I can’t stress how confusing the Rp 10,000 and Rp 100,000 bills are here in Indonesia. The differences may be very obvious in the image above. (Which I watermarked by the way, so as not to encourage banknote printing LOL) However when you are paying in a hurry in the airport or in a cab at night, it’s hard to tell! (especially after a couple of drinks!)
Different shades of red: one hundred thousand and ten thousand Rupiah.
*Note: Rp 10,000 is roughly 1 USD, give or take depending on the exchange rate.
We hear many stories of foreigners/tourists/bules intending to give Rp 15,000 for a short cab fare, and realizing later on that they gave Rp 105,000! Too late! (Bule is the Bahasa term for white/caucasian.)
I’m thankful that for my husband it’s always been the opposite. One time before we were posted here, he was on his way back to Manila from a meeting in Jakarta. He made sure he had the exact amount for terminal fee (Rp 150,000) in his wallet, only to realize when he was at the counter that he was Rp 90,000 short! He only had a 50k and a 10k bill in his wallet! Good thing he was traveling with his boss – but so embarrassing for him to ask his boss to pay for him first! LOL.
I always count the zeros before I pay. But I’m not used to paying in the hundreds of thousands and the number of zeros can be confusing. Thanks to the Central Bank for finally changing the color of the bill – it’s easier to tell them apart now!