from and your bank, so that your bank details are kept secure. Almost every Dutch website uses it. It was a huge shock when we tried to order online for pickup at Five Guys a few weeks back, as they didn’t offer iDEAL as a payment option. How old school! Needless to say we just ordered when we got there instead.

And in some cute news, a Flemish photographer spotted a yellow penguin on an island in the south Atlantic:

The yellow color was likely from Leucism (English Wikipedia), or a partial loss of pigmentation.

Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy your weekend!

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