Choco Pies adopted as new currency in North KoreaApril 3, 2012, 7:14 pm
The world’s maddest country has adopted Choco Pies as its new currency. This is not a joke. The chocolate-coated biscuit-and-marshmallow snacks are paid as wages to an increasing number of North Korean workers who take them home, trade them, and use them to buy stuff.
Factory workers at the Gaesung Industrial Complex, for example, receive a salary of 10 Choco Pies a day, plus a small wodge of North Korean Won, which they ignore. "It is not an overstatement to say that their income focus is on Choco Pies, not their official wages," said Dong Yong-sueng of the Samsung Economic Research Institute, quoted on the Asia Sentinel news website.
Ms Dong reckons the base value is about two Choco Pies to the US dollar, a fortune in North Korea, where a bread crust broken into three pieces counts as a three-course banquet. But just like other currencies, Choco Pie exchange rates rise and fall. The Korea Herald says the pies are currently "traded on the black market at high prices".
This is yet another instance where the so-called "developing" countries are way ahead of the modern world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the entire global financial system was overhauled, with all currencies being replaced by Choco Pies?
Just think of the advantages. Nobody could hoard money. (Choco Pies have sell-by dates.) Nobody could be cheated by money changers. (All Choco Pies have the same ingredients.) Choco Pies are discreet. (They don’t jingle in your pockets.) Forgers would be stymied. (Photocopies of Choco Pies, even using the best full-colour photocopiers, are nothing like the real thing.)
And if there is a financial crash and you lose your job, you literally live off your savings.
A WOMAN bitten by a giant panda in China last month described it as a "great honour". The China Daily reported that farmer Liu Yunkang, 59, interviewed after the attack, said: "I am fortunate to have been bitten by China’s national treasure!"
I wonder what her last words would be if she moved to Bangladesh and got eaten by a Bengal tiger? "What an honour! I am delighted that Bangladesh’s national mascot is eating me! Thank you!"
NOT ALL Asian companies have crassly boastful names such as The Absolute Amazing Company Ltd of Zhejiang, China. A reader spotted a firm in Thailand, called: "Ordinary Engineering Consultant".
DEAD PEOPLE in China are getting iPads and iPhones. Funeral shops in Hong Kong and mainland China are selling paper versions of Apple products to be ceremonially burned to be sent to heaven. "We hope the deceased can also feel the progress of our society,"an unnamed customer told the China Daily.
This must be really bad news for hard-driving perfectionist Steve Jobs. You can imagine the stuff appearing on his cloud and giving him a heart attack. "I’ve been gone six months and they’re making iPads out of paper now?!"
The Dead Shop I visited recently had lots of multi-pack cigarette cartoons too, items generally used for bribing officials in China. Surely the definition of heaven is a place where officials don’t need bribing?
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Last Updated May 21 2013 | 06:02 pm