Posts Tagged With: Albert Heijn

What is your R number? (Or: Corona dashboard)

Last week the RIVM (Dutch ministry of Health) released a prototype of the Corona dashboard which can be found at coronadashboard.rijksoverheid.nl.

As you can see it shows things like ICU intakes and hospital intakes averaged over the last three days (6 and 8.7), number of infected persons per 100,000 residents (9.9) and the very well known R number, which is currently 0.87. There are also data points about nursing homes and a list of data points they are looking to add in the coming weeks.

In completely other news: sometimes trips to the grocery store can be very, very interesting. Today I wanted to grab a water bottle however there was already another customer there looking at multipack water bottles. Okay, he was right in front of what I needed, so I decided to wait. Even in non-corona times, it would have probably been perceived as rude, and it’s not like he would take that long right?

Wrong. After 2 minutes of semi-patient waiting I decided to look at my watch to start timing the rest of this experience. He had a pack of water in his basket already and he would grab another slightly different pack and look at the label. He would then put it into his basket and then pick up something else and look at the label of that water pack.

After the first minute someone else stopped and was clearly waiting to grab something from the water as well. After three minutes I did start to get a bit impatient, but tried to keep it from showing on my face. It must have been obvious that I was still standing there waiting, right? The other person was behind him on the other side of the aisle, so I could forgive him not seeing her. In the meantime about 15 people walked down the middle of the aisle, probably wondering what the heck the bottleneck was. But this was the last item I needed to get, and I was morbidly curious to see how this would play out.

After switching out the multipacks in his basket about 5 times, and staring at labels about 10 times, he finally picked one, grabbed the rest of his stuff and got a move on. The other customer politely waited for me to grab my water which I quickly did. Her and I shared a smile, neither believing what we had just experienced. I whispered fijne dag while deftly grabbing my water with my left hand. Total time it took him: 5+ minutes. Total time it took me: about half a second.

But now I have a good story for the blog, so it was worth the extra five or so minutes, right?

Categories: Daily Dutch living, Everyday purchases | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Enter the showers (Or: Coronavirus measures at the local Albert Heijn)

I promised my parents a photo of the local Albert Heijn and one particular coronavirus measure: the curtains that hang from floor to ceiling. This measure has been in place since the beginning of the lockdown, however this morning was a particularly quiet day where there was no one around so I could more easily take a quick photo.

Originally there was a curtain between each of the self-scan areas, but as you can see at least one curtain is now missing in the background. On the other hand, when it was first implemented it was hard to see if a register was already in use or not. So I don’t mind removing one or two curtains to be able to more clearly see where you need to walk.

One thing that I do hope they implement soon is walking routes. Right now you can go in any direction you want in the grocery store, and even double backwards in the same aisle if you forget something. That means that people pass each other frequently. Although it is more annoying, I think it would be better to say that you can go only go down this aisle, and up the next aisle, and etc. If you forget something then you need to go around again.

On the other hand, on a more personal level the better solution is to keep visiting at times when the store is quiet, either in the early mornings or later in the evening.

Random links of the day:

New Banksy piece celebrates superhero health workers (theguardian.com)

NS scraps group discounts, bans bikes in trains as it prepares for more travelers (nltimes.nl)

And an article about the new panda cub in Dutch: Pandababy in Rhenen met ‘uitzonderlijk lange staart’ maakt het goed (nos.nl)

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

Anyone need some toilet paper? (Or: A treasure at Albert Heijn)

This photo is from last Tuesday, April 7. I just had to take a photo of this much toilet paper together in one spot (who knew that would be an important photo):

Anyone need some toilet paper?

There’s some things to note with this photograph:

  • While this photo was taken on April 7, it was only the second time I had seen a lot of toilet paper. The first was a few weeks previously at another Albert Heijn in the city centre.
  • This photo was taken from the side. The pictured path is well travelled, so I didn’t want to be in anyone’s way. I have to remember that social distancing after all. I’d say this was about one third of the toilet paper on offer.
  • This Albert Heijn receives these ‘voordeelpaks’ (bonus backs of 40, or sometimes 48 rolls) only in weeks when the toilet paper is on sale. During normal weeks you can’t purchase this many rolls in one pack.

Otherwise I would say most things are back – maybe pasta and rice are still a bit low, but they are definitely always at least half stocked. Pasta sauce is still a bit hit or miss, as noted in a previous post.

What is your local grocery store still missing in these coronavirus times?

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

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!

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

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

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