I am sure Dante glossed over it: supermarkets just before holidays (and I’m using the term loosely here) represent one of the circles of Hell. This afternoon A and I went to Albert Heijn Leidschenveen supermarket to stock up for Easter. The experience presented a string of surprises that ranged from mild to astonishing. We started off in the parking lot, which, in the best Dutch tradition, isn’t exactly spacious. This invites people with small cars to just park outside of the assigned spaces. Because hey: “my car is small, and fits on the road here just as well”. Nevermind the fact that you make manoeuvring in and out of the actual spaces around you problematic at best. Top tip for The Hague police: lots of money to be made in fines here. On to the store. The lesson learned at the fruit section was: it’s alright to have grapefruits that are totally beaten up on the shelf, just as long as the pulp doesn’t actually come out. We then proceeded to the bake-off bread section: the cheap (but fine) stuff was out of stock. Luckily the store comes to the rescue with another brand: it’s just twice as expensive. Walking along the stand with Easter sweets we were amazed to see the amount of packaging where chocolates were missing. I know Lindt chocolates are overpriced, but does that justify the fact of just taking them? Still shaking my head at this we came up to a promotional stand of Doritos. I saw two girls about ten years old with their hands inside a bag of the crips/chips (depending on the way you face the Atlantic). Not like a bag that sat there like: “Come on up! Free tasting here!”. No, just a bag in the middle of the stack. So I tapped one of the girls on the shoulder and said “You’ll have to buy that now ladies”. She looked at me like my head had just split open to give birth to the Dorito King himself and said “Nu-uh: it was already open”. Not wanting to take this thing too far I just shook my head, said “I don’t think so” and walked on. She then ran off to her mommy to apparently tell on me, who then turned in my direction and said to her daughter loudly to make sure I’d overhear: “No, you’re right, that bag was already open, I saw so myself”. Now you guys tell me, what kind of thing is it to teach your children? It’s ok to grab anything, if the thing is already open? Am I a goody two-shoes for thinking this is actually wrong? This incident was something that could hardly be topped by anything else in the store. The cashier made a valiant try by making proclaiming to her colleague loud and clear that it was good that this was her last day of the week, since she “couldn’t possibly stand another one” a priority over greeting her customers. I don’t think it was any use. Ah well, the groceries are in, and the sun was shining when we came out. Happy Easter to you all!