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Saturday, January 19, 2002

Seems the euro-fever is dying down. In Spain the latest fad is splitting the outer rings from the 1 and 2 euro coins.

Friday, January 18, 2002

a mailing list sent me this little euro cartoon. it's about our premier and about the lira "departure." is it funny? I pretty much didn't understand it.
here the link: eurocartoon

Thursday, January 17, 2002

As it turns out, the "Mister Euro" show on Italian television that I mentioned earlier wasn't a special event -- it's actually a weekly show. How do they have enough stuff to talk about for an hour? If you're really bored you can watch the whole thing online.

At the beginning of the Jan. 8 show, which is online now, there's a little skit in which the shopkeeper doesn't have enough euro change to give a customer. So to settle things, she decides to let him have only part of one of the oranges he's trying to buy. This scenario doesn't seem all that far-fetched.

In other news, there's an Italian island that still doesn't have any euros. They do, however, have euro converter calculators.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

First forged euro coin found in Ireland, but the forgers couldn't spell.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Spotted at ebay : euros up for auction.

In Spain, where the peseta still lives together with the euro, people are inventing tricks and mnemonics for easy conversion between the currencies.

The official rate of exchange is 1 euro : 166.386 peseta. So one of the most widespread techniques is remembering that for every 1,000 peseta, you get exactly 6.01 euro.

Another one is imagining that your 100 peseta coin is a wrist-watch. So when it's quarter past, you'd have 25 peseta; at half past, 50 peseta; at quarter to, 75 peseta; on the hour, 100 peseta. The conversion in Spain works the same way.

After 15 minutes you get 15 cents (= 25 peseta); after 30 minutes you get 30 cents (= 50 peseta) and so on. And the conversion is exact. So if a pen costs 45 cents, for instance, then you know that 45 minutes past the hour on the watch are 75 pesetas.

It's easier to get used to than it is to explain it. It works.

Irish banks are coming under criticism from consumers for levying charges on euro cheques from other European countries.

If you are sent a cheque for 5,000 from Europe in euros and you lodge it in euros with Allied Irish Banks, you will be credited with only 4,940.

Monday, January 14, 2002

A followup to the earlier report on the euro bills containing toxic substances: You can get very sick if you eat more than 400 euro notes, says a board member of the European Central Bank.

I find that I don't have enough change, that stuff that used to breed at night in my wallet like rabbits or fleas. Everytime I go shopping, I am first asked if I have the correct amount, if not, I am confronted with a number of convoluted questions concerning what is actually in my wallet ( " How about 20 cents then ? 3 cents ? "). Today it happened : approaching the last store on my list, my wallet contained a few coppers and a 50 euro bill. When asked at the baker's to pony up my 3 euro purchase, I shamefully confessed that all I had was a 50 euro bill. Did I finally get my much needed change ? No. I was told that if they gave me change, they wouldn't have enough left for the next few hours, so an I.O.U., with my name upon it, was scotch taped to the counter, to be paid the next time I am there. Hopefully with the correct change.

Sunday, January 13, 2002

So, what's the deal with we, the cashiers? In the bookshop were I works there are still many troubles: first, we haven't got 500euros and 200euros notes, and we're not authorized to accept them as well, cause many could be counterfeit notes (same thing for the lira). Then it takes hours to close the cash at the end of the day, since we have to count all the cents and euros, these extra minutes are not paid. The worst thing is that when we count money at the end of the day and we compare them to those that the cash itself counted automatically: they don't match ! Never. This thing was usual even before, but not is increasing too much.
As for customers, they're really getting used to use their credit card the more they can, they're wallets are changing, and I really saw the strangest ones: it goes from the most eccentric to the most technological, then it takes them hours to recognize euros and cents, but they've got they're wallet kit ready and new.
Another interesting thing, many (I saw this thing in a pub) do not want their change back, they leave it as a tip, and they lose, in my opinion, money, a lot of.