Sunday, May 15, 2005

Money and fun

Some say that money makes the world go around and sometimes I agree. Here there are two forms of money. There is the good old Greenback, or more commonly known as the United States Dollar. Then there is the Eagle cash or money that a soldier takes out of their paycheck and put in a rechargeable debit card that has a smart chip. Therefore a soldier will not have to carry cash to buy toiletries, the latest Jayzee CD, the Bourne Supremacy on DVD, munchies, local trinkets, copies of Maxim, or items that catches their eye. Even the change comes back in pogs of 25 or 50 cents, because pennies, nickels, and dimes cost more to handle or count than they are worth.

Do you know who like the buck, dead presidents or dollar? The local Afghan merchant. On Saturdays when the local bazaar is held, dollars are exchanged for Niam carpets, pirated DVD, Marlboro cigarettes made in Korea, antique Lee Enfield rifles and other trinkets. The Afghan merchant is a related to merchant at the old town square of yesterday who know his latest high tech toys and DVD releases. Soon the Afghani (local currency) will be the money of choice since the dollar will not be allowed at the bazaar soon.

Guess who knows a little more about money than the publicly held image? The US soldier. Right now I know some who are speculating in currency. There is talk that the Afghani will go up in value after the national parliamentary election that will guarantee IMF loans and more aid from the international community. So some troops are playing the market. Also with so many troops based in Europe, they are hedging bets that the Euro will loose value after the French reject the EU constitution. That is where the smart money is. Trust the low ranking troop. He or she sees the ground truth and is betting a down payment on a Mercedes or Harley on it.

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This is a small sample of how you can have fun in Afghanistan..


Blogger WorldTrader said...

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Come and check it out if you get time :-)


8:25 PM  

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