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#2416: Haitian dollar (fwd)


The haitian dollar is a very convenient abstraction.
It is, for one, a practice of intellectual abstraction
and practical arithmetic.
For the foreiner it is a sure sign of what kind
of prices you will pay. 
Any place which quotes prices in gourdes will
be expensive. When they tell you that it costs
150 gourdes to get inside the disco it sounds
a lot less than 30 dollars. Which is 8.5 $us, of
course, but a lot of money.
Le pep even call one gourde "20 cents", and 
written prices in stores and restaurants will
use this 1/5 of a dollar ($.20) to represent
one gourde.
It is good practice for using your mind.
Haitians do it every day.

Also, never ask whether a price in dollars
is "haitian or US"? You have just volunteered
to triple the price and demonstrated that
you don't care what the price is.

If something is very expensive it will be
priced either $US or in gourdes (to confuse you
and make it seem far cheaper than it really is)

At the Jialing/Honda dealer in Okap the Jialing
motos are priced in dollars, the Honda in
dollarsUS. They make it very clear that the
honda price must be paid in dollars U$.

>When exchange rates were fixed, it was 5 Haitian
>gourdes to the dollar so it became known as
>the Haitian Dollar.  Now that they are no longer 
>fixed, this notion continues and makes excursions
>to the market very complicated.
>I was there this summer and found myself 
>endlessly confused between the
>Haitian Dollar, the gourde and the American >Dollar.