That’s A Foreign Concept To Me

, , , , | Working | November 8, 2017

(I am part of a group of Belgian university students on a weekend trip to Dublin. We are aged between 18 and 25. One evening we’re on our way back to our hostel when we stop at a nearby supermarket to buy some snacks and drinks. The store only has self check-out computers and no regular registers. In Belgium, it’s quite unusual to get asked to show an ID when buying alcohol, so we don’t realise that our drinks don’t scan properly. An employee notices and comes up to us.)

Employee: “Can you show me an ID, please? The computer won’t allow you to scan alcohol without your age being checked first.”

(All of us start searching our wallets for ID cards. One of us hands over hers and the employee takes it to his computer. A minute later he returns.)

Employee: “I’m afraid I can’t accept your ID. You won’t be able to buy any alcohol here.”

Student: “But I’m twenty-five!”

Employee: “I know, but our computer only recognises Irish and British IDs. We are not allowed to accept any others.”

Student: “So, you can’t sell alcohol to tourists?”

Employee: “Not unless they hold an Irish or British ID.”

(We pay for the snacks and go searching for a store that will sell us alcohol, which we find quite easily. The employee in this story was very correct, and I understand that policies are in place to prevent under-aged people from buying alcohol. To me, a policy banning foreigners from buying as well seems to go a bit far, though.)

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