Again waking up at the crack of dawn - or before, actually! Although starting work at 5am. gives a useful separation between marking assignments for the University of Reading before then going on the Campus later on.
Pleasant walk, including through the Campus itself. Getting ready for workshops and meeting with colleagues about the future of the Reading / Jamaica collaboration - watch this space!
However, the main thing on my mind is money. There are 130 Jamaican dollars to the pound, so one dollar is worth about 0.7 pence. I was in the middle of a class for teachers last year about 1/2 way through the visit, having been here before so a total of 10 days already in the country . I was talking about calculations with decimals, and said, "Of course, Jamaican dollars don't subdivide into cents" to then be told that, actually, they do. Now that I'm shopping in supermarkets it's not possible to avoid knowing that there are 10 and 25 cent coins, worth about 0.07 and 0.17 pence each - yes, I am getting the decimals right here!
However, what seems even stranger is that the till gives the total price in a form such as so many dollars and 29 cents. But it's not possible to pay 29 cents, the smallest coin is 10 cents. Haven't quite worked out how the rounding works, but the net effect is that I end up with a pocketful of very low value coins which are then quite difficult to spend. Partly what is going on here is hat General Consumption Tax (GCT, equivalent to VAT) at 17.5% is added at the till rather than on the advertised prices.
I enquired as to what people do with these small coins, Marcia tells me that her church collects them to pay for youth work projects. So that solves that problem, I'll give them to Marcia before I leave - although I think I'll put in a note as well, not sure I can bring myself to give just a few pence. But - surely it costs more to mint these coins than they're worth?