Ridiculous Currencies Around the Globe

Money makes the world go round but some currencies have a way to drive one crazy. We require money and the first thing any traveler does after she lands in a new country is figure out the country’s currency and get a wad for herself. The neat currencies of dollar, yen, pound have been discussed, known and recognized but there are some currencies and denominations that to be put politely are just bad ass. These are a few that have been a bit of a thorn during my travels.

Indonesian Rupiah: The foremost on my list is the IDR or Indonesian Rupiah. I knew it was trouble when we traded in two crisp notes and gained a sackful of Indonesian currency in exchange. We thought we were gonna live like kings in Indonesia, turns out three zeros are redundant so tea costs 10,000 IDR and we have had lunch for a lakh per person but it was good lunch.


American Pennies – American dollars are great and they are just amazing for all the Uncle Scrooges in the world but Pennies! Pennies are a different story altogether, they get stuck in the washer, they make your wallet heavy and are a pain to cross airport security. Also pennies do not get back into the system with the frequency it comes out of the system and into your wallet. It seems like a cruel joke when things are ticketed 1 $ 99 cents, I mean come on! It has been three years since I went to the US but I still have three small bags filled with pennies!


Mentos – I know Mentos is not an official currency, not even close but tell that to the guy at the toll booth on the highways in India. I give the guy Rs 30 and he give back three breath mints instead of my balance of Rs 3. So if he had the three Rupees to buy the three Mentos why couldn’t he just give me the balance or do they get Mentos supply for free!

Sodexo –  What started as food coupons in Indian tech offices has certainly come a long way. I was recently given a Sodexo coupon for Rs 10 at my local grocery store ! An acquaintance bribed a cop with a Sodexo coupon and apparently it was even used to fund a rickshaw ride. So.. dexo you are officially a currency.

Have there been any ridiculous currencies that you have come across? Do share.

Representational Images via Pixabay. The restaurant bill however is ours..


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