Friday, 21 February 2014

International trauma!

The very first thing that I bought overseas... was coffee.

Last year, Husband and I went to America to celebrate out 10 year anniversary. Arrival in Los Angeles, we finally made it to our hotel in Santa Monica to find our room not-ready-yet. We wandered to the 3rd St Prominade, and found ourselves at Starbucks (probably because they had free wi-fi).

The few weeks prior to our trip involved things like finalising passports, packing our bags, confirming that my in-laws were still happy to have our children (and dog) for 3 weeks, packing their bags, changing bed sheets, having the house in OK order to come home to...

And, most importantly, trading in our Australian dollars for American money.

When we arrived in Los Angeles, we were excited... Well, I was excited - Husband just wanted to go to our hotel room and sleep. But at 10:30 in the morning (which in Sydney was actually dinner-time the same day but we'd missed a whole night's sleep), there was only a few things on my mind - and none of them were sleep! Most of them related to coffee.

As we decided to stop at Starbucks, I lined up and ordered some drinks, pretending to fit in. We were still getting used to the American accent, but at least I knew how to say "skim latte" and not be confused. The time came to hand over money (pretty much as soon as I'd ordered), and the confidence then became a slight facade, because I had no idea if I was handed back the correct change! I pretty much smiled and trusted that the Starbucks chick knew her maths!

Which leads me into the whole point of this post.

My children struggle with maths. We've recently signed up to SumDog, and both Ben & Tamara have been enjoying learning on it. At the moment, the computer must think that we're American, so all the money-related questions use American money.

Questions like:

You have 2 dimes but spend 4c. What do you have left?
How many cents do you need to equal 3 nickels?
You have 5 pennies and a dime. How much money do you have?

Obviously, when children need help with something, they naturally call out "Muuuuuuum!" But even I was struggling to help them with these questions!

So, for their sanity (and mine!) until SumDog realises that we live in Australia, I've created a chart with what each American coin is called, and what each is worth. It may not be new, but it's certainly been helpful for us all when it comes to knowing how to answer their questions!

This is what it is:

Since making this (and having it open on the computer whenever the kids play the game), they've both been getting more and more answers correct. It warms my heart when I know I've made something useful :)

It's also allowed me to finally figure out how much left-over change we have from our American holiday:

3 pennies, 1 dime, and one 10 dollar note (given away by the giant "10" in the corner).

= $10.08

Apparently the same amount equals:

6 British pounds
7 Euros
11 Australian dollars
620 Indian Rupee.

I'm rich*!

* In India.

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