I have a theory that I can't travel anywhere without at least one thing really going wrong. There was the time I forgot my wallet when travelling overseas, flying to India on Sept. 11th, 2001, not getting my luggage and countless others.
This time, it was a currency fiasco. I thought it would be a good idea to come to Budapest with lots of cash that I could immediately exchange. Then I could get something to eat, pay my rent and so on. The only problem was that I couldn't exchange the 220 Jordanian Dinars I had. Yep, I had over $350 worth of cash that was absolutely useless. After going to several banks and at least 3 exchange places, I was out of luck. This country just doesn't have JD's. My bank account in Jordan had 2 JD's and my debit card for my American account had expired. I was out of ideas. I was hungry. I needed coffee. On top of this, I had just arrived to a country where I didn't know anybody. The last thing I wanted to do was say, "nice to meet you, I'm broke, can I borrow some money?" I can see it now, "hey guys, look at the idiot who brought some obscure currency to Hungary and now is mooching off us."
In actuality I got lucky to meet a really nice group of people who didn't want to see me go without lunch and coffee. They fed and caffeinated me. One person even brought me homemade food. I was a happy camper. I also got a briliant idea from a friend. Call the Jordanian Embassy! And so I did. And luckily, the embassador exchanged the JD's to Forints. I don't think it was a normal service but he did it anyway. It probably gave him a chuckle and a good story.
"So there was this American woman coming from Jordan who tried to exchange JD's for Forints in Hungary........"