Things I Love About Poland #04: Money
This is the fourth installment in my series of articles called "Things I Love About Poland," in which I discuss differences between Poland and the USA. In this article, I talk about money.
American money is boring; it's all the same size and color! But Polish money is of various sizes and colors, so it's easy to know approximately how much money you have with just a quick glance in your wallet.
How do blind people in the USA know how much money they have? Honestly, I have no idea. According to this page, some options include: folding each denomination differently, or using a wallet with many dividers.
But blind people still depend on sighted people to initially decipher the value of each bill! With Polish money, there is no such problem.
Coins in the USA are worth so little, I have few chances to use them. I tend to spend the bills and collect the coins. Then, every couple years I take the coins to the bank and they turn them into bills again.
But I love coins! I have a small coin collection with money from Russia, Ukraine, Israel, England, Canada and Jamaica - as well as some obsolete currency, including: Spanish pesetas, German deutsche marks and French francs.
In Poland, coins are actually useful. You can buy a lot of things with one-, two- to five-zloty coins. For example, when we lived in Cracow, a bottle of Tatra beer cost 2 zl at the store around the corner, and 20 bags of Grande mint tea cost 0.89 zl at Kaufland. A bus or tram ticket cost 1.50 zl.
When in Poland, be prepared to be asked for exact change every time you buy something, anywhere! This really irritates many people, especially foreigners who aren't used to it. But I love it, because it means that I get to use coins!