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Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Dave!And so I'm off to Blighty...

I should be more excited, but all my travel kind of blends together after a while, and it hasn't sunk in that this trip is actually for a week of vacation. Vacation I can't really afford right now, but vacation nevertheless.

In anticipation of the truly shitty value of the US Dollar abroad (and at home, for that matter), I decided to visit my Big Box of Funny Money. This is where I toss all the foreign currency I bring back from my travels with the intent of using it for future trips...

TT desperation.

The problem is that I never remember to take it on future trips, so it just sits there. The bigger problem is that 90% of the money I've accumulated is worthless. That's because it's antiquated money that's no longer in circulation anymore... like French Francs and German Deutschmarks. They may be nice to look at, but the only thing you can use them for is wiping your ass. Kind of like the US Dollar... except US Dollars aren't as nice to look at.

On top of the Big Box of Funny Money was a ziplock baggie containing 108 Norwegian Kroner. This was a pleasant surprise, because I thought I had spent it all last year. 108 of anything sounds like a lot, so I pulled up my Mac's Dashboard to use the Converter Widget to see how much it's worth...

Mac Widget

Holy crap! That's almost sixty bucks!! I should send that money to Karla in Oslo and tell her to buy me something pretty!

Except something didn't seem right. Either the US Dollar has rebounded spectacularly in Norway (unlikely) or my widget is off. I decided to test it by asking how much a hundred US Dollars is in US Dollars...

US Widget

D'oh!! The widget IS screwed up! Off I go to XE to see what my Kroner is really worth...

XE Real Kroner Value

WAH! SIXTEEN DOLLARS?!? That's not even enough to buy a bag of Smash.

The good news is that I found 50 British Pounds and 20 Euro. That's pretty good!

Unless the pound-notes are so old that they're not worth anything anymore. That would be just my luck.

And I'm off...

UPDATE: If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, there is a fix for Apple's Unit Converter widget at Mac OS X Hints.

Categories: Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. Marc says:

    Travel safely!

  2. ssp says:

    I heard someone say that the currency converter problem creeped in with the Safari 4 beta.

    As usual Google kicks butt for that info. It’ll give you an answer for 108NOK in USD before you even managed to open the Unit Converter widget…

  3. Laura says:

    Have a great vacation!

  4. 50 quid should get you a rusty bag of washers, and a small terraced house, by the weekend, if the current trend continues. Enjoy spending your finds.

  5. A Lewis says:

    I should have sent you the giant box of money I’ve stashed…never knowing when it will be put to good use. In fact, some of the currency isn’t even used anylonger. Happy travels, stud.

  6. Jill says:

    I had that experience myself. I had saved some currency from my trip to Australia – the $50 bills were really cool… they had a little vellum window built into them. Anyway, years later I was going though some lean times and I tried to cash in what I had saved. No luck – the bills were too old and the currency exchange place wouldn’t take them. I lost out on quite a few $$$ I make it a point to spend whatever foreign currency I have when visiting now, except for maybe a few coins. Live and learn 🙂

    Have a great trip!

  7. Crail00 says:

    Please use caution. Scottish pound notes (yes, there is such a thing) are not accepted down in England. All coins are acepted.

    Enjoy your gathering in the UK. Wish I were able to join you.

    Slainte Maithe


  8. I have a similarly useless big box of foreign $!

  9. yellojkt says:

    I here the pound is worse off than the dollar, so that’s a plus.

  10. Sybil Law says:

    Oooh! Have a great vacation! I think you’ve more than earned it.
    And I think the currency picture is beautiful.

  11. Matt says:

    Hey Dave have a great time on your trip!

  12. mew says:

    your box of money is great!

    i have a small box of money from every country i have been to since i was very little.

    always loved international currency.

    (i remember a long time ago when one of the cereal companies gave away money from around the world!)

  13. karla says:

    Has to laugh, I was all, 108 nok = 5o bucks, I don’t THINK so.

    You can send it to me and I will buy you a beer and drink it in your honor!

    The dollar has dropped a bit this week, but it is still a GREAT deal to the pound, so buy yourself silly over there! And use your Euros to buy pounds!

  14. Neil T. says:

    The British Pound has been in freefall over the past few months – not that long ago £1 was almost $2. Now £1 is $1.42, so you should find things are approximately 1/3rd cheaper now.

    You can find out if your English bank notes are still valid at – if there’s a picture of it, then it’ll work. All British coins (bah 1/2 penny coins) issued after 1971 are also still valid. As for Scottish and Northern Irish notes, I’m unsure as individual banks issue those.

    There is a very remote chance I may be able to make it to Edinburgh next week but it’s presently looking unlikely.

  15. Glad you found a few coins to assist in the purchase of drinkage! Have a wonderful time, so very glad you were upgraded. And be careful!

    PS I have, like, 10 Bahamian dollars from last trip. You’ve inspired me to book a trip based on the fact I have the local currency in my dive log. Flimsy excuse, I know.

  16. Cherios says:

    Scottish pound notes ARE accepted in England, and it is illegal for anyone to refuse them. (Though some ignorAmouses may try). They are pounds sterling, and legal tender throughout the UK.

  17. Hilly says:

    Have fun, Sir Davey Joe!

  18. Crail00 says:


    I’ve been away too long from Scotland. Was not aware of that change.

    Thanks for the update

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