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Keith Tse

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Coins

Just returned from a conference in Budapest, Hungary. It was a successful trip, as I managed to present my work to my professional community and made some important contacts. I also made progress in my work which I am now trying to follow up on in view of submitting something formal in the next few days. The other aspects of the trip were terrible though, but this is neither the time nor place to discuss them. When I arrived at Hungary, I was surprised that they had their own currency (forint), as I had assumed that Hungary was an EU country that employed the Euro. I therefore had to purchase some forint upon my arrival, which was relatively easy. However, as I was on conference leave, I did not really do much tourism and hardly spent any money at all. I now have rather a lot of Hungarian money with me, which is a nuisance since I am hardly likely to return to Hungary in the foreseeable future- as mentioned, I did not really enjoy the non-professional aspects of my trip. Whenever I travel abroad, I like to spend as much money as I can so as to leave myself with as little foreign currency as possible, since I find it annoying and confusing to have so many different currencies in my wallet. It is funny though, since when I go through my wallet, I realise that I actually possess quite a few types of coins- USD, Euros, Swiss francs, Japanese Yen, RMB, Czech koruna, Canadian dollars, El Peso etc. These coins remind me of all the trips I went to, whether for profession or for leisure, and all kinds of memories, whether happy or sad, come back to me all at once. I am not a big fan of travelling, as I suffer easily from motion sickness, and I usually only travel for a particular purpose, which tends to be professional. Nonetheless, seeing so many coins in my wallet has made me feel somewhat nostalgic, as these are all attestations of my adventures in the past few years. Funny how things that we don’t usually notice or, in this case, things that I specifically have been trying to avoid (e.g. foreign currencies), can evoke so many emotions in us. Perhaps we should start collecting memorabilia after all.

#reminiscence

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