Monday, July 7, 2008

The Indonesian Rupiah

Today's post was inspired by the horrible stench that attacked me when I unzipped my purse a short while ago.

It only happens when I've got an especially dirty batch of notes in there. The worst notes are the smaller denominations. They get so grubby and smelly that your hands stink after touching them for just a few seconds. Those were the culprits in my purse. Obviously, the larger denominations (RP50000 and RP100000) tend to stay much cleaner. I always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer to clean off that smell after each transaction.

The photo doesn't really do justice to the filthiness of the top two notes. And if they had some smell mechanism embedded with the internet, you'd all be knocked off your chairs.

In case you were wondering about the pictures:

RP1000 - Captain Pattimura who led a rebellion against Dutch forces.

RP5000 - Tuanku Imam Bonjol. Another hero against the Dutch.

RP50000 - Beratan Lake in Bali.

RP100000 - Sukarno (the first president of Indonesia) and Hatta, (vice president)

In the end, money is still money, so no matter how much it stinks, we're still not going to be throwing it out or giving (too much) of it away.


Bilbo said...

This is a very interesting post! Because I've traveled quite a bit, I've gotten interested in various kinds of money, the symbolism of what's on the bills and coins, and the "back story" of the currency. Your observation about the filthiness of the smaller denomination bills as opposed to the larger is interesting...I have some pretty ratty $1.00 bills in my wallet, but they're not nearly as disgusting as your smaller Rupiah bills seem to be. Perhaps it's a reflection of overall hygiene in the US and Indonesia (I know you've written about the levels of smoking and bad breath in Palembang before). Thanks for this new insight into life in another part of the world.

Kellan said...

Isn't that interesting. I have noticed a bad smell with American Dollars, as well - when they get old.

Have a good day - Kellan

Mike said...

Time for you to invent the new "portable bill sanitizer". "For a limited time they're only $9.99." They're going fast so order your's now!!!!!

GJ said...

Just turn small notes to coins, or go plastic, just like Aussie did.