Later this week (Friday) we leave for our 10 coach tour through Northern England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. And it’s going to be a wonderful 10 days with 39 of my closest friends. And I may or may not have an internet connection, so you may or may not get to hear about my adventures through rural United Kingdom.
Anyway. Tonight, Lisa and I went to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and things to bring with us in case we don’t like the food or need snacky things for the bus or whatever. So we got some nuts and some grapes and some candy bars (because sometimes you just need some chocolate to make things better).
So we get over to check out and we remember some of our friends telling us that at this store, if you do self-checkout, you can just dump your coins in there and if there’s too much, it’ll spit out the smallest number of coins for change. So, Lisa and I, who are carrying about a ton of coins (if you don’t know why, learn about it here), are all for that. We can get rid of the coins? Uhm, yes please.
In all reality, if I knew what they looked like just by size, it wouldn’t be so bad, because I’d use them. Since I don’t, I hate holding people up and usually cave and pay with a bill or the £1 coins, because they’re all I really know how to use. But, at this store, there’s none of that. Everyone said you just dump your coins into the machine and the machine counts it out and that’s how that goes. Very exciting.
Well, that’s pretty much exactly what Lisa and I did. We pulled out these coins by the handful and dumped 6 or 7 at a time into this poor little machine. And the machine was not happy about that in the slightest. We had about £8 worth of coins (and mostly small coins, like 5p and 10p) into this machine when it stopped counting and started spitting them back out. So very logical Gabi picks them out and tries to put them back in. And then a message popped up and said “Please Wait for Assistance” or something. So we’re standing there, a little like lost children, and this guy comes over and looks at the machine and scans his little ID card and proceeds to open this machine. Like, swings the door open.
He was very apologetic: “So sorry; this’ll be fixed in just a moment.” Like it’s the machines fault Lisa and I tried to make it do too much math.
So we’re standing there and he’s like, “So, how much have you already put in here?” And I look at Lisa and told him “Uhm, no idea. At all.” And he laughed a little bit and did some magic and made it work again. So we figured out that we should probably only put a few coins in at a time. So we did that and it started spitting coins back out at us again, and we decided it must be done with our nonsense. So, we paid for the rest with a note and called it good.
But, lemme just tell you, we spent about £25 on snacks and paid for more than half with just coins. Like, almost £15 in small coins. It’s just crazy to me that we can carry that many coins around and be okay with that.
So, that, readers, is how you pay for groceries in coins in London and almost break the machine.