Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ugly new RM50 note, and the impressive Dutch

The new RM50 note is really ugly. What a waste of money spent on such a goshawful, old-fashioned design! Like frachely said, "... it looks like currency from Cambodia or some such place...". I'm not dissing the lovely Cambodia, but we are far advanced of the country, surely our currency design should show it too! Our old RM50 design was perfectly useable and quite pleasing to the eye. Check out these new hideous combo of colours on the new hideous note. I'm so disgusted thinking of the money spent on redesigning something that didn't need to be.

(Apparently it is better at deterring counterfeiting... but why not just improve the old note? This is so ugly!)

Malaysia. Gah.

Okay, due to popular demand, here is the existing and going-to-be-phased-out RM50 note. I actually thought of putting this up earlier for my foreign readers, but then got lazy because there was no photo I could find of both the old and new note together.

In my two decades of knowing about money, this is, I believe, the third design of the RM50 note. Why does it need to be redesigned so regularly? Update: Just found out it's the fourth series. So in 50 odd years of independence, we need four redesigns? Four?! How many times has the pound or the US dollar note changed in the last twenty years? Serious question. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

... hmm...

I actually meant to write about something else, and the new RM50 note slipped under some books caught my eye so I decided to drop in a line about how ugly it is. Instead, it turned into quite a major rant. And now I've forgotten what I was gonna write about in the first place.

Oh yes (switched between browser windows and saw what triggered my post).

The Dutch have this calendar called the verjaardagskalender (is that the right word??), which is a calendar they keep every year for birthdays. It has numbers and months, but no days, so it's useable every year. It was my first time seeing such a thing this year in Dutchland. In a way, I'm kinda impressed by the practicality, and on the other hand, sort of amazed that they can keep a calendar, the same design, every single year and not get bored of it.

In English/Malaysian culture, we have a yearly calendar. We buy a new one every year (or get given one by clients/printers/shops)... I probably diligently flip mine for 2 months then leave it for the rest of the year. Frankly, I have not much use for a calendar, as my iMac can show me everything with a click of the middle button on my Mighty Mouse.

So the only reason I'd get a calendar is because it looks really nice, is innovative, creative, has some awesome illustrations... you get my drift. Therefore, I couldn't ever get a verjaardagskalender that I'd be happy with. I'd pick one up and think, "This is really nice, maybe I should get it... but what if I get sick of it in a few months? It's kind of a waste to get something like this then...". And then I'd just put it down.

So... I guess what I'm saying is how impressed I am by Dutch practicality in having something like this. And their staying power (a very good thing for me hehe). And at the same time, I'm impressed, in a slightly less positive way, that they can live such a "boring" existence, in terms of seeing the same thing every single year, when they could have a new, fancy calendar instead. Guess practicality overcomes aesthetics when it comes to the Dutch?

Does any other culture have a verjaardagskalender?


Rik van der Kroon said...

The birthday calendar is always placed in the toilet. It's a part of the furniture. It lists all your friends and relatives birthdays on it. The toilet is a place you use every day and where one might look around while doing its business, so its an instant reminder to birthdays coming up. I think my parents their birthday calendar might be just as old as I am.

Considering the money, they change money more often these days because of illegal money. If you change money, all the old money they have copied is being rendered useless. Plus the new cash can have new technologies embedded preventing copying.
All the old bills have to come through banks first which can thoroughly check the bills for counterfeiting.

All the new banknotes will all come from the bank, and it will take a while before the counterfeiters have caught up with the copying process.

Actually The Netherlands changed their notes (all of them) 4 years before switching to the euro just to prevent counterfeiting.
Also, the US Dollar and the British pound is the easiest to counterfeit of all the developed world.

shoobaba said...

unless you have your ipod/iphone with you to twitter on while doing business...

frachely said...

But it's a Malaysian Culture! To spend $$ on absolutely useless stuff!

I'd say the new design of our $50 is like taking a step backward.

And as for the calendar, what the. I can't even spell that word! -___-