Meet the Euro, the Dollar’s suave, more-attractive international cousin. Yes, it looks like something you ran off on your home printer, and no, it’s not as much fun as the Peso. When you’re down in Mexico, you can exchange $100US for roughly three million pesos. That’s what I’m talking about! Purchasing power, baby!
No, the Euro is double dastardly because prices look reasonable but after you get back to your room and double-check your math, you discover that you may have… just possibly… overpaid for that combination “Last Supper/Dogs Playing Poker” piece of artwork.
If you’re planning a trip overseas anytime soon, please feel free to use this handy reference guide so that you won’t get monetarily mixed-up.
First things first: when you initially get your hands on some euros, don’t do what I did, which was yell at the bank dude, “Hey, I’m here on vacation; I don’t have time to play a game of Monopoly with you!”
However, it turns out that the euro is fairly simple to get accustomed to, but you do need to have triple-reinforced pockets due to the fact that it’s a very coin-heavy currency.
ONE CENT EURO COIN
Always keep at least one of these in your pocket in case you lose a filling from one of your teeth; you can just melt this little guy down and make very nice temporary replacement.
TEN CENT EURO COIN
Immediately throw this in the trash. It’s simply not worth carrying around.
TWENTY CENT EURO COIN
See “TEN CENT EURO COIN”
FIFTY CENT EURO COIN
Okay, we’re sniffing around at the edge of real money now, so pay attention. This is worth keeping around due to the fact that most public toilets cost anywhere from one euro to one euro fifty cents.
ONE EURO COIN
I got confused between the 1 cent/1 euro, so I probably threw away $50 dollars worth of coins. Yes, I know it makes more financial sense for governments to use $1 coins, but… like the bidet… I’m an American and you can’t tell me to carry around a $1 coin! I won’t do it!
TWO EURO COIN
Oh Hell no! So now I’ve got a coin that represents real money, only it’s in my pocket where I constantly forget about it. My wife Anita went to a public toilet that didn’t make change and dropped two 2-euro coins in a machine that didn’t make change. She sat in there for a half hour trying to get her money’s worth.
FIVE EURO BILL
This is the your go-to money in the Euro family. I don’t feel like rooting around through a pocketful of coins, so just about everything I purchase is paid for with this bill. It’s also my tipping bill; I realize it’s too much when a bellboy at the hotel hugs me and calls me “Papa”.
I don’t think I ever saw a $10 euro bill. Maybe they’re just a mirage.
TWENTY EURO BILL
Whatever you pay for with this bill… stick of gum, Coke Light (Coke Light? Coke Light?), Last Supper mouse pad… you’ll get nothing but coins back as change. At some point, your pocket or purse might start dragging against the ground from the weight.
FIFTY EURO BILL
A fifty euro bill basically represents one meal for two at most restaurants, including the service charge for sitting at the table, the fee for water and the tip that the wait staff seem always surprised to see.
I suppose there are larger euro denominations than these, but you can’t afford them.
Last note: When you return home, expect to find enough leftover euros rattling around in your luggage to get a good start on your next European vacation.