We’re coming across an interesting phenomena in the Netherlands – the inability to pay by credit card. In the UK we’re used to buying anything with our flexible friend – cinema tickets, weekly shop or even a car park ticket, but not here. Almost everywhere we have tried to pay by credit card, we’re declined. Only cash or debit cards seem to be acceptable. In some ways this is very admirable, living within your means is a lesson that the David Cameron would like the British to follow (unless you’re a banker that is!).
While the Dutch may avoid payment by plastic, they certainly excel in plastic table coverings. I must confess to a small ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder’ when it comes to wipe-able fabric, so while Mike will make a bee-line for a bike shop, I can sniff out a plastic covered fabric retailer at fifty paces. The continental market is rich pickings for someone with such an addiction, and thankfully fairly safe – since luggage restrictions prevent me actually purchasing anything. Not that I need to purchase, as I’ve recently OD’d on some lovely new plastic fabric from Marrimeko – lovely but eye-wateringly expensive, so for the time being the plastic credit card is under lock and key as its ‘look but no buying’ on plastic fabrics for a while!