In which I resist the urge no longer, and pen an extended screed on the subject of finance...

The exchange rate sucks!

More clearly, the value of British money in comparision to U.S. money is quite pronounced. Earlier this week, I cashed $100 worth of AmEx traveller's cheques at an AmEx office and received 63 GBP and some 60 p of small change. Again, that's:

100USA = 63UK

The result is that things that seem inexpensive here are priced about right compared to home (Atlantadric jabber org), things that seem reasonable are by local standards at home, a little steep here, and the expensive things, such as in the tourist traps, are obscenely expensive. Here are some more examples to help support the point that prices seem reasonable here as long as (much like the stern admonition given you by language teachers) you don't translate:

ItemGBPlocal valueUSDwell?
RSC cap5.25seems cheap8.82fluke?
The Economist2.80okay4.70ouch
hot dog (Colin)1.50seems cheap2.52stadium
Blenheim water1.25um, er2.10theft
print a page of A40.06seems okay0.10ouch
a Coke (newstand)1.00seems okay1.68stadium
busfare to ASDA0.70seems okay1.18ow, for a 30 min walk
sacklunch3.00seems okay5.04a lot for a kid's lunch

The money itself is different, of course. The bills are slightly larger and are printed in many colours. Each includes a portrait of HRH, and a figure of historical significance (this 10 GBP note has Charles Dickens and a scene from Pickwick Papers). The notes are quite pretty just to look at and have at least as many anti-counterfeit features as U.S. currency (I suspect they have more.) So, the bills are lovely. It's the coins that are troublesome, mostly as there are so many of them. The denominations I have had are 20 (bill), 10 (bill), 5 (bill), 2 (coin), 1 (coin), and then 50,20,10,5,2, and 1 (all coins). The coins seem mostly to get smaller as they get more valuable, but that theory quickly breaks down with application. Here they are in order of size, largest first: 2 P, 50 p, 2 p, 10 p, 1 P, 20 p, 1 p, 5 p. The pound is quite the same size as the 20 p, although much thicker and rounder. The 2 pound coins are quite nice, having two colors of metal (one as a ring around the other). The tu'pence and the halfpound are each about 1 inch in diameter, although the 50p is septoganal (7 sided ?! ) and the tupence round. I'll measure a two pounder when next I get one.

adric,, 20:15 , 5 July 2002

music: Floyd (duh)