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3 August 2011 / leggypeggy

Just call me Moneybags

What was in my wallet earlier today. From left a US 20, an Aussie 50 and two 5s, a euro 10 and 5, and a Georgian 20 and 5 plus a range of local change.

Sy, a friend in New York, asked what we are doing about money—what currency do we use, how do we change money, do we have credit cards and such?

Managing money isn’t really a big concern, but we do have to plan. We seem to have everything. We’ve spent all our British pounds, but we are also carrying a supply of euros, American dollars and Australian dollars. Plus we have a MasterCard and I wish we had a Visa card.

We tried to get a Visa in 2009 before we left for Africa because it’s the only card accepted in West Africa, but the bank (which bank—the Commonwealth) had just done a deal which meant they would issue only MasterCards. We found this out the day before we left. G-r-r-r! It was a pain in the neck all the way to South Africa, when MasterCard suddenly became acceptable.

But we’ve brought enough cash this time that we probably won’t have to use the credit card until we reach Southeast Asia or Australia. We already know that MasterCard works fine in both locations.

So far we’ve used a medley of currencies. We’ve spent all our British pounds and most of our euros in Europe. Other countries and their currencies have been Czech, koruna (crown); Hungary, forint; Romania, lei; Bulgaria, lev; Turkey, lira; Georgia, lari; and Armenia, dram.

Most countries have money changers everywhere, so we can use them or pop into a bank. We had a nice victory in a small Turkish town. All the money changers wanted to give us 1.5 liras or less for a US dollar. But we tracked down the only bank in town and they gave Poor John 1.6 for a dollar.

We head to Azerbaijan tomorrow and they use the manat. Their cents are called qəpik. It’s a good thing we are moving on. I have NO Georgian currency—we spent the lot on dinner tonight and the makings for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

Anyway, stay tuned and I’ll explain how everyone keeps their money safe in the truck. But shh-h-h, you mustn’t tell a soul.


Leave a Comment
  1. Sy S. / Aug 3 2011 12:43 pm

    Dear Moneybags aka LeggyPeggy aka richer then Not So Poor John,

    Does Poor John know you are not as poor as he is… showing off the photo and money you have stashed away in your shoe or some place under your clothing LOL. When I was traveling, I used an American Express Card and it was convenient to go to their office/location in big cities and withdraw some money (American Express Checks). I also,used their office to have mail parcels delivered, way back in 1971.

    I am surprised to read that you carry a lot of money around (with your bad experience in Africa)…
    so were on the truck is the moola… under the cushion of the seats… in the locked individual boxes… I won’t spill the beans…

    Sy S.


  2. leggypeggy / Aug 3 2011 1:03 pm

    You don’t see American Express or Thomas Cook offices anymore. And in Africa, we saw very, very few cash machines. So cash is the ay to go, but you’ll have to wait to hear the hiding place. 🙂


  3. Your loving daughter, Petroushka / Aug 7 2011 10:53 am

    This just reminds me of you getting the conductor to exchange your currency in the train on the way from Florence to Belgium, and he sat on the floor in the middle of the corridor surrounded by archaic notes and coins.


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