I will never find our money changers to be of anything interesting if I have never got the chance to experience changing money in a different way/system in other countries.
Made me think back of those anthropology seminars that we used to have. We spent time debating about the issue of subjectivity as it was thought that subjectivity was a hindrance to the understanding of another culture. It was believed that only objectivity can present a culture in its own light. But we realized that it was just on the contrary, to a certain extent, one needs a certain amount of subjectivity to understand others. We can only understand others from our own cultural lens.
I find that so true. When travelling between cultures, I have the habit of making comparison (without any malicious intention). I find looking at new cultures or ways of life through my own cultural lens will put some things into perspective and also increases my awareness of my own culture/way of life. More often than not, you get a chance to look at yourself in a new light, for the better or for the worse.
Back to the business of money changing. They are called exchange bureaus elsewhere while we call them money changers over here. “Bureau” sounds more like a mechanism while the term “money changers” give a more human touch to this profession. For us, the business of money changing is mainly small family businesses.
Each time just before I travel overseas, I will visit People’s Park (
I used to dread going all the way downtown to People’s Park to get the currencies I need. But after my
For our money changers, they might not have the grandeur and security of big, professional counters like
That’s what they are for!
For these people that deal with so much cash everyday behind that tiny glass window, they have no CCTVs installed and neither security guards by their booths. Still, these did not seem odd to me in the least in the past. But now, they certainly do! Aren’t they afraid of being plundered in broad daylight? However, robbery at money changers’ booths is a rare activity. Accidents on the roads are more common than that for sure.