Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bureau de Exchange

Bureau de Exchange

Money changers are an intrgral part of an expat life in a developing world.  We foreigners are often paid in dollars, and a lot of the economic transactions are in dollars as well.  Thus, these money changers are quite common, except for small towns like Mtwara. 

Hmmm, that was a sub-par intro.  Let me try again.


1. One morning, Steven came up to me, mildly happy. He pulls out a one Euro coin, and flashes it to me.  You'd think he would be bragging "yo teach, check out my euro."  But I know Steven, his smile read "yo I want shillings for this, and I know that you could do the job for me." 

He found the Euro in the pocket of jeans he bought at a second hand market.  I checked online and one Euro is approximately 2000 Shilings, the price of the jeans.  I congratulated him on his good fortune, and performed the transaction.

2. THE SAME DAY, Mr. Prosper shows me some green bucks.  Korean bucks, that is.  He too found them in the pants that he bought in the Moshi second hand market.  Although he bought them for a high price of 6000 Shilings, he made a killer profit.  His 36000 Won was equivalent to 48000 Shilings, which I duly performed the transaction.  He was so happy that he bought sodas for everyone in the staff office at the time.

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