Mao Money

“Would you like a Mao Bookmark, Helen?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was sorting through my remaining yuan, Chinese banknotes that I call Mao money. His face appears on all the big notes, so I have a tendency to think in green Mao, blue Mao, and so on, where the humble and rare Jiao notes feature attractive ethnic minorities and are only good for a token toilet fee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA “Oh what a lovely idea. I would love a Mao bookmark”.  Helen responded, looking up from her e-reader. “But I don’t really need one now that I have one thousand books stored on my e-Reader and Kindle.” Helen doesn’t do things by halves when it comes to relaxing travel toys!

I wandered back to my room, still pondering how to laminate my Mao money, my left over Thai Baht and other paper ephemera loitering at the base of my new fake Chanel overnight bag.

4 thoughts on “Mao Money”

  1. A bookmark is a clever way to use an old note! No matter how hard I try I always end up with some random coins and notes when I come home from overseas. They’re scattered around the house in little bowls.


    1. yes, he is a bit of an embarrassment to the wealthy middle class, and of course, is not admired by those who lost their grandparents in some of the purges. He is, nevertheless, a national hero for uniting the country and ridding the place of international invaders who nearly destroyed China. Its odd really- its a ambivalent relationship with a dictator like Mao.


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