Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Find a penny pick it up

My friend Iza and her partner Kuba have a wonderful way of saving up for having a lovely dinner out at night. There is often money left on the street in Glasgow - usually 1 or 2p pieces. I don't bother to pick them up, partly because I think - "it's not worth it" and partly because I leave it to the wee bairns to do. Well, Iza and Kuba do pick up the odd bits of change here and there and keep them separate from the rest of the money they're carrying. Today Iza found 2p on her way to work.

They now have £28 to spend on their "free" dinner. I'm inspired!

Iza is from Poland and it's great being her friend because we talk non stop about our different cultures and share the odd laugh about being foreigners living in Glasgow. I marvel at her knowledge of the English language and the occasional cultural heurisms that happen when a word is misunderstood (like today when I said she could take a "day in lieu" for overtime she had worked..Why would I sit on the toilet?"). She is fluent after living in Glasgow for a year and every day I'm embarrassed about not knowing another language. And it makes me appreciate my mother's ability to speak three languages even more. Why are parents always right? They said I would regret not continuing to learn French and now of course, seeing as I live in Europe I regret it big time.

Not as much as I regret shaving my legs as a teenager....that's another example of not listening to my mother and another story entirely!

Iza says she will go to a Mexican restaurant because she misses Taco Bell...I'll keep you posted!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, you insired me! I have a big ol' jar (actually, it is some old piece of chemistry aparatus I think) which was full of coins. In the US, sales tax is added _after_ the displayed price, so when you buy something worth $1.99, it always comes out to something silly like $2.27. And of course, unless you're the nerdy sliderule type, you never know how much it will cost until the til rings it up, so rather than scrabbling for change at the last minute, people usually just hand over a note, and pocket a bunch of change.

(hmm, seeing as I _am_ the nerdy slide-rule type, I guess the above applies universally!).

Anyway, there is a machine at the local supermarket that will cash in the coins - the banks here won't do it anymore (unless you have abusiness ccount I guess). I had never visited this machine before, because I know they tale an _obnoxious_ cut - 9% or so! But, I finally gave in, heaved a huge bag of change down, and plonked it in the machine. It turns out, they'll waive the fee if you take a gift-card instead - so I opted for the Amazon.com card - coins for books is always a good deal.

Final result? $250 in change! Thats about 10 years worth, mind you, but $25 bucks a year ain't to be sneezed at, and its going to buy me a nice stack of books next year...