Nieuws - 5 juni 2014

Supermarket or minimarket?

On my second day in the Netherlands, I really needed to find a supermarket if I wanted to eat something other than stale bread. I wandered through the town in quest of a supermarket.

After a few hours I asked a passerby where the nearest supermarket was. ‘Oh, right over there, two minutes’ walk’. Right over there? I had already passed that place ten times, so I should have seen it. I walked back but again I still couldn’t find a supermarket. I asked again and again, every time coming a bit closer but unable to see it. Finally someone said: ‘Just behind you’. I felt silly, but what I saw did not look at all like my idea of a supermarket. I entered and was astonished; where were all the sections? There was only food. Welcome to a Dutch supermarket!
‘The Cactus’ is the supermarket chain in Luxemburg, and it’s huge. There are several sections, each one comparable to a normal shop and often bigger: the food section, the alcohol section, the soap and cleaning section, the toy section, the clothes section, the electronic device section, the music and video game section, the garden section, the house section, the stationery section and so on. You can imagine that it is every child’s nightmare to get lost in the Cactus.

Well, it was hard at first to go biking from shop to shop before closing time, but now I love it. Smaller shops are more casual and I am sure my childhood nightmare will not come true. When I go shopping in a Dutch supermarket, my friends are always in sight.  

Anna Luijten, MSc student of Forest and Nature Conservation from Luxembourg.


Op haar tweede dag in Nederland moest de Luxemburgse Anna nodig boodschappen doen. Na een paar uur zoeken vroeg ze aan een voorbijganger waar nou toch die supermarkt was. ‘Achter je’, was het antwoord. Verbijsterd liep ze de winkel binnen.

In Luxemburg zijn supermarkten enorm. Standaard zijn er secties voor voedsel, alcohol, schoonmaakmiddelen, speelgoed, kleren, elektronica, muziek, tuinieren, en ga zo maar door. De nachtmerrie van elk Luxemburgs kind is verdwalen in de supermarkt. Dat zal je in Nederland niet overkomen.