My dad, a former Wall Street trader always advised me “cash is king” and to “hold on to it” when the economy gets tough. I can’t remember the last time we received a cash payment But in the Netherlands, cash is definitely not getting the royal treatment. In so many places, it has simply ceased to be recognised as legal tender. More and more Dutch stores, from upscale health-food store Marqt to my local baker and bagel shop, take pin — or debit — cards exclusively. Some retailers even describe going cash-free as “cleaner” or “safer”. Tucking my debit card firmly away, I decide to see how far a bundle of cash will get me. Not far. The big-ticket items are strictly cashless affairs: my rent and my telephone bill among them.