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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Friday, March 16, 2007

I want a can of coca-cola. I know it has a bit of caffeine and more bits of flavoring and kilograms of sugar, but that is what I want now. This afternoon, with all the stuff to be done before the week ends, I need a dose of coke in my system. Caffeine, here I come.

Wait: let me quickly grab a can of coke.

10 minutes later. The coca-cola vending machine is located at the ground floor. My office, or I fondly call it a dungeon, is situated, unfortunately, at the lower ground floor of the building. I wonder why nobody cares to provide a vending machine down here when in fact a lot of people jam pack this part of the hall during daytime. Hayy...

Anyway, if I crave for a coke, I really do not care a fig where the vending machine is. So, 10 minutes ago, I ran for a can upstairs, took some loose coins in my pocket and one by one dropped them in the machine for a $0.75 can of coca-cola. After I dropped a quarter of a dollar, the machine spew it out. I tried again, and again. Twice, the machine rejected the coin. If only the machine could talk and move, it would have shouted at me “You can’t fool me boy” and then slapped me twice, full force so I could hear my brain ping like coins in the machine.

Something was wrong. I remember getting the coins from the restaurant at lunch time. Upon inspection, aha!

The quarter dollar coin looks like a U.S. dollar. But it isn’t a U.S. dollar! It is a Canadian dollar – a small, circular coin of silver color. On the obverse side of the coin is Queen Elizabeth II, Canada's Queen; while on the reverse side is the caribou, a reindeer common in Canada. It resembles exactly like a $0.25 US. Same shape, size and color!

Someone must have used the Canadian coin to pay for his lunch. I couldn’t blame the cashier for not noticing it. Actually, it is hard to detect the difference unless you look closely and check the symbols. With the long queue every day, who would care to check the coins one by one, reject the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II and accept only American George Washington? It is also probable that the guy who used the coin was unaware of it.

Okay, I dropped another $.25 cent (U.S. cent this time), and gladly took my can of coke. While sipping to the last drop, I wondered if I happen to receive coins other than U.S. coins. Again, upon inspection, aha!

A Canadian coin again! This time it is a dime or 10 cents. I am not sure where I got this. What I am certain is that, it is never different from a U.S. dime. Just like the quarter coin, both have same shape, size and silver-made!

Canadian coins (left), U.S. coins (right)

Oh my gully! How many Canadian coins are in circulation in the United States? With thousands of people going in and out the borders daily, who would spend time to monitor the influx of Canadian coins into the U.S.? The U.S. is in the losing side since their dollar has a higher value than Canada’s.

These are just coins. But if millions of quarter dollars are in circulation, man, that is already a huge sum, isn’t it?



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