What Do I Do with This?

I had my first big OOPS moment adjusting to America the Thursday after we arrived.

I went for a haircut with my mom and sister. I had asked the price before we went. Just before running out the door, I asked Seth if he had gotten any cash yet. He had, so I grabbed a 20 out of his wallet to pay the hairdresser (a private business out of a lady’s basement).

After the haircut (and trying to explain some weird words like “furlough”), I gave her my 20. She sort of fingered the bill and said, “What do I do with this?”

Not comprehending, I stuttered out an awkward, “Well, if you could just make change…how much is the haircut? $8?”

She got a deer-in-the-headlights look and started to reach into her apron pocket as if to make change, and then asked again, “What do I do with this? Do I go to the bank…or…???”

I still didn’t get it, until my mom asked, “Is that South African currency?”


I had given the lady 20 Rands, not dollars. (20 Rands are only worth about $2.50.) In my rush, I had just grabbed the money that I was familiar with out of Seth’s wallet!

We laughed so hard I cried. (No one else cried, but maybe jet lag had something to do with my tears.)

I almost did it again the other day, but my mind has more fully adjusted now. How embarrassing! But it sure was funny.




About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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3 Responses to What Do I Do with This?

  1. scrappyfrog says:

    Haha, well at least you were able to see the humor in it. Also, your hair looks great!

  2. zebranay says:

    That is funny and I’m sure the hairdresser thought so too after you corrected the mistake! Good story!

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