When I went home yesterday evening, about 23h, it was too cold and too far from my place to walk so I choose, for once, the tramway – faster and warmer. However, I hadn’t noticed that my card of 10 rides was finished and so I needed to buy a single ride (2 euro). The only problem was that I had only 1,5 euro in coins or a 50 euro note. Nothing in between. Obviously, the tram driver could not change 50 euro and he would not accept the 1,5 I got. Stepping out of the tramway was not an option either and so I just dodged the fare.
Now, what does this say about me and my money attitude? Well, as a German, I’m used to paying huge amounts (like a computer or even a car) in cash. Or tiny amounts with a big banknote. When they can’t change 50 euro in a shop – that’s bad customer service. They don’t want you to pay… Not that I always have 50 euro in my wallet but usually my first thought won’t be how to cash this into smaller amounts. Only that in Belgium, and pretty much the same in France, a 50 euro note is big money. While in Germany, big money starts with 200 or even 500 euro notes. I read once that the 500 note was specially asked for by the Germans when the Euro was designed so that they had an equivalent to the 1000 DM note.
Anyway, all this just to give you an idea how to use public transport in Brussels without paying and without a bad conscience.
Mais bon, après il faut pas toujours m’écouter…