Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Money troubles and bad pun

I am finding the money here more complicated than I expected.

Egypt has pounds and piastres. One US dollar translates into 5.7 pounds, so the punds are not large units. One pound notes are brown and usually very grubby and handled - they are a common 'backsheesh' unit.

My problem is that piastre notes are the same size and look about the same as punds - especially the 25 pound and fifty pound notes.

Piastres are very small units indeed - and it is hard to imagine that it is worth printing the five piastre note. These are much smaller than the others, but there are a lot of new ones around as they are crisp and in mint condition at the moment. Each is worth about one cent Australian.

I almost gave a taxi driver a fifty pound tip the other day - for a three pound fare.
He would have been a very happy man!!!

In the mosque at the weekend (and I must find out its name and write it down) there were a couple of gentlemen whose main task was to bag your feet. I am not kidding. They had clean cream bags made of a fabric like artist's canvas with a slit opening at the top and a thick soft drawstring cord. You had to go to them, place your foot on a square cloth in the opening of the bag, and they would pull it quickly over your shoe and tie it in front.

I was unhappy about the servile nature of their work and really hated this process - I would have preferred to take off my shoes and go barefoot - but this was obviously what people to do - and I am a great believer in 'when in Rome.....".

I tried to find the requisite pound and found myself fumbling with a sizeable roll of piastres in various denominations. I think they breed in my bag. I accidentally offered him some of these - and obviously not enough from the disgusted comments.

If you are ready for the bad pun of the wek - I have decided that this reaction is called piastre resistence.

2 Comments:

Blogger MG Quilts said...

Jenny, I just love your bad pun. too bad I can't find some way to use it myself.

--Maggie

7:44 am  
Anonymous Doreen in Darwin said...

Jenny, I feel like I've just spent some time time in Cairo myself. I keep kicking myself for forgetting to go 'blogging' regularly and read both yours and Pam H's instalments. We almost need a 'blog' alarm. The faces say it all - it's so interestign looking at people, isn't it?

8:38 am  

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