Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gimme a Break

King Tat Bar
Gimme a break, break me off a piece of that ... uh … King Tat Bar?

This post is not about advertising jingles or odd candy finds - although there are plenty here - it is about change. And since this is not a political blog (although I have pretty strong opinions on many issues), it certainly is not about the change Obama/McCain are proselytizing either. It is about the good old chaching kind.

Coins - called dirham’s - are often not used much in our daily transactions. When purchasing an item, paper currency is used almost exclusively. Prices are rounded off to the nearest quarter. I don't know if dirham's come in any denominations besides .25 and .50 since I have never seen any. I have also never seen an item for QR 2.99, or QR 299.99 for that matter.

To give you an example of how this works, if your bill in any given store comes to 12.25 riyals and you hand 15.00 riyals to the cashier, most often you will receive 3 riyals back. If your total comes to 12.75 riyals most likely you will receive 2 riyals back. When your total comes to 12.50 you may be handed 2 riyals, and in lieu of .50 dirham’s, a mini King Tat bar or some other interesting and/or odd flavored chocolate, hard candy (mango-mint, tamarind) or gum (coffee, banana, cardamom). No one seems to mind this exchange.

Often these chocolates are loosely disguised reproductions of Western confections (of which we also get in great assortment). But none of my kids will eat them, so I keep them stashed away until they expire. Only then will my conscience allow me to throw them away.

Enough babbling for now, its time for some real change. Y’all go vote now ya hear!

No comments: