I have been very blessed to have had the opportunity to travel all my life. I got the bug when I was 12 years old on a cross country trip with my father and brother. Every since then, I couldn’t wait to travel on the next adventure. I have been to 36 states in the US and 12 different countries. I can deal with trains, planes, subways and taxi’s. I have even hiked on a few trips.
I can also pick up languages pretty well. I can ask where the bathroom is in 13 different languages. So, I would consider that to be a pretty well seasoned traveler.
But, there is one thing about traveling to a foreign country that I just don’t get right away. It is dealing in different currencies. I drives me nuts.
Now, please understand, I am not a dumb person. I run a company that deals in three different currencies; US dollars, Chinese RMB and Hong Kong dollar. It only took me a couple of month living in China before I stopped having to convert everything I purchased into USD.
But, put me in a foreign country, right off the plane and tell me what something cost in their currency, I freeze. I have no concept of what things cost. And more times then not it gets me in trouble.
Last year, I was in Singapore. I gave a masseur a tip that was 3X more then the cost of the actual massage. I wondered why she kept showed up at my door every night asking me if I wanted another one.
Under pressure, I just can’t do it. I can’t multiply and divide on command.
So, for my trip to Australia, I am starting now. I am going to get this exchange rate down, if it kills me. It’s simple, 1 AUD equals what? USD, no RMB.
Oh, hell, maybe I’ll just use credit cards.