We are about to jet off to Bali for my wife’s birthday and my sister gave her a 1.2 million rupiah in cash as a birthday present. It would be nice if the rupiah was one rupiah to the dollar, but sadly it’s 10,000 to the dollar. Still, Beth is not complaining – that’s $120. I do love getting hold of foreign currency in my hand. And particularly when you arrive in a new country and change your money to be given a pile of often brightly coloured notes. I spend a long time looking at all the different notes and coins and I’ve collected quite a few over the years (check out some of my collection here). And I particularly love currencies with wacky names. In Mongolia they have a Tögrög, while in Malaysia they have a ringgit.
There are some really good wacky ones from around the world. here are some of my favourites:
In Zambia people walk around with ngwees in their wallet.
In Gambia they have bututs.
In Guatemala it’s quetzals.
The Malawians hand over kwachas.
Some other ones are just impossible to pronounce like the Ngultrum from Bhutan.
The Lilangeni from Swaziland.
And the Ouguiya from Mauritania.
The again, at least it’s not as bad as the poor folk in Costa Rica who have piles of colons (bad pun intended).
Then again if someone gave a me a huge pile of colons I’d be happy!