I’ve been feeling a little…weighed down, lately. And no, thank you for asking, but it isn’t the extra-flesh-courtesy-of-cheese-and-chocolate making my person feel heavy (okay, there is some of that, but who wants to discuss it? certainly not me) — it’s my wallet, which is full of change. The other day, I dumped the coins out of their compartment, and discovered this:
Thaaat’s right – what we have here is over 17 CHF in change. We have 5 CHF (the largest and heaviest coin), 2 CHF (next largest), 1 CHF, 1/2 franc (irritatingly, this is smaller than the 20 or 10 rp coin), 20 rappen, 10 rappen, and 5 rappen (thankfully, there is no equivalent for the penny).
A brilliant mathematician, such as my sister, and probably even a lesser intellectual being, could have told you that this much change is unnecessary: if I had the opportunity to gather so much change, I should have had the opportunity to spend at least some of it. A smart person wouldn’t have amassed so much change. Or, at least, a person who remembered how money worked.
In Canada, I never carried cash. Anything I bought could be paid for with those magical pieces of plastic, the debit and credit card. But in Switzerland, things are different. Credit cards are not used very much, debit processing can be slow and painful, and in some cases the only option is to pay cash (this is how we ended up stranded in the outer reaches of the solar system a few weeks ago). I routinely pay for groceries with cash — but I’ve just realized that I routinely pay with bills only, meaning that I am always getting coins back, and never spending them.
So, to avoid being that lady who counts out her entire purchase in coins someday, I have to remember that using money means using a combinatio of bills and coins. Thank you, Switzerland, for refreshing this basic concept for me.
If chocolate chip cookies are wrong, I don’t want to be right.