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Bringing proper change to a Romanian shop

I stayed in the Transylvania for a month at the end of 2007. I visited again for one week in the proceeding summer. In the summer of 2009 I spent about three weeks in Transylvania, Bucharest, and Vama Veche.

If you don't bring proper change into a Romanian shop, you might have to pay extra.

Sometimes the shopkeeper does not have sufficient coin — or, at least, says not. It's common that he or she will offer the customer some token item in lieu — a piece of gum, or a single-serve paper-tube packet of coffee powder.

The difference is normally quite small, especially relative to the greater spending-power of the euro that I earned in Ireland those days. But getting shorted at the cash register can be unpleasant. It's one of those behaviors that are good to know about so you understand that it it's not just you. I first heard of the practice from a native Romanian, and experienced it only later. To state the obvious, it is done to fleece that little bit of cash from everybody, native and foreign.