Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 22:08:26 -0400


Subject: Going Decimal

I have not yet gone postal, and I do not think I will live long enough

to see this coutry truly go metric, but I have gone decimal. I lived in

London from August 1970-August 1971 (my excuse was that I was

studying Swahili at SOAS, which I actually did for two terms). which is

the period in which the "new" currency was establised as the only

legal tender. When I arrived, the new coins were already in circulation

and both "old

" and "new" tender were legal. In January, after a 3-day bank holiday

weekend in which ALL checking accounts in the coutnry were converted,

the "old" currency became no good and only the "new" could be used.

(Discussing this now is sort of like referring to the Book of Common

Prayer adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1978 as the "new"

prayerbook.) I heard some fascinating conversations between

shopkeepers and little old ladies on fixed incomes (of both

sexes). That same year, Scandinavia or some part of it (Sweden?)

switched from driving on one side of the street to the other (I forget

whcih direction the move was in) -- that is an experience I do not

hope to have.

Bethany Dumas