In Uruguay you are reminded often that you must use their local currency.
At the airport there are signs that direct you to a currency exchange booth where you trade American money for comparable pesos. There is a transaction charge and it brings new appreciation for the term “money changers.” Around Montevideo there are hundreds of shops with the sign Cambio in bold letters.
The value of money changes daily. Your hundred dollars might be worth a hundred and five tomorrow or ninety dollars the day after. What a dollar buys today is not what a dollar bought yesterday, or tomorrow. There are moments in time when your buying potential goes up, others when it goes down.
The conversion rate today in Uruguay is 23.75 pesos for every U.S. dollar. In Uruguay, twenty pesos to a dollar makes figuring money workable. A 20 peso bill equals a U.S. dollar. A 100 peso bill equals $5.00 U.S. A thousand peso bill equals $50 U.S. dollars.
Bills look much the same in most countries. Their size is the same, the historical faces on the bills are proper and dignified, identifying numbers are a mix of numbers and letters, the texture is the same, and they fit easily into a wallet or purse. The artwork is detailed and fastidious and there are things done to protect against counterfeits.. Money is easy to fold, light to carry, everyone knows what it is and takes it in exchange for products and services.
People have written erudite books on money but when it is not worth the paper it is printed on, revolution is nipping at our heels.