Everything posted here is stricktly the opinion of the poster and shall not be taken to be the official position of UNMIS, UNMISS, UN, the Norwegian Armed Forces or any other organisation whatsoever.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Yummy lunch and fake money

Or rather the other way around.

In the last few days words have spread throughout South Sudan that counterfeit money is in circulation, making merchants refuse to accept certain bank notes. Arrests have been made both in Juba and other places of "gangs" that have "machines" to "make money"... translated to western terms, we have a few criminals, owning computers, scanners and colour printers who decided to crank out  hundreds of copies of bills.

Which is not to say that it isn't a problem, off course. If the locals suddenly isn't sure if they can trust the money in their hand no more, we have a problem.

Now here is the real brain twister, which makes no sense at all until you think about how the economy work in these parts: The wast majority of counterfeited bank notes are 1 SDP bills. Yes, the counterfeits spends time and money faking a bill that is worth about 1/3rd USD... but when you consider that a 10 SDP bill is enough by far to pay for a big dinner with a few drinks on the side, and most of the merchants on the market would be hard pressed to give you change back on a 20 SDP bill, it suddenly makes more sense. Add to that how most 1 SDP bills tends to be rumpled, crumpled, folded, spindled and otherwise mutilated - meaning it can be hard at times to even recognise it as a valid banknote, never mind a fake one - it seems that their cunning plan was more well though out that it first appears.

I was hungry when lunchtime rolled around, so I decided - not for the first time - to make dinner for lunch and just have some bread for supper. As I was staring into the pantry - well, my cupboard - my eyes fell on the tin of Australian Processed Cheddar which must been handed down from western UNMO to western UNMO in the Team Site until it reached me. It didn't take me many seconds to decide both that it should be consumed before it went funny, and also that mac and cheese sounded like a delightful meal... so I put some water on the boil, grabbed my can opener and got cooking. The cheese sauce was simplicity itself; a bit of margarine, a dash of milk, every last bit of cheese product and salt, pepper and paprika to taste. End result was pretty good for being container cooking, although a far cry from the mac and cheese my better half cooks.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire, burn; and, cauldron, bubble...
In one word: Yummy.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a good version of mac 'n cheese. :) I still need to try making some the old-fashioned way rather than from a box. lol

    Sorry to hear about the counterfeiters, but scary enough it does make sense to use smaller bills. People don't tend to pay attention to the smaller bills being counterfeit so much as the larger bills. Hopefully, most of the "funny" money will be gathered and the counterfeiters caught.