Using The Euro To Pay For Things Like Biting Into Some Vile Piece Of Swamp Cabbage, Or Something, Says Adorable D-Mark-Loving German

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Shopping for pain reliever on a recent sunny morning, Ulrike Berger giddily counted her coins and approached the pharmacy counter. She had just enough to make the purchase: 31.09 deutsche marks. "They just feel nice to hold again," the 55-year-old preschool teacher marveled, cupping the grubby coins fished from the crevices of her castaway living room sofa. "And they're still worth something." Germans have yet to give up on the euro. But as Europe's debt crisis rages on, many are indulging their nostalgia for the abandoned mark by shopping with it again—and retailers are happily going along..."Everything about the D-mark is nicer—the look, the feel," Dorothee Reess, a retired secretary, said. Indeed, compared with the euro—which deliberately avoids images deemed too national—the mark bears elaborate portraits of German writers, artists and scientists, from the composer Clara Schumann (on the 100 mark note) to the Brothers Grimm (on the 1,000 mark bill). The euro, on the other hand, "is more like a big stew with every vegetable," Ms. Reess said. "Some of them aren't so tasty." Others cite a more mundane reason for so many lingering marks: Many Germans, renowned as savers, squirreled away so much cash that they simply forgot where they put it. In Gaiberg, customers arrived with marks found under washing machines, in dusty record album covers and old purses, even in a couple of shoe boxes unearthed in a church rectory closet. "I couldn't fathom how people could just leave money lying around," said Gaiberg native Helga Weis. That was before she prodded her husband, as their 50th anniversary approached last year, to finally get rid of his wedding suit. A last check of the pockets uncovered an envelope with nearly 300 marks, a long forgotten gift Mr. Weis had tucked away at the reception that day in 1961. Five decades later, the rediscovered cash was enough to buy the cakes for their anniversary celebration from Gaiberg's mark-accepting bakery. [WSJ]

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