A Rotterdam Backstory 2

As we got lost along our retraced steps back to Rotterdam Central Station from Spido B.V., we stumbled across a tube mall known as Markthal Rotterdam aka Market Hall Rotterdam. As you’ve seen in the first post, a simple Scandinavian pushcart selling cheeseys makes the whole surrounding less intimidating and more patronising. The overall look of the mall is also cosy with a variety of products to choose from. You name it, they have it!

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Well the one on the right is a blue cheese but isn’t the Blue Cheese.

I’m extremely fascinated with the cheese shops over there. They looked irresistibly delicious and exotic. There’s something about the pushcart’s aesthetics. Now, Dutch people are friendly by nature. In fact, throughout our whole entire journey in the Netherlands, people have been helping us out with directions and halal food hunt even to the point of using their own GPS to pinpoint locations and provide instructions for easier navigations. I really want to thank them so much for the kind hospitality and warm gestures given.

However, in the mall, we wanted to purchase a few items but had a large 500Euro note and apparently, none were willing to accept it. Almost all vendors scrutinised at the note and decided not to accept our purchase. Of course, till we came to a pushcart selling figs and dates. An Egyptian (I think, or could be Moroccan) bald man roughly in his 40s decided to accept our intentions of breaking the note to smaller change and the need to taste his mouthwatering figs (no pun intended). We were delighted. It was as if God has embraced us with His Mercy (which He really did) and made our detour worthwhile. Due to this incident, I deduced that Europeans find it hard to accept huge notes for a few reasons. 1) Fake touristy notes are rampant. Many scammers pretend to be tourists and go around in a ‘fake note exchange’ spree. 2) The bald man had to inspect our note under the light multiple times, to affirm that we had given genuine cash. This goes to show that for some itsy bitsy small microscopic reason, discerning between the real and fake notes may have been unclear either because the real ones are arduously distinguishable or pirates or counterfeiters producing counterfeits are exceedingly professional. 3) or simply that Europeans don’t hold much change to accommodate to such big notes. 1 point to VISA!  But all these points are just my assumptions and I guess there’s no real reason to this as everyone has their own belief in not wanting to accept big notes.

So traveller’s tip: Don’t carry huge notes. Break them down at the airport or secured establishments such as money changers or banks, especially in European countries. Of course VISA provides the convenience but most street markets don’t cater such services. In addition, such establishments offer a sense of security in a sense that you know what you’re getting and where you’re getting it from. There is no way you’ll receive a counterfeit from a public or main bank for instance. So, break your cash up once you’ve touched down from the plane. It’ll benefit you in terms of time and energy.

Here’s the interior outlook of the mall from a 2nd storey halal Mediterranean restaurant.

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I really love it’s elaborated designs and comprehensive architecture. It’s really a nice “steal” coming from being lost and to stumble upon an unplanned location from our travel itinerary. I’m really glad we got lost. As the saying goes, ‘it feels good to be lost in the right direction’ and it truly is! Here’s a few more pictures to sum up Markthal Rotterdam, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post~

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