In a country that does not make or use 1-cent coins, why, when I buy bug spray that costs R$5,17 and plop down a R$10 bill, do they bother asking me if I have the seventeen cents? The answer is clearly ‘no.’ And upon giving them, instead, twenty cents, why do they give me back five cents? I’m no math whiz, clearly, but isn’t someone losing out on this transaction somewhere? In the cab the other day, the fare cost R$17,00. I paid with a twenty. The driver didn’t have three reais for change, so he just gave me two. People! We are not trading stickers or pretty colored pieces of paper with animals and numbers on them! This is money! And yeah, I know, five cents here and one real there, whatever. But it adds up!
I have lived here for over a year and I still can’t wrap my brain around certain behaviors. I’ve managed to deal with the toilet paper, but I can’t quite get a grasp on the money thing.