Posts Tagged With: Albert Heijn

Signs of stillness (Or: Wandering through The Hague)

I took the day off today. It almost – almost – felt pointless, but not quite. I have a bad habit of logging in early (07:30) due to not having a commute and then still working past 17:00. So the workdays feel a bit long right now. And having the day off means I can get out of the house for a bit longer. I’m getting “used” to staying inside some days as I have not been outside since Tuesday morning for a quick trip to the grocery store. But that doesn’t make it any easier.

Therefore, I walked and walked and walked today. Past the statue of Haagse Harry, past the Grote Kerk (Great Church / Sint-Jacobskerk), through the Palace Gardens, and through the Binnenhof. It was quiet and everyone was mindful of the social distancing rules. I even got to see a mini interview at the Binnenhof, although I have no idea who exactly they were interviewing. My politics knowledge is less than ideal.

Funny story about the Palace Gardens: while walking I noticed a small section with about 10 benches that would have added a few extra steps. I had no intention of stopping, I was just mindlessly wandering. I took a few steps in that direction and then noticed one of the benches was occupied. I did a quick calculation of the path size and deemed it a bit too narrow for me to comfortably walk past. I also wanted to be nice to the other person. So I changed my mind and did not go that way.

And then a few seconds later the person began coughing like crazy – a painful cough that was most likely nothing serious. But I’ll admit I was glad for my choice not to go that way! And I only felt a tiny bit guilty about it…

Mannequin wearing a face mask
Entrance to Florencia ice cream (http://www.florenciaijs.nl/home)

And just to show how Dutch this country is….

‘COVID-19 is coming out of my nose!’ Hmmm. Good artwork though.

Then I made my way to the local Albert Heijn for groceries. In most Albert Heijns you are now required to shop using a full-sized shopping cart. While this is the most ordinary thing in the world in America, not many people use them in The Netherlands as the stores are smaller and people generally shop more often than once a week. Therefore I was not looking forward to this new rule.

When I walked in there was a manager and a worker cleaning each of the shopping baskets and then handing it to each customer. (In some stores where a full shopping cart doesn’t make sense, this is the next best option.) So no shopping cart for me, yay.

Otherwise things were fairly quiet, with only a few occasions where I had to plan how I would best get by someone (or patiently wait). The self scan area looked more like a hospital word, with curtains hanging floor to ceiling between each self-scan machine.

These are strange times. Keep safe, everyone.

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate everywhere (Or: Almost Easter time)

Last week at Albert Heijn I spotted a Tony’s Chocolonely display filled with Easter eggs. The company’s mission is to make fair trade chocolate. (The company’s slogan is: “Crazy about chocolate, serious about people“.)

The cutest thing was these mini egg cartons:

And of course the Easter candy started popping up a few weeks ago already. You can never be too early!

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Cinnamon (Or: Limited edition coke flavors)

Spotted at the local Albert Heijn a few weeks back:

Neither Marco nor I wanted to try the flavor, as it does sound a bit weird. But I always enjoy taking photos of the weird drink flavors companies up with (or weird potato chip flavors, in the case of Lay’s).

Categories: Everyday purchases, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Improvements by Albert Heijn (Or: Shorter receipts)

One of the better improvements for Albert Heijn, a local grocery store, is the option for self-scan. And not the version I’ve seen in the United States where you need to weigh each item as you scan it to make sure there’s no thievery going on. Here it is simply scan each item and then pay at the end. Though I do understand the need for the US system.

Self-scan at Albert Heijn is wonderful. It’s no longer horrible to go right after work, when its crowded and the lines are 5 to 7 customers long. Seriously – before self-scan I would always swear a bit if Marco asked me to pick up something after work, it was that bad. Those days are long gone, as I can count on one hand the times I’ve had to wait for an available self-scan register, and even that was never longer than 30 seconds.

The only problem with self-scan: You are required to print out a receipt, since you need to scan the receipt to allow the exit gates to open. I almost always said no to a receipt previously, when going through a “manned” line with a checkout worker. Why waste paper?

That is also now a thing of the past!

Longer, full receipt (for ONE item!) on the left, versus the short receipt on the right.

This week after paying I was greeted with the question “Would you like a full receipt, or only a short receipt to open the gates?” Very nice. You can see the difference above, with the bar code removed. A great improvement, Albert Heijn!

Oh, and for the people who read small font really well, yes, the receipt says “1 insecten”. I did not win or buy an insect, rather, Albert Heijn has a promotion where you can receive insect stickers and fake insect tattoos for every 10 euros spent. The receipt lets the worker know that I can receive 1 set because I’ve spent more than 10 euros.

Categories: Daily Dutch living, Everyday purchases | Tags: | 2 Comments

Feeling like you are in an American cereal aisle (Or: Unicorn Froot Loops)

Spotted at the local Albert Heijn last month:

The American-style cereals are definitely starting to take over… I mean, Frosties have been here for a few years (at least) but Unicorn Froot Loops is a new one to me!

On the other hand: all hail the influx of Pop-Tarts (EN Wikipedia | NL Wikipedia) to this country.

Categories: Food | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A pile of wine bottles neatly left behind (Or: No deposit on them I assume)

Captured at Albert Heijn, the local grocery store:

Lots and lots of wine bottles… someone must have had a party! This is by the bottle return area (the bottom part pictured here is for returning a beer crate), so I assume wine bottles don’t have a deposit on them. I am not much of a wine drinker (besides the occasional prosecco) so I’m not sure.

Still, kudos to them for leaving them behind without making a mess. Although it does mean work for Albert Heijn to get rid of them.

Categories: Shopping | Tags: | Leave a comment

Reester bunny (Or: Chocolate and eggs everywhere)

Today Marco and I went to Kelly’s Expat Shopping here in The Hague. It’s a great store for American and British food and a store I’ve blogged about before. The one thing I get almost every time is Ritz crackers. Yum! Snagged another box today…

I was quite amused by the “Reester bunny” you could buy:

Reese's chocolate bunny (Or Reester bunny)

Their Easter selection is pretty good when it comes to chocolate, I must admit. Lots of Cadbury eggs.

Pop or soda for 10 euros - 12 pack

Did you know it costs 10 euros for a 12 pack of pop/soda? And that’s a discounted price! Back home you could get it for 2/$5 during the right sale. Of course, that’s just how it goes when you’re an expat so far from home.

And here is a fun photo from the Albert Heijn XL on Elandstraat:

Chocolate easter eggs for sale at Albert Heijn XL, The HagueAnyone need any chocolate eggs? There are lots of flavors to choose from… But still, it doesn’t compare to the Reester bunny. Don’t you just want to nibble on those ears?

Categories: Food, Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Smoked meats (Or: At the local grocery store)

A few random photos from an Albert Heijn in The Hague:

smoked-meats-at-albert-heijn

It is smoked meats (meat covered in spices like paprika, black pepper, and similar).

smoked-meats-at-albert-heijn-2

Just a random thing that caught my eye – “Hmm, this would make a good photo for the blog.” 🙂

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Pans by Vivo (Or: Albert Heijn promotion)

Albert Heijn’s latest promotion is saving up for pans designed by Vivo. The last promotion Vivo did for Albert Heijn was kitchen knives. That promotion was kind of funny because people ended up complaining that the knives were too sharp. (Seriously? What did you expect?)

But this time we have luxury pans. Cool.

albert-heijn-promotion-pans-by-vivo

Actually, Marco and I don’t really need anything, so we’ve been saving up for Roger to use them if he wants.

albert-heijn-promotion-stamp-card-pans-by-vivo

Since this photo was taken we’ve collected more stamps – at this point we have exactly enough.

Definitely “luxury” pans – one pan requires 60 stamps. In theory you receive one stamp for every 10 euros you spend, though there are ways to get additional stamps if you buy certain items and sometimes you get more stamps than you should.

We’ll probably keep collecting stamps on the off chance someone else needs them, but I don’t think we’ll attempt to fill another card. However, we have until mid-February so you never know.

Categories: Everyday purchases | Tags: | 3 Comments

Saving up for luxury knives (Or: Albert Heijn action)

The weather is absolutely, positively cruddy today. It’s been raining all day — even pouring during the evening commute. Yuck!

On another note, it is my 4 year anniversary by WordPress today. Hard to believe.

Albert Heijn (a grocery store) has been running a promotion the last few months. Save up 50 stamps and you can exchange them (for a bit of money as well) for luxury silverware. You can get one stamp for every €10 you spend. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an expensive way to get the silverware. But if you don’t change your buying habits just to get more stamps it works out. Marco and I have about two cards full (with help from Roger and others). Marco is specifically saving up for a few of the knives.

An Albert Heijn stamp booklet

An Albert Heijn stamp booklet

image

A look at the knives on offer

Some of the knives are so sharp they even come with instructions on how to get them out of the packaging safely.

If you are also saving stamps — happy (future) slicing!

 

Categories: Everyday purchases | Tags: | Leave a comment

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