I like to think of myself as a simple man. While I do enjoy gadgets and high-tech things, I also try to take pleasure in the simple things in life. Like my morning bowl of cereal.
Cereal choices are pretty limited here in the Netherlands. Evidently the Dutch prefer to eat buttered bread with chocolate sprinkles on it for breakfast. Whatever. While I’d love to be wolfing down a big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or even Rice Krispies, those aren’t available here, so my breakfast of choice is Kellog’s Frosties (known as Frosted Flakes elsewhere).
Late last week, my box of Frosties runneth empty. “No problem” I thought to myself (probably out-loud. Since working from home full time, I’ve developed a habit of talking to myself out-loud sometimes. I try to pass it off like I’m talking to the dog, but really, my dog doesn’t care about my cereal woes), “I’ll just pick some up this weekend when we do our shopping.”
After 2 days of no cereal, I was excited to walk into Albert Heijn. Imagine my dismay when I noticed that this particular Albert did not stock my Frosties. “What is all this Musilix crap?” I asked myself. There were at least 8 different varieties of Musilix cereal (side note: Firefox wants to change the spelling of ‘Musilix’ to ‘Musial’ As he is a Hall of Fame baseball player from my hometown St. Louis Cardinals, this makes me happy). No Frosties. Sure, they did have Kellog’s Corn Flakes, but who wants that? I need some sugar to start my morning.
Yesterday, I had the day off, and appointments to see 4 different apartments for sale. On the way home on my bike, as it started to rain, I saw an Albert Heijn. “A-Ha!” I thought, “I’ll get some Frosties here!” I walked in. No Frosties. To top it off, when I walked outside, empty handed, the rain had increased, and I had to finish my ride home in a down-pour.
After the rain cleared, I jumped on my bike and rode to C-1000. C-1000 has a good selection of cereals usually. With great trepidation, I found the cereal aisle and walked down it. Corn Flakes? Check. Cocoa Puffs? Check. Musilix? Check. Frosties? BIG FAT NADA!
Normally, I’m a pretty calm person. I try not to let too much rile me up. But this was the last straw. My favorite flavor of Senseo coffee had recently been discontinued. Combine this with my inability to find my cereal, and my morning routine had been thrown into disarray. I needed some semblance of normalcy to my mornings! Why are the cereal gods conspiring against me?
As the rage started to fade, and I could see clearly again, I noticed a stock-person working on the aisle. This is very common in Dutch supermarkets, where they always seem to be re-stocking every aisle. I almost don’t even notice them anymore. However, this particular time, I could see that the stock-man’s cart was blocking part of the cereal shelf. Could it be? I reached around the cart and grabbed the first box I could get my hands on. I pulled it out. The blue box with Tony the Tiger instantly made me feel all warm inside. I peddled home, triumphant in my hunt. If I were a caveman, I might have been bringing home a saber-tooth tiger to feed my starving family.
This morning, as I woke up, a smile spread across my face. After almost a full week, I was going to have my cereal again. I got out a bowl, poured it full of the cereal goodness, and got out the milk. Hmm, better check the expiration date. Yesterday. Well, its Albert Heijn Magere Melk (“Skinny Milk”, like 0%). It usually lasts longer than its expiration date. I opened the top. It was solid as jello. The cereal gods hate me.