I stood in the queue, placing my one purchase on the conveyor belt and then setting down the yellow Netto bar to signify the end of my purchase and the beginning of the next customer after me. It was a meagre haul, just a pint of milk. In front of us, the customer was only purchasing 3 items and we knew we didn’t have long to wait, but I glanced at my watch anyway, instinctively as we had a trip to the tip to make before the 6pm deadline.
Finally, he paid and it took only a moment for the cashier to ring through the solitary purchase with a ping and then one of only two sentences spoken in the transaction, “9 krone”. I removed my card from my wallet and paid contactlessly. Which is the way our transactions are more and more destined to be, contactless. You could almost replace the word with soulless. The machine displayed it’s approval of the transaction and the assistant on the checkout asked next “Abonnement med?”. “Ja Tak”, I replied. He handed me my piece of paper, the proof of the transaction and the only time in the transaction we may fear physically touching another human being. I took it and we left. Aware that the entire transaction had taken place without any eye contact being made. Outside, as I got into the car, I noticed the receipt even had the name of the checkout assistant on it.
All throughout the world, millions of these transactions are taking place. Every minute of every day. I wonder how many of them involve a father and son though and take place in the manner just described?