I was pissed.
However, I'd been in the park for a few days, so I had a couple ideas. I figured we could either take our little card, tell our sad tale to the attendants and get another cart, or we could keep going on rides, and keep an eye out for our number. I had already noticed I was seeing the same people over and over again, and even the same _carts_ over and over again, and was betting I'd spot my cart in short order and just take it back.
Well, it took longer than I thought it would. We went on a ton of rides, got nicely tired, and were doing the last round on the Monorail when, looking down and reading numbers _while on the ride_, I _spotted our wandelwagen_!!!
So very impatiently, I waited for our ride to end and hustled A. over to the playground where it was parked next to the big slide. I made a _big_ production out of getting out the card and holding it next to the cart while I said to A., "Let's make _sure_ this is our cart." The guilty party was sitting right there and was so flustered she turned bright red (well, some on, she's Dutch and super pale) and loses all capacity to speak English and is desperately trying to justify herself by saying well her cart had been taken so she took mine. Right. Because that's what we all should do when someone takes our stuff, right? Take someone else's! Not.
So we had the cart for the longest walk of the day, back to the exit. Ha!
When we got back to our cottage, I fixed A. some beschuit with peanut butter and sprinkles (don't start with me: I learned to use peanut butter from my cousin A., so you can't really claim it's not really a Dutch way of doing things), and put some strawberries out with it to pretend this wasn't just like eating reese's peanut butter cups for dinner. A. played and ate and after a while came in for a few minutes and later I went out to retrieve the food. The beschuit was gone! And a suspicious trail of sprinkles led past a couple of gnawed on strawberries!!!
A squirrel must have stolen A.'s beschuit, so I made her another one, threw out the strawberries that were gnawed on, and contemplated the fact that the extremely rare squirrels that are so exciting to Dutch people (someone stopped us and asked us to come look so exciting sssshhhh it's on the branch -- all in Dutch, mind you -- for a squirrel! Seriously!) are the same goddamn rat thieves that our common squirrels are.
I think the only reason there aren't more of them in the Netherlands is that there's no ecosystem for them to subsist in. The place is manicured and curated to within a half centimeter of completely sanitization. Which is not a word, but should be.