Due to a severe currency crisis in the country, Zimbabwe has recently added six new official currencies to the already two official currencies operating in the country. In addition to using the South African rands and the US dollars, Zimbabwe now accepts as legal tender the Australian dollar, the British pound sterling, the Euro, the Indian rupee, the Japanese yen, and the latest addition, the Chinese yuang. However, in spite of all this money, there is no change!
So when one goes to a store, instead of receiving change back, you often receive a slip of paper with that store’s name and details, and the amount of change that is owed you by that store only. So one has to keep all the papers separated, and then when you go back to purchase more items, you take in those “receipts” for that particular store and turn them towards your next purchase. Some time back, in an effort to alleviate the paper-receipts as change, stores began offering to give you something – one aspirin, a lollypop, and so forth – instead of change or the receipt for change owed you. It doesn’t matter if you are owed 98 cents (in US dollars) or 10 cents, you get the same “gift.”
A few weeks ago we were traveling to western Zimbabwe, and we stopped for lunch at a Nandos Restaurant – a Portuguese style grilled chicken establishment. Again, they had no coin change, so instead on my husband’s plate was one slice of cheese for change. The question becomes, “How would you like your change?”