Sunday, January 16, 2011

For free

I live together with a Dutch man. He's from Maastricht, the Netherlands, so historically I'm taking back to Belgium what was initially ours.
That said, Dutch people always try to get a good deal. It's their trader's blood, they can't help it...

As a modest Belgian, it certainly takes some time to get used too. Even shopping in the supermarket can be a challenge. He seems to have a magnet inside that brings him to the 'free stuff'. You know, those products usually have stickers on them 'free item' and in small letters underneath 'if you purchase this product'. So, ocasionnaly, he chucks a 'free item' in the shopping cart without buying the product that entitles you to get the free product.

When we go to the check out to pay, he just drops all the items on the cashier's desk and the cashier person always looks up when she/he grabs the free item to scan. Of course she/he inquires if the products that entitle you for the free stuff are bought. He always says 'no, but it has a sticker on it that it's for free'. Then the person behind the cashier desk explains him that you get the free item if you buy the product. What then usually happens is a discussion between my partner and the cashier person and most likely, he get's away the free stuff.

I can tell you that the first time he did this, I was shocked. I didn't really know if I should feel ashamed or should start laughing out loud. After all, we don't need all the free stuff. It usually ends up in the second hand shop.

So when I told him yesterday that I have a workshop next saturday, he said: 'you don't have to go and buy bread bags for lunch as I have some' and then he magically pulled open the cupboard and showed me these:
Here you have to buy 2 times 6 bottles of water to geta free bread bag.
We never bought the water but we do have 3 bread bags.

And he also took care of the aprons... although I want to alter 'em first before using 'em:
Here you have to buy six-packs of special beer.
We buy beer but not always this one.

I now know that it's a sport for him to walk away with the free stuff - he loves the look on the faces of the cashier desks people when he cheekily says 'it says it's for free' in his Dutch accent in Belgium. Sometimes they stare in disbelieve! LOL :)
For him, it's also a personal campaign to try to get rid of the free stuff they give with products in Belgium. In Holland, they just give you a discount instead of all the rubbish you get for free.

What else is on the free stuff list:
  • 12 small whisk tools for the kitchen
  • 40 mugs
  • 30 drinking glasses
  • 50 beer glasses
  • 25 cheese trays
  • 10 cheese knives
  • 4 soccer balls
  • 12 plastic storage boxes
  • 2 play boomerangs
  • 1 huge tennisbal
  • 5 inflatable beachballs
  • a pair of sunglasses
And that's the stuff he can remember...
Guess who's doing the grocery shopping around here? It's not me anymore...