Friday, January 20, 2012

Good Bye, Ecuador! Two Weeks of Things I'll Miss: Day 3 - Dollar Coins

In the States, I used to hate dollar coins.  They were either:

  1. Given as tips by old people who thought they were novel
  2. Refused as a legitimate currency at vending machines
  3. Less flat and easy to shove in your pocket or wallet
Back then, I preferred twenties.  Of course, now that I live in Ecuador, land of the fifty cent coke, the eighty cent popsicle, and the $1.00 pound of peaches, I covet Sacajaweas.  Ecuador switched from the Sucre to U.S. dollars in the 2000s to have a more stable currency.  It's awesome for travelers from the States, except for one thing:  Twenty dollar bills have become a liability. It's difficult to break them.  So, you carry only fives, and you hoard your dollar coins, refusing to make change even for friends. 

You may be wondering, "Won't these be in the States when you return?  What's all the fuss about?"  Unfortunately, as NPR reported in June, dollar coins are costly to make, rarely used and, therefore, soon to be discontinued in the States.

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