I’m very happy to see the Euro strengthening against the dollar, or the dollar weakening against the Euro, or something – I’m not an economist, sue me.
Everything is a bit stretched at the moment and watching the Euro slowly climb in value (from its abysmal low of €1 = $1.19) means that my earnings will go even further out in Cambodia. It’s up to $1.36 now, phew! In real terms what does this mean for me? Well I can withdraw at most $300 from most ATM’s here in one day. At its worst a $300 withdrawal cost me €252, now it’s only costing me €220.
That said, it actually costs more than that. In time-honoured tradition I still have to factor in getting screwed over by both local banks and banks back home. You get charged $4 by the local banks to make a withdrawal on an international bank card. And then when you view your statement there’s another hit by Cirrus charges (assholes). So a recent withdrawal of $290, was actually $294 + €8 cirrus charge. That means, essentially, that every time I withdraw around $300 I’m tossing about €11 in the giant insatiable belly of the banking system, the system which appears to have a bottomless pit of an appetite for money.
Is this the dullest post I’ve ever written? Probably.