Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monopoly Money

I've been in Dundee for over a week now and I'm still constantly baffled by the coins in my purse. There are EIGHT different kinds. EIGHT. Isn't that too much? I'm used to the usual pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, maybe the occasional half-dollar. I can't imagine what the cash register drawers look like in shopping establishments here.
I've dedicated some time this afternoon to really learn the shape, color colour, and denomination of the constant jingle-jangle in order to cut down on my fumbling in check-out lines. 
In order of value from least to greatest: 


 The one penny coin. Likely the one that registers most easily in my brain considering it's almost an exact replica of an American penny.
 Hello, two pence. You are utterly useless. In what scenario is this coin absolutely necessary? "That'll be 2.02." "Here's two pounds and two pennies!" "What!? You don't have a two pence coin!?"
That's the ridiculous conversation I imagine. C'mon UK, let's phase 'em out. 
 Valid, silver, 5 pence piece. 
 Literally mirrors the 5 pence piece, except it's worth 10 pence and is slightly larger. 
Finally, a coin with different edges! 20 pence is quite recognizable. 
 Until your fingers collide with a 50 pence coin and become completely confused. 
 The infamous one pound coin. I was initially thrown off by this denomination, but I don't think one pound notes exist in the UK. On the edges is written "Decus et Tutamen" which, according to a quick Wiki search, is the motto of the British Army cavalry regiment and translates to "Honor and Defense." The more you know.
I only have a single two-pound coin in my arsenal at the moment, but I remember spending one or two earlier this week so I don't think they are rare, per se. The writing on the edge of the two pound coin says "something will turn up," a strangely encouraging phrase, perhaps to boost the spirits of someone scrounging in the bottom of their wallet to find the last pence for their purchase?

I've been trying to work out a feasible budget to know exactly where I stand when it comes to grocery money, alcohol money, and travel money. I get a receipt and think "cool! I only spent 6 pounds on this grocery trip!" But then I remember the damn exchange rate and have to double everything to be on the safe side. 
Thankfully, tomato and basil pasta in a cup is only 39p a pop. A Very Lucky Girl could really go for some chips and queso right about now. Maybe a steak. 

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