Sunday, June 25, 2006

Misc2

While working in the Gulf I have decided to create classifications for the types of money here. There are LVCUs and HVCUs which stands for “lower value currency units” and “higher value currency units”. For example, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait have currencies that are higher than the dollar or the pound- and each one has 1000 smaller units instead of cents. Qatar or the UAE, on the other hand, have smaller units that are lower than dollar or pound. You get 3.60 something for every dollar in the UAE, but $10 will only get you some 3 dinars in Kuwait. So, if you work in the UAE and your salary is say, 15,000 dirhams, you would get some 1500 in Bahrain for doing them same job. Of course, both sums are identical if you translate them into dollars, but somehow I have always felt more comfortable with LVCUs because they made me feel “richer”. It just felt better to have 500 dirhams in my pocket than 50 dinars. 50 dinars does not feel like much, and you spend it faster because, subconsciously, you probably feel they are “dollars”. I have also found out that I have been able to save less in HVCU countries than in LVCU countries even though I have had similar salaries.

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It is useless to try and determine where the “Center of the World” is on its surface since Earth is a sphere. Hence, the center is somewhere deep underground, and cannot be anywhere on its surface. This does not prevent various nations or cultures from proudly announcing their big cities or some places of significance as “centers of the world” or even worse as “capitals of the world”. It does make the locals prefer to stay home, puts a smug smile on their faces and a spring in their step, and keeps hordes of tourists coming. As long you have the means to convince millions that your capital is “the capital of the world”, they will gladly swallow the myth.
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Once I was in the Philippines and have observed a group of models checking into a hotel. There was a beauty contest, and I asked one on the girls what it was dedicated to. She said it was done for “Funds”. I thought it was great that they were doing fund-raising through beauty.

Then, several days later I saw a truck that was taking these girls to the place of the beauty contest and back. It said “POND’S CREAM”. Filipino people cannot tell the difference between “P” and “F” and pronounce a sound that is somewhere in between that really sounds much more like an “F” to Westerners’ ears than a “P”. So, they actually meant that it was a beauty show for the POND’S beauty cream company.

1 comment:

bar-codes said...

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