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I have forgotten how money works

Posted January 30 by John Birmingham

I landed in Rome a day and a half ago and have been reacquainting myself with the city. Some things have changed. The Romans now obey the traffic signals, which is great. And some things haven’t. They still refuse to queue in an orderly fashion for anything.

One thing that’s changed about me; I’ve forgotten how to use cash. There’s no real contactless payment infrastructure here. Credit cards and eftpos, yes. But no PayPass as we’d recognise it.

Cash still rules. When I was last here it was Lire, which was awesome because you could feel like a millionaire for very little actual money. Now it’s the Euro, which is fine, because it makes everything seem cheap. (And of course somethings like pasta and wine are cheap). But I’ve found myself frequently standing with mouth agape and drool dropping slowly from my lower lip as I try to remember how the whole paper money thing works. Turns out it’s a minor life skill and it can quickly decay.

I’m very slow at counting notes. Even slower at recognising denominations. More than once I’ve just pushed a bunch of paper at the cashier with my apologies. The Romans, thankfully, are always happy to divest you of the appropriate amount.

I think.

8 Responses to ‘I have forgotten how money works’

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 30
Heading to Japan Saturday, very much a cash economy. I’m pretty reasonable at mental arithmetic but $1 AUD = 74 Yen is doing my head in.

Bangar mumbles...

Posted February 1
Easy cheat old school paper table, new school a note on your phone. Whatever works for you $A1 to 100 with local equivalence or local $ to $A. Yes you can use apps but this is available straight away without the net

NBlob mumbles...

Posted February 11
Arigato Bangar san. I’ve returned with both knees pointing the correct direction but calves which have applied For asylum. Quite an experience to be effectively illiterate in Europe even without local language you can work things out, in Japan, with 2 or even 3 alphabets, depending on how one counts, I had a hell of a time. This bus is going to squiggle house thing an 2 stripes with a dot, but not angry face rhomboid and tree, or is that just an add for disgusting peach cola?

Bangar asserts...

Posted February 14
I've always thought Japan would be ... interesting to visit.

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jl asserts...

Posted January 31
I remember Italy and the Lira. All those zeroes...

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 31
I wish we'd used more cash while in LA in November because the dodgy way you have to pay with a card in restaurants has lead to our cards being used elsewhere in attempted transactions. Luckily the bank's defence systems held up but you still have the inconvenience of cancelling old/getting new cards.

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she_jedi asserts...

Posted January 31
Egypt is great for the many zeroes thing. When my tour group visited the pyramids and we were given the option to climb inside the Great Pyramid for 300 Egyptian pounds I was taken aback, and then did the conversion and realised it was about $25 Australian. Needless to say I paid happily. It absolutely murdered my thigh muscles but was a once in a lifetime experience.

It was a shock when we got to Jordan later in the trip and discovered that 1 Jordanian dollar was 2 Aussie dollars though!

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Dirk reckons...

Posted February 5
Well JB, we made them Euro's color-coded, especially for you :D darkgreen is 5, red is 10, blue is 20, and orange is 50. The rest we don't use that much, but if you were to come by a stack of purple ones, you know where I live ... :D

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