March 9, 2009

Keep the change

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 3:52 pm by Jenn

Azerbaijan coins – qapik

A few days ago I went to the local market to get a few items for dinner that night and some groceries for the remainder of the week.  In my wallet I had the following bills – 100 azn, 20 azn, 5 azn and 2 x 1 azn (azn = manat).  I also had 40 qapik in my pocket and some miscellaneous loose change in the compartment of my wallet.

As the girl was ringing up my groceries I was hoping to myself that the total wouldn’t come to over 27 azn because I didn’t want to have to break the 100.  Once you do that it seems like it’s gone in no time.  The total came to 27.84.

Now let me add here that behind me in line is a very upset man.  Upset that I would not let him with his basket of groceries get in front of me in line.  It wasn’t like he had one item…he had roughly the same amount that I did and he was just going to have to wait, I was in line first.  As I opened up my purse to get the money, I could hear his foot start tapping, so I proceed to move slower.

I put the bills down on the counter, 27 manat, I reached in to my pocket and pulled out the 40 qapik, then I opened my wallet and started to dig through the paper and misc items to find the remaining change….I found 4 x 10 qapik bringing the total to 27.80 out of the 27.84 showing on the cashier’s screen.  I stood there looking at her and she said…”more money”, I did not want to give her the 100…so I continued to dig, and the man continued to tap his foot, faster now.

That’s when I saw the piece of gum…the same piece of gum that the same cashier had given me just the day before when she did not have enough coins to make the proper change when I paid for my groceries.  It was only 6 qapik, and this had become common practice at this market.  If they don’t have enough change they give you one or two pieces of gum…usually one.  One time I did get a packet of Nescaf instant coffee when they owed me 25 qapik. 

So, me deciding to prove a point, takes out the piece of gum and hands it to her.  She looks confused and then blushes…understanding what the gesture means, but says to me anyway…”I need money”.  So I dig further and find 2 x 3 qapik at the bottom of my wallet, bring the total paid to 27.86 for my 27.84 bill.  She keys in the money tendered, pulls off the receipt and instead of the 2 qapik change she owed me, she hands me A PIECE OF GUM!  

Typical.  LOL. 

Now, to make the story even more classic, you have to bag your own groceries, so I’m still in “Joe Toe Tappers” way, holding up his day.  He reached past me and grabbed a bag, saying something under his breath…I’m sure it wasn’t have a nice day.   

Next time I go back I’m considering paying in ALL CHANGE.  That should be fun.  Please let “Joe Toe Tapper” be in line behind me that day.


  1. Davis said,

    That may be the key to fixing the American economy.

    I just may suggest that to our new President.

  2. Jen Hann said,

    Your life is starting to sound like an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”! I love it!

    That’s why I have the copyright my dear, because this stuff is going to make me money one day!

  3. Heather said,

    Too funny. I’d be afraid of getting my ass kicked! I’ve gotta work on my throat chakra more, so I can stand up for myself the way you do. I guarantee, I’d have broken the 100!!!


    I’m not anywhere near as vocal as I’d like to be sometimes…I figure they won’t understand so I just don’t say anything….sometimes “the eye” is pretty effective though.

  4. Jessica said,

    I love the gum-as-change move. Or matches. I have piles and piles of matches at home just waiting to be lit.

    I’ll trade you some gum for a few packs of matches.

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