Friday, 16 June 2017
Left on a seat along the cycleway to St Helier was the black leather wallet and a plastic comb. I noticed 5 cigarette butts pushed into a pile of blown sand, the type I associate with menthol cigarettes. I searched for a name on a card or maybe a telephone number I could call -
The wallet contained a wad of 1840 Bolivar, mainly in 100 Bolívar notes from the Republican Bolivariana de Venezuela, a number of passport style photographs of an slightly shifty looking late middle-aged man, a small amount of tablets and a few long international telephone numbers in tiny spider like handwriting
Intrigued I checked the currency on my phone and the Venezuelan Bolívar (VEB) is obsolete. It was replaced with the Venezuelan bolívar fuerte (VEF) on January 1, 2008. Apparently the VEF is equivalent to 1000 VEB making the value if still valid £0.14 how curious is that?
I carry a dollar and a 5 Euro note in my wallet mainly to remind me that the world is still out there somewhere but who carries a fat wedge of South American currency that went out of circulation in 2007? Not only the useless money but no cards, no current money and no coins?
Is this a secret stash that maybe a child has lost or a visit from a slightly dodgy time traveller? Maybe it's me materialising artifacts from another time and place?
The wallet is now with the police and is someone else's mystery but wouldn't it make a great start to a novel?