Tags: How | Many | Dollars | That?

How Many Dollars Is That?

Tuesday, 07 May 2002 12:00 AM

Just how much does that 10-spot you've got in your wallet buy you in downtown Berlin? How many pounds of pounds is it worth? What can you get for your 10 bucks in the "souk"? What the heck is a "euro" anyway? Is that a derogatory word for a European?

Fear not; I have you covered.

All you have to do is calculate the local exchange rate. This is relatively easy in Canada, where a dollar is worth, as one Canadian citizen told me, "A lot." It is also very easy to exchange greenbacks on the black market, where dollars are worth, as one fellow from a Third World country explained to me, "A lot."

But what if you need some lek? Taka? Dinar? Boliviano? Kroon? Dalasi? Quetzal? Ringgit? Ouguiya? Hryvna? Tugrik?

To save you some time, here is a handy guide:

At the time of this article, 10 bucks was worth exactly:

Now, for most of Europe, it's just the euro – 10.935 euros for $10, to be exact. Bor-ing. This now includes your average French franc, German mark, and the currencies of all the other European countries that switched over to the nefarious 'One Continental' currency.

That $10 you have can also buy you some really great names, if you are going someplace off the beaten path. Did you know that you could buy 62.4 Botswana pula? That sounds incredible. Or you could purchase 489.65 Bhutana ngultrum. We don't know what they are, but they sure sound fantastic.

You can trade your 10 U.S. dollars for no fewer than 18 other dollars around the world. How about six different pesos? Six different rupees? Six varieties of the pound? Six kinds of dinar? Without France there are still eight choices of francs for your 10 dollars, including the very official sounding CFA franc BCEAO, of which you can get a wallet-busting 7,158.

Speaking of wallet busting, can you imagine trading your $10 for 90,197 Sao Tome dobras? Where would you put those? Seriously, how, with a straight face, can one be expected to carry around 83.5 Dronning Maudland krones? And you definitely don't want to have 84 Ethiopian birrs in your pants, do you? That could get decidedly uncomfortable.

You can also hand in your 10 bucks for 80.87 Croatian kuna, which must be delicious pan-seared with a little wine. Or how about our favorite? Yes, you can exchange your $10 for a whopping 80,500 Ghanaian cedi. Ghanaian cedi. Say that slowly. Just the sound of it makes you want to call your travel agent, doesn't it?

But wherever you go and whatever you do, make sure you don't get Malawi kwacha. That sounds like it can put you in the hospital. (This is not to be confused with the deadly-sounding Zambian kwacha, of course, which I'm sure is somehow worse. Plus, you get 42,500 of them. Yikes!)

As you can see, there are plenty of choices when traveling, so be creative. And the next time a customs agent asks you if you have anything to declare, say, in loud, American fashion: "Yes! I have exactly 1528.9 Kazakhstani tenges! And 101.6 Lesotho loti! And 1407.25 Vanuatu vatu! And 101.6 Swazi lilangeni! And ... "

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Just how much does that 10-spot you've got in your wallet buy you in downtown Berlin? How many pounds of pounds is it worth? What can you get for your 10 bucks in the souk ? What the heck is a euro anyway? Is that a derogatory word for a European? Fear not; I have you...
How,Many,Dollars,That?
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2002-00-07
Tuesday, 07 May 2002 12:00 AM
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