Thursday, August 27, 2009


A hundred years ago, my friend and fellow blogger Tim tagged me in a blog meme that asked me to post seven random things about my life. Actually, it wasn't a hundred years, but it was a long time ago, and I never responded. My bad.

His original post can be viewed here.

I had almost forgotten about that little meme, when I found myself sitting at home with nothing to blog about. In these final weeks of summer, I could not stand to post another picture of the lake, the heat-scorched landscape, or any of my usual subjects, for that matter. I needed something different, a change of pace. The Seven Random Things Meme will do just fine for today.

Here are the rules: 1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog. 2. Share seven random or weird things about yourself. 3. Tag seven people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. 4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Well, I already broke the chain by not responding in a timely manner, so I may cheat, just a little. By the end, I WILL post seven random or weird things about myself, but I'll do them one post at a time. At the end, I may or may not tag seven other people. I have to think about that. I may even need to make a few more friends to achieve this (LOL).

So here goes (sorry Tim, you already know this first one):

Random Fact #1: I was once a millionaire.

Yes, it's true. At age 17, I got to feel the triumph and satisfaction of being a millionaire, if only for one fleeting moment. Well, I didn't actually own a million dollars. No. I had a million Mexican pesos in my bank account.

Back then, it wasn't hard to do.

During my junior year of high school, I lived as an exchange student in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, under the sponsorship of Rotary International. The Rotary Club required me to keep $500 in a contingency fund, just in case I encountered any unforeseen expenses.

Well, the exchange rate between US dollars and Mexican pesos was always ridiculous, but the disparity only increased as the year progressed.

One day I came home from school and found a handwritten sign on my bedroom door:

"Felicitaciones. Ya eres millionario."

"Congratulations. You are now a millionaire."

When asked, my host parents explained that the Mexican peso had taken a nose-dive against the US dollar. In one day, the exchange rate had gone from around $1,000 pesos to the dollar, to more than $2,500 to the dollar. At that rate, I had more than $1.25 million pesos in my bank account! Yes, I really was a millionaire, at least by that standard. I bore the title with mock solemnity, causing all kinds of laughter and teasing with my host family.

Of course, my purchasing power never changed. It still cost more than $200 pesos for a Pepsi, or a whopping $58,000 pesos for a pair of jeans. My wealth was worth only slightly more than the ink on my money.

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