The Million Pound Note

Sunrise at Angkor WatI don’t suppose too many people remember the 1954 film in which Gregory Peck finds himself in possession of a one million pound bank note that is impossible to spend because no-one can ever change it, but I found out how he felt today.

We are in Phnom Penh at the moment and have an afternoon free from all the planned excursions. The ladies of the family have taken themselves off to the Russian Market for some retail therapy, leaving me with some time to kill.

It was a toss up between grabbing a tuk-tuk to take me to the Royal Palace to get yet more photographs or just finding a shady place to enjoy something pleasant to eat and drink. But I can do neither and all because I’m too rich.

You see all I have is a $100 dollar note and it is proving impossible to change it for anything smaller. I tried the nearest convenience store, but you’d think I was trying to pay with a winning lottery ticket and they directed me to the nearest main street.

I walked up and down it trying to find a bank or similar, but no joy. In desperation I wondered if I’d have to buy a mobile phone or a motorbike to break the note down as that is all they seem to sell, but in the end I had to admit defeat and make my way back to my hotel room.

So here I am with Ben Franklin’s grumpy face glaring at me and not much to do before we head out again this evening. I should really try to catch up with what we’ve been up to on the journey, but there is so much to tell (like sunrise at Angkor Wat above) and it is simply too hot.

Because to top it all I can’t get the air conditioning to work. I must have drawn some bad karma from somewhere.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Phnom Pudding 19th October 2013

    I think there’s an obvious explanation about your hundred dollar bill “problem”. Quite simply you are not in the USA – you are in Cambodia where the currency is the riel and not the American dollar. Glad to be of assistance and still looking forward to your Angkor Wat reflections.

    • Mosh 19th October 2013

      Actually, the Riel is index linked to the US Dollar and both are freely accepted in Cambodia. Go to an ATM anywhere in the country and it’s USD bills that are dispensed.

      I, actually a companion, had a similar problem in Burma with the local currency. We’d just changed dollars into Kyat (round the back of a jeweller’s illegally as they gave about 1000 more Kyat to the dollar than the legal change places – dodgy government) and we decided to try some street food.

      The woman at the stall looked at the currency and mimed “smaller”? No, sorry.

      So “wait here”. And off she went round every stall in the area, collecting small bills. Finally she returned, we thanked her and started to walk away. But, no. She’d not given us enough change so insisted we have more food to make up the difference.

      Loved that country. Wonderful, friendly, helpful, honest people. Overseen by a horrifically selfish government.


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