Monday, 9 April 2012

Where's He Escaped From?

One of the problems with being an Ex-pat brit living in Rhodes is what happens when you walk into the paper shop when visiting family in the UK.

Since we only spend a few weeks each Spring in the UK, I have the Devil's only job getting to grips with the money. Now, the notes aren't too difficult, as in large friendly numerals and letters each note declares very clearly what its denomination is. Coins on the other hand, are not so easy.

Handling Euros for more than eleven months of the year, I find that I get very embarrassed when approaching the cash desk of any store in the UK. Here I am staying in the West Country where, as soon as I open my mouth to speak, the person to whom I am addressing my remarks recognises me instantaneously as a local. I'm not exactly the youngest bloke on the block either so, when I approach the cashier in the local RadCo supermarket with a newspaper and perhaps a packet of mints, I get really flustered when the girl says something like "One pound forty eight pence, please" and I find myself breaking into a sweat and staring down at my palm, which contains a bunch of coins, none of which I recognise.

Put yourself in her place. She's looking at this apparently grown-up mature (come on, no need for that!!) and evidently local chap, who's unable to work out how to give her a few coins for his paper and a packet of mints. It gets even worse when I give up in frustration, thrust my open palm at her and say: "Would you just take the right amount please? I can't get to grips with this money."

Imagine! I mean, if I sounded foreign there wouldn't be a problem would there. But one look at the cashier's face tells me that she's convinced that any moment now a couple of blokes in white coats will probably come rushing in and, grabbing me by both elbows, say something like, "Aah! There you are! Naughty man, come on now, we'll take you back. Didn't take our tablets this morning now did we?"


  1. Just as embarassing to open your purse full of euro coins and then have to rummage about amongst the bottles of suntan lotion, books, bottle of water, spare flip flops (in case they break), sunglasses, camera, and assorted other items for the day on the beach/by pool/sightseeing excursion, that are in your bag to try and find your glasses in order to identify the coins!
    The joys of middle age!

  2. Have you got one of those bags like Mary Poppins had?

  3. Why do you think I'm called baglady? LOL!

  4. I do believe I havent spotted the kitchen sink in it yet Vicki lol, but us women have to be covered for all eventualities

  5. Thankyou for cheering me up on a soggy Tuesday in Britain!!
    As usual you are very entertaining Mr Manuel.


  6. On a positive note, at least you were in the right shop(?)

    1. Yea, thanks for that. Positive thinking!