Exchange Rates

When we first arrived, we tried looking up the online exchange rate of the Uzbekistan Som to the US Dollar.  It was difficult to find.  Thus we abandoned our search and decided to exchange some money at the nearest bank so we could at least buy dinner.  The rate offered was 1600 som per dollar.  The biggest note the bank issued was 1000 som (~ 60 cents). So when we exchanged 100 dollars, we received a 2.5 inch stack of bills.  At restaurants and shops, they only take cash so everywhere you go, you carry stacks of cash since their biggest note has limited purchasing power.  Furthermore, we found that shopkeepers are willing to accept both dollars and soms with an implied exchange rate of 2500 som to the dollar (?).  I’m not sure about the different exchange rates, but the reason the largest bill is worth so little is to make every individual feel like they have a lot of money.  Speaking from personal experience, I felt like a millionaire.

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