Friday, March 17, 2006

More Odds, Fewer Ends

Today was a first...I actually had exact change at the SM Grocery store.

Here's what usually happens: Say my bill is 872.23 Philippino Pesos (about $17.00). I'll pay with 2 500 Peso bills, because I'll look on the screen and round up based on what type of cash I'm carrying (without looking at the precise amount). The cashier will then take my money, enter the amount into the register, look at her drawer for a second then say "Sir, do you have 77 cents?"

This throws me because I know they don't use dollars and cents's piso's and sentimo's, so I'm never sure if they're adjusting the amount for my American cents, or that they will take my American cents or if "cents" is also used in place of "sentimo". Either way, I know that I'm not up to speed yet with identifying and counting Philippine currency and I'll feel like an idiot closely inspecting all the various coins I have on me trying to come up with the right amount while standing in line (I still haven't gotten over that North East Coast mindset of "Everything must move as fast as humanly possible"). So, I just answer, "Sorry, I don't have it" and get handed about 5 pounds of coins.

Well, today I decided to actually check to see if I had it, and saw the appropriate coins right on top of the massive amount I have accumulated. I'll try to give exact change from now on, seeing that no one ever rushes anywhere in this country and I'll always have plenty of time to count my coins because of the inevitable 10 minutes it takes them to do a price check on the countless items without prices or barcodes.

So here's the coin currency:

From left to right:
A 10 piso piece, a 5 piso piece, a one piso piece, a 25 sentimo piece, a 10 sentimo, and a 5 sentimo (the one with a hole in it). The silver one next to it is a Japanese yen, that we exchanged at the
Tokyo airport to buy water.

Oh, and next to that is a Claritin-D allergies are coming back.

As I was at the grocery, I decided to get some things that would illustrate some of the foreign knock-offs of American brand names.

[These aren't Oreo's..they're just two different types of very close look-a-like products. And I'm not sure what the phrase "Co-actor" translates to or from, all I know is they taste terrible. The Cream-O's aren't bad.]
[Not quiet Ritz...but close]

[And here the potato chip-in-a-can product we know in the U.S. is being marketed by Mr. Pringle's cousin from out of state]
[Here's a closer look...sort of a Mexican farmer version of Mr. Pringle]


At 6:16 AM, Blogger Lame Shrill Owl said...

Errr....thanks for the picture of your Claritin.

I wonder which items you will ike so much that you will want to have in the US when you come back, but can't get.

There is a particular hot sauce from Costa Rica that I just love and I have brought back with me, but alas, my bottle is gone and I can't fly anywhere for this spring break. And I can't find anything comaprable to it here. Maybe someday I will, or we'll just go back again and bring back more this time.

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