C – Currency

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.