June 10, 2005

The Smell of Money

June 08th 2005
In case you receive National Geographic, check out last month’s issue (the one about deadly toxins and poisons—it has a furry tarantula crawling over a test tube). Near the end pages, it has one-page article on Congolese money. Apparently, congolese money is so dirty that it’s been known to transmit diseases. I swear I am not making this up, it says so in the National Geographic.

Any restaurant will accept the filthiest rag, most foul-smelling congolese franc (you can almost wring it dry) but if an American bill has a 1 cm tear on the side, it’s categorically rejected. Even if it’s crispy new.

This week, the congolese franc has become stronger against the dollar for the first time in many months.

Theory? The government is holding on to its francs in order to be able to pay the police officers and soldiers three months salary before the 30th of June. A well paid employee is an effective employee. Especially when wielding a gun.

I think it’s bunk but it’s interesting how stories spread.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a great reason not to spend too much :) Seriously, be careful! You may want to consider wearing gloves...