Here in Lebanon I dole out 1,000 banknotes on a daily - and some days on an hourly – basis.
2,000 LBP for the parking, 5,000 LBP for the valet parking, 1,000 LBP for the boy that packs your groceries, 3,000 LBP for the man that brings a gas tank to your house, 2,000 LBP for the Burger King delivery boy (yes, you can have Burger King delivered to your house here), and on and on you go.
It’s the economy of the thousands. A thousand, for the non-locals amongst you – equals 66 US cents, or €0.47. A 1,000 pound banknote is small, a bit like Monopoly money, and green. And I got my wallet full of them.
Now yesterday I noticed, while organizing my wallet, that one of the green bills was slightly larger. Just a tad bit. And a bit darker green. Just a tad bit. I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I’ve got a misprint.’ And misprints are worth money.
Upon further inspection however, I noticed that it had a whole lot more zeroes too! It turns out it is our new bank note of 100,000 Lebanese pounds.
I think you know where this is going, right? Need I explain much more?
Yesterday I handed out a 1,000 to the supermarket boy, who packs my groceries, 2,000 to the parking attendant at the Alfa company, 3,000 to a donation box for orphans at the crossing from downtown into Hamra (they caught me at the traffic lights) and 3,000 tip for a dinner outside.
This morning, I am going through my wallet. I cannot find the 100,000 bill anymore, and I am absolutely certain that I did not pay with a 100,000 note yesterday.
Which makes me come to the conclusion that one of the 1,000 pound (or 66 cents) bills I handed out, was actually a 100,000 ($66.66).
Now which infinite idiot designed that new 100,000 Lebanese pound bank note? Which ape, which notorious imbecile? How on earth could he (has to be a man, women would have figured out this dilemma) make it identical to the 1,000 pound note, both in color and size?
Choose another color, will ya!
This picture is not related to this post. It is a picture my dad took in Beirut somewhere in the fifties. Who knew that his daughter, who wasn’t even born yet, would eventually end up living here? Does anyone have any idea where this is?