Monday, 15 April 2002
People are still not used to the Euro. 3½ months after the introduction most Dutch still convert the amounts to guilders.

Just after the conversion it was a bit of a holiday mood. Those odd coins did not have real value. The Dutch just had to accept all hidden price increases, just like they accepted higher prices while on holiday. It is the only thing to do when there is no alternative.

The holiday mood is over by now. It's tough to compare prices as the guilder prices are gone. Price increases are an given fact of life.

I am still struggling to recognise the coins.

Mini Quiz

1 euro, 50 cents and 2 euro
You need 40 Euro cents.
Which coin will you pick?

  • There are too many different coins.
  • The 1 and 2 Euro coins are too similar, just like the 1, 2 and 5 cents.
  • The sizes are confusing. Why is the 50 cents coin larger than the 1 Euro?
So, for the time being I'll just read the coin values. That is, if the standard tail side is readable and on top. The Dutch head side offers very little clues for recognition.

Every now and then I come across a German or Belgian Euro. The heads of those, still rare, foreign coins are completely indistinguishable for me.

I expected more foreign Euros in tourist city Gouda. Where do all those Euros of Italian and Spanish tourists go to? Obviously their Euros follow a financial path that does not cross mine.

In general the coins of the several Euro members diffuse slowly (wiskgenoot.nl/eurodiffusie). It is as if the individual countries like to hang on to their own monetary identity.

The slowly mixing coins nicely symbolise the united Europe. A complex continent that slowly but surely unites. One Europe despite the immense diversity, lots of different heads sharing the same tail.

Till next week,

Married last Saturday: Marina en Neels in Môreson, Soleil du Matin, Franschhoek (moreson.co.za). Congratulations!