Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not All Change is Good

Life in the Euro zone means handling a lot of change. You got your 1 and 2 euro coins. And then there's the small change: 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 centimes. On September 1st, a new 5 euro coin came out. There must not be that many in circulation, because I never saw one until today when I received one after a transaction at the post office. As you can see, it's shiny and silver and looks a little bit like a carnival token.

Who knew though that trying to get rid of that sucker would nearly cause an international incident? The cashier at our corner market took one look at it and asked me what it was. I tried to reassure her that it was real French money and even got the backing of the fellow behind me in the line. But she was spooked and went off to consult the manager. And of course, the line at the register started growing and the grumbling from the other customers started. After what seemed like ages, she came back smiling and rang up my one purchase, a two-liter bottle of milk. And of course, she made absolutely sure I knew that it wasn't her fault. (Trust me, that's a classic.) For the amount of trouble it caused, I'll stick with the 5 euro bills.

9 comments:

Starman said...

It was a limited minting. Only around 2 million coins in total and no plan for more.

misplaced texan said...

My husband is incredibly jealous that you had this 5 euro coin and said he would've paid you 10 euros to have it. (He's kind of nerdy.) :)

Anne said...

If I come across another one, it's a deal (but strictly from one nerd to another!)

Anonymous said...

I also received one from the post office, the day after they were issued.

And I also caused an incident at the Centre Pompidou, when I tried to buy a coffee with one later that day. It caused quite the discussion in the line and also brought the manager out.

Love your blog

Anonymous said...

love the play-on-words (and events!) post title!

Roy Evan Burstiner said...

It's a similar situation here in the states, with both the quarters, which are minted with 50 different backings honoring each state, & the constantly changing designs of the paper bills, It's sometimes hard to really know if a bill is real because of all the new designs. -Roy

Adam said...

I got one of these from the La Poste too then gave it to my girlfriend. She managed to spend it quick quickly and easily!

Adam said...

Misplaced Texan -> I would guess that your husband would simply be able to go to any Post Office and just ask for one (in exchange for five Euros in normal currency!)

La Mom said...

Huh?!? 5-euro coins? I clearly have to get out more...(and stop using the Carte Bleue so much).

La Mom
An American Mom in Paris

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