Friday, September 5 – Steve's posting

Note: Steve’s first post on the blog!!

A tired “down” day after two days of good hikes. Strolled into Saanen for coffee and kuchen then picked up some groceries (found a good, small natural foods store). At “home”, a lady came and knocked at the French doors on our terrace. She said she saw the Italian license plates on our car and wanted to know if we could change some Euro for her. We explained we were not really Italian, just driving a car licensed in Italy. However, we did have some Euro. We pulled some bills out which she quickly waved away saying those are all the same!

Within a few minutes we understood: the woman was from Holland and wanted to change Dutch Euro coins for Italian ones; the Euro coins are the same on the “amount” side (“tails” side, inverse, I think) for all countries in the Euro zone (“Euroland”) but the “front” (“heads” side, obverse?) has a unique design in each country for each coin denomination.

The lady’s children apparently love collecting the Euro coins of other Euroland countries and the Italian ones are, of course, exceptionally beautiful. We were able to provide about 5 or 6 Euro in various denominations from last year’s trip. We had some German Euro coins from earlier in the trip (our visitor had no interest in those) and now we also have some Dutch Euro coins, the ones we acquired in exchange for our Italian ones.

My notes on pronunciation of the word Euro (in all cases singular and plural are the same words):
In German, you say OY-roh.
In Italian, you say EH-oo-roh.
In French, you say uh-ROH (sort of rhymes with furrow, but with accent on second syllable).

For the coins:
In German, you call them cent – pronounced sent.
In French, you call them cent – pronounced sahnt.
In Italian, you call them centesimi – pronounced chehn-TEH-zee-mee.

Published by

Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.