Ten Forints look a lot like ten pence...
19.07.2010 - 20.07.2010 30 °C
I’ve been the UK long enough now that I don’t have to count my change. I get change back, and with a glance can usually tell if it is an appropriate amount. I know the size and value of the coins here, and can usually do some quick math in my head. “I should be getting back 4 pounds and 30p, and there are 4 pound coins, a 10 p and 20 p piece in my change, so I am good,” I will think (as an example).
Lately, though, I have been bamboozled with getting change back. I glance at the change, think it is the right amount, and only later discover that what I thought was a 10 pence piece is in fact something else entirely. Some mystery coin. This has happened to me twice over the past month. Expecting 10 pence, and getting something else.
As I am well travelled and a worldly sort, I was able to deduce that the coins origin was Hungary, as the coin was labelled with the word “Maygar,” which is Hungarian for Hungary. A quick internet search revealed that what I had instead of two 10 pence pieces totalling 20 Great British pence, was in fact two 10 Forint pieces, equalling approximately 6 pence.
Ripped off! And because I don’t really know who gave me the change in the first place, I can’t go back to the store that passed off this less valuable coinage. There was only one solution.
So, I jetted off to Budapest to try and talk some sense into their central bank – to get them to (a) refund the 14 pence I am short and (b) change the size or shape or colour of their 10 Forint piece so it doesn’t look so much like 10 pence.
Sadly, the Central Bank of Hungary did not see the logic in my explanation, and refused a refund or a countrywide recall and redesign of their coinage.
In between high level meetings with the Central Bankers, I did manage to get some shots of Budapest for your viewing pleasure.
Pretty city, though somebody there still owes me 14 pence.