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John
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Some years ago I gave away most of my foreign pelf to the chemistry library at UT Austin. I mean I gave it to the circulation desk, which had a glass counter, under which much quasi-money had been stuck. I don't know why, but a tradition had been established, and my contribution was instantly and happily accepted. It may still be there! I thought I might miss it. But the world has not run out of this stuff, and my personal collection was on later trips overseas fully rebuilt. Unfortunately it also includes coins as well as bills, and those are always a disappointment. They aren't pretty or artistic in any sense; their metallurgy is so questionable I bet they don't even conduct electricity; and even if they were all exactly the same thickness, no one would dare use them to underpin a big piece of glass. The other day I came across what may be the worst, a 100-franci [sic] coin current in west Africa. At least Guinea-Bissauans honored it. What they called it was "xof," given the phonetic Portuguese pronunciation "shoffee," and this derives from XOF, the symbol used in teletyped lists of foreign currency exchange rates. It doesn't get more unromantic than that.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2019 on Bureau de Change at American Fez
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Jun 12, 2019