I previously lamented my poor results in trying to hit the jackpot in the Great Taiwan Lottery. Well sometimes, success comes unexpectedly, and when you get it it feels better than a million dollars. In fact, it feels exactly like possessing a $200 note.
What a perfect, and completely non-contrived segue to announcing that I am in possession of the elusive $200 Taiwanese Dollar note! (AU$8.60/ US$6.50/ ¥800/ possibly $1920397907129073 TWD)
For those not residing in Taiwan, I’m sorry to sound all high and mighty, but you have no idea what this means. In fact, I don’t have any idea either, because according to my 5 second Google search, there isn’t that much information about this note.
One thing for sure is that it’s rare, and I didn’t even really know about it until I came into possession of it.
Two weekends ago on our roadtrip of Taiwan’s east coast, my housemates and I visited a hot spring in a town called Yuli. After paying the entrance fee, amongst my change I was presented with the elusive $200 bill. I was literally lost for words, which, if you know me, is a big deal. I was at a complete loss what to do. Do I take it or hand it back?
I had heard about the note in passing, and assumed that if it wasn’t in heavy circulation, that it wouldn’t be easy to use and more of a burden than a benefit. Kind of like when in Australia when you realise you have been given a New Zealand 10 cent coin instead of an Australia one. Yeah, you know the injustice I’m about Aussies 😉
So I held the note in my hands and looked to hot spring staff for assistance.
“Can I use it everywhere?” I asked. “Yes” they replied. Yep, pretty groundbreaking conversation there. After some further hesitation I decided to just take it. At worst if I couldn’t use it, I would have a nice keepsake, right?
So I took the note and stuffed it in my wallet. I didn’t think it was such a big deal until I mentioned it to some friends. All of the said they hadn’t seen one before, and that included Taiwanese locals. KA-CHING!
The few websites which make mention of the note state it is a “rarely used” bill.
BubbleTea101 wrote about it and offered some further insight:
The 5th series of the New Taiwan Dollar banknotes was released in 2000. There are 5 notes in this series but as with the coins, 2 denominations are very uncommon: the 200 NT$ and 2000 NT$ notes. I encountered a 200 NT$ note on my first visit to Taiwan in 2011 but didn’t think much of it at the time and spent it at a 7-Eleven. Since then I have not seen another 200 NT$ note. It’s a green colour and features a portrait of Chiang Kai-Shek. There is a bit of a conspiracy theory that the ruling party when the new series was designed decided to put Chiang Kai-Shek on this note, knowing it would not be heavily circulated, as he was the former leader of their opposition party. If that is true then they achieved their goal as this note is rarely seen.
Do you know what this means? By possessing this note I am now a part of a conspiracy. A political one at that. Involving China. CHINA DUDE. I mean, it doesn’t get much bigger than that.
For now, the note is just resting on a shelf. I probably am not protecting it with the security it deserves. I’m thinking laser beam shooting rottweilers. But in all honestly, I don’t know what to do with it, because unless someone is willing to pay me more than $200 for it, then it’s value doesn’t supercede that written on the note. Except in my heart.
On the other hand, I can’t bear to part with it in what would probably be a simple dumpling transaction. What to do, what to do!
Internet, help me out!
Yours slightly richer,