Skip to main content

Conversion Phobia

Posted in

I clearly remember our first day in foreign land. Hubs and I were waiting at Heathrow for our connecting flight to Manchester. After a exhausting flight, some water and a cup of coffee was in order. That was the first time we transacted in Pounds.
In India, there is only one type of bottled water i.e. mineral water or 'Bisleri', a generic term used for any bottled water. After having collided with a rows of neatly stacked bottles of various names and shapes at the airport lounge, I committed a faux pas by picking up a bottle labeled 'Sparkling Water'.

The name suggested water and that's what we wanted. It turned out to be fizzy water and with a heavy heart we had to buy another bottle of Water. This time though the bottle was scrutinized thoroughly to avoid making another error. It was quite painful to pay a lot of money for a teeny bottle of water. I could hear my brain whir, quickly converting the amount paid in pounds to Rupees and calculating the cost of bottle in Indian Currency. It was an enormous amount and we made the water last quite a while. The cost could have fed 4 people a nice vegetarian lunch.
My family knows me as a spender and not a saver. My father would have been extremely proud to see me in a misers uniform. When you put your entire savings on moving to a foreign country, its inevitable that you take care of the pennies and also the pounds.

The first few months in UK, I was a virtual walking and talking human calculator...every expense made was converted in Indian currency without wasting a second. Every purchase was followed by astonished exclaims about the cost and a quick comparison to India.

As the days passed, this phobia lessened but has still not gone away. In spite of spending 2 years away I still cannot get over this habit.

Do any of you living outside India ever faced this phobia?

Your rating: None

I always do. Every time i

I always do.

Every time i pick up a bottle of water and i say, two pounds to myself i am surprised i would be spending that much on water. In fact in the beginning transportation was a big misery. I would buy the ticket and say to myself : i could have taken a cab in kolkata with that money

Oh well, it will take some time till i get used to it

Thanks for your comment

Are you in UK too? Yeah it is shocking but it takes some time to get over this phobia. Glad to know that so many people do share my thought process and I am not the only miser :)


Great post

Oh my god! when I came to usa, I always went crazy calculating. This post is bringing back a lot of memories!
Thanks to the author!


Thanks for your comment


In UK the conversion is everything multiplied by 80 :) I am glad you like my post.


Fabulous Vinnie !

Very insightful !

Thanks Ayon

It was shocking the first few days in UK.



Awesome post! can't stop laughing! I agree with the author, even buying a bottle of h20 is like "OMG!" when you first land on the foreign land!


Thanks for your comment

It was nightmare the first few weeks...but now the phobia is waning thankfully.


Bright Side

Well it has a positive effect too...

Consider when you go back to India...everything will appear so can happily purchase lots of "Bisleri" then !

Thanks for your comment

Yeah I am still waiting for that. Have not been home since I landed in UK :)


Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <img> <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Humans welcome! Spam Bots and Aliens Sorry!!
Fill in the blank