The Monetary Dregs of My Hobo Existance

When I arrive home for the evening, I toss my spare change into a jar on my counter. When that jar gets full, I hide it and begin to fill another one. The idea is to have a reserve of metal currency that, in a pinch, will temporarily fill the void. Today that void has begun.

I have not been paid since October 15th. My business is floundering, and even though there are mildly positive prospects on the horizon, I can’t hold out much longer. My other freelance jobs have dried up. Needless to day, the bank account is dwindling. Which is why I spent the last two hours sorting and counting coins.

Why do all that manually, you say, when at the bank they have automatic coin counters? Well, I say, in your land of 24-hour electricity and cheerful waitresses perhaps you have such technological advances. But we’re talking about Costa Rica, which just imported their first Blackberrys (even though the 3G network doesn’t work yet). And yes, they do have coin sorters: they call them bank tellers. Since many coins of the same denomination are different sizes and weights, the machines don’t work too well. So I spent my afternoon counting greasy coins in hopes of making it through the week.

The result:

  • 114,975 Costa Rican colones
  • 2 Euros
  • 3.22 US dollars
  • 3 Nicaraguan cordobas
  • 10 Mexican pesos
  • .56 Panamanian balboas

Translation: I now have around $218 in cash money to keep this monkey fed. It’s all sorted out on my kitchen table, in neat bags and jars and with slips of paper detailing the amount inside, ready for the teller to verify by hand my counting when I go to the bank on Monday. My hope is that my newly counted fortune isn’t stolen in the meantime.

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4 Responses to “The Monetary Dregs of My Hobo Existance”

  1. editcostarica Says:

    I forgot to mention the 1,050 Colombian pesos I found in that jar, too. That’s another 40 cents.

  2. Carla Says:

    Nice little blurb. I write this sorts of vignettes too

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