As I emptied out my purse, I saw that I still had a little currency from each of the three countries we’d visited. Very little. And that, of course, was a good thing.
Don and Chris will be visiting Japan next year, so I swapped out the yens (JPYs) and that money stayed with them. Then I decided to keep a couple wons from Korea and yuans (now called RMBs) from China as souvenirs.
It wasn’t that tough figuring out the exchange rates where we traveled. I’m pretty good at math, and in both Korea and Japan, it was mostly a matter of moving the decimal point on the paper money a couple hops to the left.
For instance, in Korea, 1,000 won (pronounced like “wand” without the “d”) equated to about 90 cents, but I rounded it off, and called it a dollar. So w3,000 for a bunch of bananas from the street merchants was a little less than $3.00.
In Japan, there was “one less zero” to deal with, and 1,000 yen was about $8, but I rounded that up too and simply moved the decimal point over two spaces instead of three spaces as in Korea. So Y1,000 equaled $10.
Then we went to China, and 1,000 RMBs (also called yuans, pronounced like yawns) were worth $161, and figuring the conversion is a lot harder than just moving decimal points. But by dividing the posted prices by six, I found I was always “close enough.” For instance, an entree on the dinner menu that cost Y90 was actually only about $6!
So except for the unfortunate silk factory fiasco (see August 31st post), I knew how much I was spending at all times, and stayed well within my travel budget for this amazing 30-day Asian Adventure.