Small Money

A basic principle of economy states that the higher the demand and the lower the supply, the higher the price of the good on a free market. Surprisingly enough, this principle fails when it comes to money itself: it’s the small notes which are in short supply but highly demanded. ATMs here provide money in banknotes with a face value of one thousand Rupees (currently worth 13,58€), but on the local market you can’t buy anything for these notes – the traders plainly refuse any deal: “no change”.
To just buy a bottle of water, I usually have to run down a cascade: starting at the mobile shop who deals higher priced devices, I change such a note in two notes of five hundred Rupees each, carry those to the local sweet shop who provides me with hundred Rupee bank notes and then buy some fruits from another booth (whose owner always sighs when he sees me coming and starts hunting for coins from his neighbours)… By the time I reach the local kiosk to get a bottle of water for twenty Rupees, with all the losses and trades in between, not much of the withdrawn money is left. And the circle starts anew.
The only resource in even more scarcity here is: toilet paper. But that’s another story…