Monday, June 21, 2010

The Change Girl

"Andak Frata?" Do you have change? This is a phrase I frequently use here in Jordan. Many places don't seem to have proper change. I'm guessing it's not protocol to have a ton of change in the cash register as most businesses do in the US. This wouldn't be a big issue if I didn't get paid in nearly all 50 dinar notes. This means that I'm frequently running around from store to store just asking if they have change, or trying to buy something for 1 JD or less so I don't feel so bad.

There have been several occasions where I'm stuck with a 50 JD note and I need to catch a taxi. There is no way that a taxi driver will have change for a 50 so I MUST find change beforehand. The other day, I was running around looking for change and after going to several stores and finding the line at the bank to be too long, I ran back to a grocery store that I frequent. Now, I would never try this in the US because most people would probably think I was crazy.....but I asked the owner if I could borrow five JD's and I would give him six JD's back later that day. I figured this just might work because many a shopkeeper has told me that I could pay them back later for things such as pudding, phone cards, produce, etc. Either the owner thought I was crazy, didn't understand me, or figured I was so desperate and helpless he needed to give me change. He opened the register and gave me change for my 50 Dinars. I owe him one. At least a nice cup of tea.

The next time I went to his market, I proudly announced that I had change. And not just change, exact change! I was beginning to fear that he would try to hide upon seeing me, telling his employees, "Hide, it's the change girl!"

It seems I definitely am known for not having change as yesterday I walked into another market nearby for a small purchase. All I had was a 20 Dinar note so I asked the owner if he had change. His response was something like, "I thought you would need change." At least he said it with a smile on his face and looked rather amused when I sheepishly handed him my 20 note.

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