The first time I was in a Dutch supermarket I collected my items and went to queue up to pay.
The next time I went shopping, I decided I wanted to use the stick just like everybody else. And I did it. What surprised me was that I received gratitude from the woman behind me, who said 'thank you'. I was amused by this, not realizing why I deserved that. But then I understood that it is not only a courtesy between clients, it also eases the job of the cashier to sort out the goods.
From that point on, I have always carefully put that stick after my goods on the conveyor belt and by now I have earned countless thanks from the Dutch people. And, I also say 'thanks' to people in front of me when they do it. Every time I go through this process I recall that moment when I saw this action differently.
Ramesh Paudyal, a Nepalese MSc student of Management of Development, Van Hall Larenstein.