Money Bags

Currently, our exchange rate in Zambia is about 4900 kwatcha to $1. This means that ordinary transactions, like buying a coffee, are in the thousands. Buying groceries entails an exchange of hundreds of thousands. Buying a car? Well, that takes a whole bag of money…

The reason it takes a whole bag of money, as one of Thom’s colleagues who is buying a car found out, is that the largest denomination of kwatcha is 50,000.  Here’s what 42.5 million kwatcha (the cost of her car) look like in 50,000 bills. Car sellers here do not accept checks or credit cards – cash only.


Strangely, it doesn’t make you feel rich to carry around boatloads of cash, it just makes you feel vulnerable and a little paranoid walking down a street knowing what’s in your purse.  I much prefer credit cards where I have a record of my expenses and where I can contest a charge if need be!



About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine.
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