I had a wonderful vacation in Vienna and Budapest in May. (Vienna is entirely irrelevant to this story.)
My wife every so often talks about taking a trip to Poland for no particular reason. (Readers: why do I want to visit Poland?)
So I started looking through Wikitravel to answer the above question, and every so often it mentions a price. I need to get the exchange rate to put it in context. So I type “usd to pln” into Google:
In the chart, it looks like the zloty has been appreciating against the dollar. Is that because the dollar has been going down or because the zloty has been going up? Well, let’s see if the forint has made the same move. Type “usd to huf” into Google:
It has! Hmm, I guess the dollar isn’t doing so well in the past few months. You might wonder why I checked the exchange rate for Hungarian forints and not for euros. The reason is because I know the forint was trading at around 275-280 to the dollar in May, whereas I can’t remember what the euro was. It looks like it was around $1.15 US but I used “vacation math” and just treated prices in euros as if they were in US dollars.
And then because I like typing random things into Google, try “pln to huf”:
Is there some currency arbitrage opportunity? Of course not, the math works out perfectly:
Can you even directly trade zloty for forint, or would you end up going via some major currency anyway?
Also, somewhere in Budapest you can see this:
and here’s a closeup of the text at the bottom:
A transcription of the text (sorry if I have introduced any errors):
A Rubik-kocka bármely keverés utan legfeljebb 20 tekerésből kirakható, de az osszetettsége miatt osszesen 43252003274489856000-féle eltérő állás hozható létre. “Mindig van megoldas és nem is csak egy!”(Rubik Ernő)
I do not read Hungarian (nor any language related to it, because there are very few such languages) but I know what this says. I suspect some of you do too.