Monday, 8 April 2002

December 2001

I think I'm saying bye-bye to my last guilders.

January 2002

A coat pocket unlashes a few guilders.

One and a half week ago

A few hidden coins emerge. This time the revenue is modest: f 1,65 in nickles, dimes and quarters.

Saturday 30 March 2002

The post office is busy. This is the very last day for the Dutch to deposit old guilder coins free of charge. About half the population queues up with their last coins in several money-boxes, envelopes and plastic bags.

The deposit form only allows amounts in euros. I ignore the formalities and just fill in f 1,65. Ha, no bureaucrat will catch me with these forms.

The lady at the counter runs into an other unexpected problem. The minimum deposit is 1 Euro. My f 1,65 is worth only 75 eurocents. She asks: Can't you get few extra quarters? . Well, I do not really like the idea of a quest for a few extra quarters. Time is running out. The post office will close in a few hours. After that deadline it is not profitable to deposit this change.

proof of deposit for 1 euro and four cent Optimistically make a suggestions No, but I can top it up using euro cents. I do realise that this make things terribly complicated for her. How much is € 1,- minus f 1,65? After some heavy computations on a calculator she concludes 29 eurocents. That seems an overshoot of 4 euro cent to me, but well, I don't want to make things unnecessary complex.

The computer can handle deposits in euros and guilders, but not a mixture. As a workaround I officially deposit € 1,04, being 1 gulden 65 and 29 eurocents.

This week

Dear minister of Finance,

This week, when recounting the collected guilder coins, you'll end up with 4 spare quarters, five dimes and three nickles.

This is no reason to panic.

Please consider this as a piece of good luck for your budget.

Dear shareholders of the Dutch Postbank,

Here is a warning for this years profit: The profit of the ING group will be 75 euro cents below estimation.

This is no reason to panic.

Please digest this setback as a piece of bad luck in exchange rates.

And me? I have an additional one euro and 4 euro cents on my bank account in exchange for € 0,29 and some old, worthless coins. That is a return on investment of over 250%.

Till next week,

To Marina and Neels who will get married next Saturday: lots of love, pleasure and happiness.