Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We Can All Use a Little Change

The difference between a world traveler and someone who is interested in different places can be determined by what is considered normal.

When I was a kid I would excitedly collect the Canadian pennies that would sometimes get mixed up with the American. I still have a box of them that has grown to include dinars, marks, shillings, pesos, Maluti, RMB, and Zimbabwean million dollar notes. There are coins from the Netherlands, Belgium, and others. Bills from Algiers, Gibralter, Brazil, and some other countries, but I can't read the language and can't remember where they came from. Even a couple of bills from countries that no longer exist, such as the Confederate States of America. Where did all this money come from? What to do with it?

The cans of Iraqi Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite were tossed when we opened the HHE packing boxes this time around. Once novel, these things are just a spill risk not worth taking. The easy decision was made as we were drinking our Chinese cans of Coke Zero.

The other day I went to lunch and was excited because I had the exact amount for the bill in my wallet. How often does that happen? This would have been true if my lunch companion hadn't noticed that one of the green RMB bills in my hand was a slightly different green.
I tried to buy lunch in Shanghai with a Jordanian Dinar. So much for exact change.

Ted has lamented his allowance more than once as Spencer tried to pay him in Maluti when USD and RMD were unavailable. Of course we always factor in the current exchange rates, or at least try to. Who can keep up with so many?

My American credit cards, money, keys, and pocket litter are in a little Ziplock bag. Put away for the next trip home or more likely, the next internet impulse buy. At least some money is now separated from the rest of this mess.

I heard someone in the Foreign Service created a decoupage table using foreign bills. That might be a good project. But then I have to factor the table weight into the shipping allotment. Better stick to the jar in the guest bathroom.

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