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Turkey, May 4, 1998

Turkish Lira Fun

You think you can add fast? Try math with seven zeros on each number!

Count the zeros, QUICK!
The Turks have a crazy money system, even crazier than Russia's New Money. See, there are 240,000 lira to the US dollar, and falling fast. So many zeros make it hard to figure out what your paying for stuff. The sign might say 1,000, but is that four thousand, four hundred thousand, or four million? And what do you pay with? The bill with 1,000 on it, or the coin with 10 on it? To top it off, they love to give change in the smallest bills possible, making it hard to figure what you paid.

In all this confusion, the Turks helped themselves to a bit of our money. I am still not sure if I paid two dollars, or twenty dollars, for a ice cream, and I know we paid ten bucks for a four dollar taxi ride. It made me quite mad until I stopped and looked around. What's a taxi driver in Istanbul got on me? Nutitn' but a chuck of bad karma coming his way.

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