So, after yesterday’s question about fake money, this morning I posed my own to one of the Starbucks girls: Just how do you tell the counterfeit from the real?
Apparently, it’s not as hard as I thought—though it’s still not something you’re going to catch me doing on my off hours just for kicks. First, here’s a 100 RMB note. See that picture of Mao? If you use your fingernail and rub his collar where my thumb is, the paper should be slightly raised, ridged. You’ll feel the difference right away, especially in newer bills.
Second, they have machines for this sort of thing, right there at the check out counter. Third, I could have just Googled the darn question and gotten this far more complete answer. But, there you go.
Here are some other interesting articles—this one about the swine flu in Hong Kong (and another about SARS, way back when). Back in law school I happened to return to America at the first outbreak of SARS—before it was known as SARS—and I remember coming down with something that sent me to the doctor. When I told them that I had just been in China, the reaction of the staff was noticeably…unpleasant. Which, to some degree, is understandable—but I’ve always wondered, then and now, what a sick person should do in a real epidemic (and I hardly count this as an epidemic, despite some deaths and the hysteria on the news). Because even if you do come down with a serious virus, and you go to the doctor, you may not get help. You may be turned away, as I almost was (and I wasn’t even that ill). So what then? You go back to your home? You seek aid from friends and family, and perhaps infect them, too? This was in Madison, Wisconsin, and the doctors didn’t know whether to scratch their watches or wind their backsides. I shudder to think what would happen if something truly serious got loose—and I’m not talking flu here. The flu is bad—it kills people—but it doesn’t turn your vital organs into jelly. Can you imagine if it did? The chaos, the ineptitude, the ensuing government crackdown around the world would be terrifying.
Bad enough that all those folks from Mexico were rounded up, but at least now they’re being airlifted home.
PS: Thank you Lindsey, for pointing out the HELLO KITTY ASSAULT RIFLE, which Ku-Ku will not be carrying in The Fire King, but oh, she should be. Holy crap.