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.