We have just spent a weekend in Antwerp. This is a lovely city and the weekend was marred only by the strong winds that blew from across the North Sea. That and the tram driver and the Flemish tickets.
We were hurrying along towards a tram stop with the specific intention of purchasing tickets from the machines that you sometimes find on the platform when the tram we wanted turned into our street. Figuring that we could always buy tickets on the tram (albeit at a slightly higher cost), we broke into a run and caught it just in time. Slightly out of breath, I walked up to the driver’s cabin and asked for two tickets. For good measure, I placed a € 5.00 note on the little counter to help clarify my poor French.
The driver returned my money with a stern look and barked something in Flemish at me. I stuttered and was just trying to see what was wrong with my French when he repeated himself in English: “No tickets. Use a machine please”.
We had to get off at the next stop, buy a ticket at the machine and wait for another one to come along. In the cold.