Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

A Walmart Moment

September 6, 2010

There was congestion in Walmart today, especially in the dairy aisle at the back of the store.  A gallon of 2% milk was in my view, but there were three or four carts ahead of me… and a little elderly lady barely able to drag a skim gallon from the case.  So I patiently waited and smiled…. like I want people to do to me when I’m elderly and my arms shake when I carry a gallon!  But there was a gentleman behind me who was a tad on the grouchy side.  He swore at me and blasted through the crowd without the greatest of ease. I heard him mutter something sarcastic to the effect of, “Standing in the middle of the aisle is a GREAT idea, #@%&*@#$!”  Off he stormed as I grabbed my milk and began inspecting eggs.

After gathering safety pins and garage sale pricing stickers, I eventually made it to the check out and was second in line behind a man from another country.  He had to get his ID checked because he was purchasing some wine.  The cashier couldn’t find his birthdate on the European (I’m guessing) ID so they went back and forth about it.  The cashier started talking louder, because we all know that helps people with English as their second (or third) language.  Like their hearing doesn’t work, or something.  Anywhoooo, I learned the guy was born in 1979.  I would have guessed 1990.  Then I watched as the guy somewhat nervously counted cash and change from his wallet.  I thought he might not have enough money.  But no, he had given the cashier $4. 75 too much.  Ahhhhh.  Realization hit:  He’s not used to our currency.  And then realization hit again:  That will be me in a couple of months in Colombia… fumbling with funny colored money and probably paying too much.

My groceries were scanned, bagged, paid for and I was on my way to the door.  But there were some people in the way and I had to pause and say, “Excuse me,” so I could get by.  Low and behold…. it was some gentlemen chatting about football.  And it was the SAME gentleman from the crowded dairy aisle.  His line of swear words and his sarcastic line were still fresh in my memory, but I just smiled and thanked them for moving.

Another nice-neighbor moment brought to you by Walmart.

You’ve Got a Ticket to Ri-ide!

January 20, 2010

For Christmas, my brother received this new to us game called Ticket to Ride… Europe.  We have since played it 27 times and are loving it.  We loved it so much that we ordered Ticket to Ride North America for my husband for his birthday… which is Feb. 3rd, but we gave it to him within 20 minutes of it arriving at our door.  We wanted to make sure he got it before he leaves tomorrow for three days.  (We’re so thoughtful!)

Anyway, the game is a good mix of Settlers of Catan (building roads vs. building train routes), Risk (conquering the world) and Pit (collecting matching cards without the swapping of cards).  The North American version, I believe, came out first.  It is the dumbed-down version without all the bells and whistles of Europe.  In N.A. if you don’t get to a train route first, you’re outta luck and have to find another round-about way to get there.  In Europe, you simply put down a train station and use the other person’s route…. for a price, of course.

There are a few other versions of Ticket to Ride, as well as some expansion packs.  The game industry has truly figured out how to milk the most money out of us as possible…. expansion packs… GAH!  And at $20-25 each!  AFTER you paid $50 for the game.  They are unfairly using families like ours, who are totally game addicts, by limiting the number of players in the original game….. and then selling expansion packs.  And we fall into the trap EVERY time!

We invited friends over to play Europe and we played two games right in a row!  They called us the next day and asked if we wanted to come over and play again.  They went out and bought it the next day!  See!?!  Good game!  It’s set up on our dining room table if you want to pop by and give it a whirl.  Yes, we’re studying the Middle Ages, so if we play the Europe version, it counts as school!