Money attitude or How to fare-dodge

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…

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6 responses to “Money attitude or How to fare-dodge

  1. Maybe I missed something, but you actually negotiated with the tram driver, did not come to a solution, sat down regardless and he did not do anything but just let you dodge the fare? THAT’s what I call customer service…

  2. Well, the driver suggested that I should ask other people in the tramway if they couldn’t give me change. No way that I gonna tell everyone: “By the way, I have 50 euro with me”. And, no way he would take the 1,5 I had…
    To be honest, I think he just did not give a s***. Not sure if I would award this with the notion of customer service.

  3. The situation in Spain is pretty much the opposite regarding the 50 euros bills. You only use them if you are gonna pay over 40 or so, otherwise you’ll see eyes injected in blood.

  4. It is not totally uncommon in my family to ask “Can someone change a 500 note?”; getting the answer: “No, sorry, I just have 300 with me”. That’s not me but it is in my genes as well.

    Tststs, these Spanish people…

  5. What a healthy family!

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