Thursday, April 12, 2012

Math in Reverse

Let me start by confessing that math has never been my strong suit.  Apparently reacclimating to the US dollar is another thing I'm not so good at.

As an expat living in a foreign land, you learn to take the price of something and convert it into your home currency.  $1 USD = ~$8 HKD, so my brain got to the point where it would automatically divide everything by 8 to see what the actual value was.  Otherwise I'd be looking at an $8 bottle of Diet Coke or an $88 t-shirt from H&M and thinking "Jesus, that's expensive."  Now, if I was living in Sydney, that *would* be the actual value!

Anyway, the problem I'm facing now is that my brain is still doing it...and I'm back in America where things are listed in USD.  So, I got a check recently for $6,000 and immediately devalued it to around $1,500.  I was in J Crew looking at a $120 sweater thinking, "$12?! It must be on sale."  

Not sure when my brain will finally accept that it's back in the land of the US Dollar.

Step one will be to stop referring to things in US dollars.  I was telling a story to some friends over the weekend and I said something along the lines of "...and it cost 40 US dollars."  My friend Al says, "You know you don't have to specify the currency; we all assume you mean US dollar."

Who knew that one thing I'd not be able to let go of was the freakin Hong Kong Dollar?!


  1. Your sense of humor is contagious! Now I must ask whether you're used to the $2.5 bag of baby arugula salad at Whole Foods (that costs 40 HK Dollar!)?!

  2. Thanks for your note! I'm so happy people enjoy this blog.

    Yes, it has been nice to get back to normal prices, although Whole Foods is hella expensive, too!