The Netherlands bid the guilder farewell.
Every Dutchman has received a coupon,
to get a
set of all the euro coins.
the national collect-your-euro-coins-day,
came too late for me.
I'm not in a hurry to meet the euro
I will see the euro coins only in 2002.
As compensation I've already said goodbye to the Dutch guilder.
Saying goodbye to a currency is part of a holiday ritual.
Usually the local coins become redundant on the way home.
- I sent out my last invoice in guilders last week.
- Two Saturdays ago I fiercely tried to get rid of a magnitude of dimes and nickles.
I exchanged bags of change for my weekly groceries
at the market.
- My overseas Christmas cards consumed my last guilder stamps.
As I was short of stamps, I had to add some euro stamps.
Still it did not suffice.
- Schiphol airport's post office, well disguised as 'communication centre' on the first floor, added some guilder stickers.
Every envelop turned into a collage of three kinds of stamps.
How an overseas postal service will make sense of this is a mystery to me.
- Back on the ground level I take a last look at my collection of francs, Portuguese escudos and Irish pounds.
A piece of personal history disappears into a collection box.
- What is left is a pocket filled with the last guilders, Dutch quarters, dimes and nickles.
I rid myself of them in the duty free shop.
My last 25 guilder note and tenner are not enough.
I pay the remainder with my debit card, my very last guilder purchase.
And this is exactly what is so special about this goodbye.
I am at
of a holiday, just
In a few weeks,
at the end of this journey, the euro will be a new currency to me.
It will be as if I have just arrived at a new holiday destination.
On the road, yet home.
Till next week.