The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Staring at the coin I had been about to attempt to (unsuccessfully) use in a public telephone, I discovered that once again, I had accidentally been given a coin from another country in change. To a busy shopclerk (and even to me on a slightly more detailed glance), one copper coin looks very much like another. In this manner I have received coins from around the world in change, twenty, thirty odd countries at least represented, from South Africa and New Zealand to Hong Kong to the United States.

Some, in their native lands, are probably near-invisible in their sheer commonness. Some are specially minted to commemorate this event or that. Probably I will not be able to spend them at their face value any time in the near future: but that is not their primary value to me. I hold in the palm of my hand a coin from the other side of the world, dropped in accidental exchange. Odds are good the person who had previously paid with that coin has some direct connection with its country of origin.

And the world grows a little smaller, draws a little closer together.


Post a Comment

<< Home