Monday, September 12, 2011

Sparing the brain waves.

I do try not to strain my pea brain too often with the burden of actual thought,  but once in a while that can sort of backfire.

In my usual “out and about” this morning,  (oh,  and by the way, Americans seem to think that we Canadians have a unique way of saying that,  but I’ve never been able to figure that one out)  I got it into my wee head to stop by one of the book store type places on the way to the bakery.  Even though there is many a bakery within a half kilometre of our front door,  I tend to hoof it a few blocks down to Neubaugasse to a particular bakery where I can fetch what I want out of bins without having to ever say a word.   I use tongs.  Don’t worry. 


(found this picture on the net.  Who knew?)


The Austrians (well, most Europeans)  are used to standing at the counter and having the staff run and fetch them whatever they’d like,  but this place is a bit of a different concept,  where you have to actually (*gasp*)  get your own! 

There has been a couple times there when the owner has had to come out from behind the cash,  get a tray,  put a sheet of paper on it and school some poor newbie on just how it’s done.  And now that I think of it,  I’ve never seen any truly old,  died in the wool Austrians in there.  They won’t have any part of that whole “waiting on oneself”  thing.  No sir. 

I like it mostly since the white bread is actually white,  and not as hard as a rock.  The Austrians tend to like their bread extra hard.  It’ll be fresh,  but the crust will still be hard as a rock.  I guess they have strong teeth.

Good on them.


Anyhoo,  since I had this notion to browse through the DVDs at Hintermayer,  I took along my little discount card (I have a few,  trust me)  and off I went. 

The location here on Mariahilfer Strasse has undergone a couple changes,  one of which is to put most of the CDs and DVDs up on the second floor.  I got as far as looking up the flight of stairs,  but that was the extent of my ambition.  Instead,  I opted to revisit another location on Neubaugasse,  where everything is on one floor.  

Suits me just fine.

Well,  lo and behold,  I did find a couple dealskis sort of in the back corner,  and decided to pick up a copy of “Aida”  on DVD.  It was priced at a very reasonable €5,99.   There was an exact same production (same location,  singers, orchestra etc.) only with a different jacket for €9,99,  and I couldn’t figure out what was going on there,  so ended up getting the cheaper model.   I’ve already had a gander at it.  It’s fine.  Maybe there was an extra pamphlet in the pricier one?  I’ll never know.





And yes,  I know we went to see the whole thing “live” in Verona,  but hey,  my memory is pretty dim,  and for under six Euros,  I’ll watch it again some day from my recliner,  all the while trying to drown out the sound of my arteries hardening.

Now here comes the stupid part.  I handed the young clerk a €10 note,  along with my little member card (you get a whopping 3% discount!)  and she proceeded to start to give me a mitt full of change.  For a brief moment there,  the thought entered my pea brain that the thing was €4,99,  so I said to her,  “Oh,  I don’t want to take all your change,  here’s a five.”  at which point she gave me back my €10,  along with the change from €4,81.   (remember the discount?)   But…do you see a problem here?   I sure didn’t until I got home and realised I had ripped her off! 

The price on the receipt was actually €5,81!  Ruh-roh!

Well,  of course it was,  since the pre discount price was €5,99!   What a dope.

Now,  I like a good deal as well as the next person,  but I’ll be darned if I’m going to rip off some poor cashier,  who no doubt would have to pony up that Euro out of her own pocket at the end of her shift.  I don’t even think she realised what happened,  and if I had actually been trying to pull some sort of fast one,  (for a Euro?  C’mon) I would have never been able to get it to work.

That’s unpossible.  Me not that clever.

I had to go back.  So off I went.  

Like I said,  I don’t think she quite realised what had transpired,  since she remembered exactly what I purchased,  but when I went through the whole drill,  a light bulb went off when she realised how the whole “scam” had gone down. 

If there was ever a moment in time when a person could be susceptible to either a post hypnotic suggestion or some sort of brain washing,  that was the moment.   I realise too that,  as a foreigner,  there are times when I don’t quite come up with the right thing to say,  so it was quite unique to witness someone else going through the throws of speechlessness.    She did smile and stumble over a few words of incredulity and thanks,  and I’m sure it’ll be the topic of dinner conversation at some point.  I mean,  who brings money back?  Really? 

The thing too is,  having used the discount card,  my identity wasn’t exactly a huge secret either,  so don’t be completely fooled by my supposed altruism.   Mind you,  like I said,  she had no clue.   Sweet,  but clueless.


Karma?  Fate?   What have you?   Over a Euro?  I don’t think so.   Besides,  like I pointed out to her,  “Die Bewegung wird mich nicht umbringen.”

(The exercise wasn’t going to kill me.)





  1. Well, I for one, am going to believe in your honesty and tell you that I think it is marvelous that you owned up to your "scam". This world really could use more honest people - in every aspect of life. Question - how does one Euro compare to the American dollar? I'm really not good at figuring how to convert. Did you make it to the bakery?

  2. The Euro is worth about $1.36 US right about now. Roughly the same with the Canuck Buck, as the two currencies have been duking it out today and are pretty close to par.
    And yes, I certainly made it to the bakery. Could have gone twice it turns out. *sigh*.
    I know it was only a Euro, but it would have bugged me to no end if I hadn't sorted it out. Like I said, I love a good deal, but will still pay the "agreed upon" price.
    No cheating.

  3. I've done the same! On a couple of occasions - I guess I got that honesty from my Dad??? *poke* *poke* (well, not like mom's a liar or something hehe) I always hate to think that the cashier could get in trouble all because we were confused at the cash! :)

  4. I also go back and give it back if they make an error....this world does need more honest people :)


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.