We are all settling into our rhythms here (when the shower is free, the ins and outs of each of our individual internships, which places have free, unlimited wi-fi). There continues to be one cultural difference that continues to confound me: Change. The judging looks one receives when trying to break the large bills (coincidently the only size that bills come out of the ATM) is of the quality that I only hope to one day achieve. It does not entirely matter when one is at the time of breaking the bill: a busy restaurant, a grocery store, or even smaller bill (say a ten) for a delicious 2KM coffee at one of the myriad of coffee shops in Sarajevo. When you are not asked if you have change, the disappointment is still incredibly visible.
I lucked out my first day here, as I was easily able to change my bill at the bank (apparently this phenomenon normally takes two or three bank visits). Where this comes from is unknown. I have spent a possibly inordinate amount of time trying to figure out why this is while simultaneously accepting of reality of the situation. I have run the gambit: “well, maybe it is because I am not a bank customer” or “well, it is relatively early in the day. I know that when I worked retail/food service our tills were never that full at that time a day.” No matter how I look at it, I am still unable to figure it out. It is something that happens whenever. While I no longer care about the looks or the question: “do you have anything smaller?”, I still wonder why the ATM doesn’t spit out smaller bills if breaking 50KM or 100KM is so tasking.
Knowing my stubbornness, I will continue to try to figure this out over the next couple of weeks fully well aware that it probably unanswerable. I will continue to embrace this small difference. However, in the back of my mind I will always wonder how this came to be as I am digging through my purse in the futile attempt to pull together small 1KM coins.
Author’s Note: I realize that this is a little trivial and light-hearted, but seeing as next week I will getting ready to participate for the Peace March, I wanted to write something light.