When I was in the old town of Lima I was approached by a young guy selling old Venezuelan Bolívar fuerte, which were replaced with the new Bolívar soberano in August 2018. There were actually 5-6 guys in their 20’s walking around with stacks of new bills of the old currency over two feet high in their hands.
Knowing that Venezuela is dealing with hyper inflation I initially passed on the offer, but after looking at the money and seeing how crisp and clean it was I decided to get a set. I ended up getting 18,780 and grossly overpaid, but was ok with it for several reasons:
1) I only gave up 5 Peruvian sols or around $1.50
2) I thought the currency was cool looking. Especially how it is printed vertical instead of the usual horizontal.
3) It was a set of out of print currency that I thought would go well with my collection of the lowest denomination of currencies where I have been. Plus some others including old Soviet money that was given to me.
4) It made a great story.
And most importantly…….
5) These guys were just trying to survive and make some money. They were not begging or causing trouble and I wanted to support that.
I hate when people beg for money. I would much rather give money to someone doing some sort of entertainment or selling something, even if it is small and I do not need it. In Turkey you would be amazed at how many packs of tissues I bought for this reason.
Later in the day I started wondering what he would have wanted for the entire stack of money. I mean how cool would it be to play Monopoly with real currency? Haha