Chips and beer

What is an ‘OV-chipkaart’ (public transport pass with a chip in it)? Inspired by Hong Kong, it’s not in use yet, except in Rotterdam, but I haven’t seen one there yet and I’m there often. There’s also the ‘invisible link’: shove two sentences together and figure out what you need (answer: a ‘strippenkaart’ or ‘strip tickets’) because that’s the info they left out of the translation.

Allow me to demonstrate the experience of figuring this out when you don’t get the Dutch:

“This ticket vending machine is for travellers with a *%?&$. Please use the red vending machines.”

What if my Dutch friend lent me their pass and I need to top it up? What if I work in the Netherlands and I have one, but have just been here two months and can barely order a beer? What’s going to happen in 2007 when everyone will need a*%?&$ to get around? Someone stop me!

(Photo: Piet)

public transport sign

6 Responses to “Chips and beer”

  1. Aad says:

    Currently, they are asking the public to come up with a better name. The posters give an example: “I call it my ‘zwaluwpas'”. Not much help for this problem… We have to wait for the final name…

  2. G says:

    What if you didn’t even want to travel but just recharge the card?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Call it the “octopuskaart” and then only us Americans will be left in the dark. 😉

  4. Larry says:

    From what I know of places that have this system (or are proposing to introduce it, like Toronto), it seems to be called a ‘smart card’.

  5. Alan Palmer says:

    In London they’re called “Oyster cards”. I’ve no idea why.

  6. Koos says:

    Six later… the OV-Chipkaart is everywhere. They never found a better name. “OV” is the acronym for “Openbaar Vervoer” – public transport. On the trams in The Hague the public is advised to remember checking out by a computerized voice. This is done in Dutch and in Dunglish. “Remember to check out with your O-Vay-Chip-card”. They do this at every other stop! It turns strong men and women into gibbering idiots.
    They should either pronounce it properly as “O-Vee”, simply call it a “chip card” or just “Please remember to check out when leaving the vehicle”.

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