The Currency Of Understanding

, | Germany | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

(The year is 2010. The euro has been introduced as a common currency throughout Europe in 2002. An elderly lady approaches me, picks some items, and wants to pay.)

Me: “That is 28.50.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, so little? Are you sure?”

(I notice her picking out some old Austrian schillings from her purse.)

Me: “I’m sorry. ma’am. You can’t pay with those here; this is outdated currency.”

Elderly Lady: “No, no! I have always paid with them!” *picks out some more* “Look, I have money!”

Me: “Lady, I’m sure you have enough, but… I simply cannot accept Austrian schillings. We have the EURO.”

Elderly Lady: “Yes, yes, I understand. You want deutschmarks? I don’t have any deutschmarks. Schillings, you take?”

Me: *suddenly understanding* “Yes, ma’am. That would be… 280 schillings, please.”

(I pack her things, she hands me 250 old Austrian schillings, but I go with it. She seems to have disappeared with her travel group, when a younger lady, also speaking Austrian dialect, turns up.)

Younger Lady: “Hey, there. Did my grandmother bother you?”

Me: “What grandmother? Do you mean…”

Younger Lady: “Yeah, my granny. Did she try to pay with schillings?”

Me: “In fact, she did. And I sold her something.”

Younger Lady: “Well, you shouldn’t have sold her anything. What’s her bill?”

Me: “28.50; but as I said, she already paid. I took her schillings. Maybe I can exchange them for something.”

Younger Lady: “No! Give them back to me. She’ll be mad about not having them! How much did you say?”

Me: “€28.50.”

Younger Lady: *hands me over two 20 Euro bills* “Keep it, for goodness’ sake!”

Me: “No way, ma’am. That’s far too much.”

Younger Lady: “Well, then give me 10 back.”

Me: “Fair enough; thank you.”

(The rest of the day, I wondered why my supply of ‘free’ coffee and food worked so fine. Later on, I realized that the young lady had left some money at every booth near mine because I was so friendly to her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, which I didn’t realize immediately. Thank you, ladies, you were amazing!)

Gotta Catch All The Compliments

| NJ, USA | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

(A mother and her twelve-year-old son are preparing to leave. While she goes to hit the bathroom really quickly, her son is standing by the hostess stand and I notice his Pokémon hat. He starts walking towards the door.)

Me: “Goodbye! Have a nice day!”

Boy: “Thank you. You, too!”

Me: “Oh, and by the way, nice Charizard hat!”

(The boy stops in the doorway and slowly turns, staring at me incredulously.)

Boy: “How did you know?!”

(I lean over the stand, and stare at him will all the intensity I can muster.)

Me: “Dude. I LOVE Pokémon. I’ve been playing it since I was in elementary school!”

(The boy gets all giddy. At this point, the mother leaves the bathroom and the two head outside. But just before they get out of earshot, I hear the little guy say this:)

Boy: “Mom, mom! She liked my hat! I told you I would find somebody!”

His Shopping Trip Came Crashing To The Floor

| Agadir, Morocco | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement

(My dad had heard from a few friends of ours that it’s a good idea to wax the outdoors brick floors so they don’t absorb water. They gave him the name of the brand they use. He’s the slightly moronic customer in this one. We don’t speak French, and they rarely speak English in this area.)

Dad: “I need [Brand] so I can wax our brick floors.”

Employee: *points to bucket*  “It’s for preparing walls before you put on tiles.”

Dad: “No, no, it’s for waxing floors!”

Employee: “Nnnnno, it’s for preparing walls before you tile.”

Dad: “No, it’s not! I need to talk to your expert.”

(An expert comes over, and tries to explain repeatedly what my dad is trying to buy.)

Expert: “This is for preparing walls before you tile.”

Dad: “You’re ALL clearly very wrong.”

(My dad marched out of the store with a five-litre bucket. The bad news: My dad painted the entire roof terrace with sticky stuff meant to help tiles stick to the wall. The good news: He did a really neat job, and it _almost_ doesn’t feel like you’ve stepped in dry soda anymore.)