Canadians Are Nice

Canada has $1 and $2 coins.  I understand that coins are more cost effective than bills but they are a pain in the ass.  Especially if you are just visiting and don’t want to bring coins back.  You can’t exchange them for dollars and more than likely will lose them or not be able to find them for your next trip up north.

So, I’m at the Calgary airport on my way back to Houston.  I have $4 and change in coins, which I am trying to spend.  I’m walking thru the gift shop and pick up a bottle of water.  I figure that even with airport pricing, the water couldn’t take up all my money.  I get in line, figuring I would pick up a candy bar or two at the cashier’s counter.  

Once I get to the cashier’s, I slap down the $4+ and say “I want to use up this.  What can I get?”  The cashier has no idea, so I pick up a small candy bar and ask how much.  There is no price on it and the cashier doesn’t know.  So he has to scan it.  He tells me the price and I ask if I can get two.  He says no.  I say ok, fine.  He takes my money and gives me change.  More coins, not sure what they are.

I am holding the change, trying to figure out 1) how much it is and 2) how to get rid of it.  I am thinking of just leaving it at the counter and telling the cashier to use it for the next person that needs a little extra.

At this point I realize that there are two people in line behind me who are staring at me intently.  A woman and behind her a guy.  The guy has a look of “Come on mofo, I got a flight to catch.”  The woman smiles at me and goes, “Oh, that is so sad.  Would you like some money?”  I just look at her, with what I assume is a puzzled look but could also be my “what the fuck are you talking about” look.

She evidently realizes that not only am I poor but also slow and needs to explain.  

“I just feel bad.  I can give you the difference so that you can get another candy bar.”

“No, that’s ok.  I was just trying to get rid of my change.  Do you want it?”

“No, I don’t want your money.  But I can give you some to buy another candy bar.”  She starts fumbling around in her purse.

I don’t see any point in continuing.  I say, “No, I’m good”, pick up my water and single candy bar and head to my gate.

I guess the good news is that if this financial mess gets worse and I lose my job, I’m not going to have to worry about going hungry.  I may have some mad panhandling skills that I have not fully realized.  Of course, they may only work in Canada.

BTW, the woman was on my flight to Houston.


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