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She Probably Thinks A Meal Still Costs A Buck Fifty

, , , | Right | March 10, 2022

I’m a taxi driver. In the autumn of 2020, I picked up an elderly lady. When we got to her destination, the meter read 90 DKK (Danish Kroner) — roughly 15 US dollars at that time. She handed me a 100 DKK note.

Customer: “You also deserve a tip.”

Rather than the Danish word for “tip,” she used a term for a coin (skilling) that went out of circulation on January 1st, 1875. For some time after that, the term was used to designate a small but unspecified amount of money. My grandparents who were both born before 1920 used it occasionally, but I had never heard anyone younger than that use the term.

The lady then held out her hand indicating that she expected the 10 DKK back. She put the 10 DKK coin in her small clutch wallet and then rummaged around a bit and came up with a 2 DKK coin (roughly 33 cents USD). She gave me the 2-DKK coin and looked rather pleased with herself. As I always do when I get a tip, I said:

Me: “Thank you very much.”

And, of course, I gave her a hand getting out of my taxi.

I couldn’t help thinking that she lived very much in the past.

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