Rachael Adams – Let’s Talk About Polish Money

So the other day I finally had an intervention with myself and addressed my wallet situation. Not only was it as wide as a truck, but it was as heavy as one too. Unfortunately it wasn’t because I had a large amount of cash, but because I didn’t realize how many Polish coins I was hoarding in there. I know, bummer.


Poland has so so so many different coins that I don’t even bother to use them to pay for anything at check out. I’ll just stick with my card, unless you want to stand behind me in line while I flip over each coin to see what amount each one is and then go about doing the math in my head to choose the right amount. Of course that’s until I run into a store that requires customers to pay with cash only, which I recently did for the first time while living in Poland.

IMG_1655 IMG_1662 IMG_1671 IMG_1658

Coming across my first grocery store in Poland that only accepts cash was really fun. It was my first week here in Dabrowa Gornicza and I was at the grocery store waiting in line and I started noticing a trend.. cash.. cash.. cash..cash. That made me a little very nervous because I had no cash on me yet, so I started peeping over the counter to see if their were any card machines and of course there weren’t. I thought, “well…maybe it’s just hidden and I don’t see it”… and then it was my turn. Yep, turns out I came across my first cash only store. Luckily I understood what she was saying and I quickly fast walked to the ATM that was right inside the store and got some cash while people waiting line waited for me to come back. I finally paid and scurried home. I was officially a foreigner again.. thanks for the reminder.

When I do use coins I only I use the main coins like the 5.00, 2.00, and 1.00, but the other little ones  like .20 and .10, I just stash them away so I can make my wallet really heavy and annoying to carry around. I guess I could get a coin purse, but no thanks.

Or I can take advice form Mr. Krab and take a coin shower with my .20, .10, .05, and .01 coins. I’m sure it would feel lovely.


I notice that when people pay with cash in the grocery store here they tend to use exact change when possible. Or maybe I just happen to be behind those people that find joy in using exact change, but I really do think it’s pretty common here.

I tried once to be polite and normal and use exact change.. and after about 10 seconds that pretty much turned into me pouring a load of coins into my hand and extending my arm to the cashier and she gladly picked the correct coins out for me. That was my first and last time doing that.


Poland has 9 coins that I know of

  • 5.00
  • 2.00
  • 1.00
  • .50
  • .20
  • .10
  • .05
  • .02
  • .01


And the US has 4 main coins in circulation. The random half dollar and dollar coin are rarely used. I think I’ve used those coins maybe twice in my life so let’s just act like they don’t exist, ok? Great.

  • .50
  • .10
  • .05
  • .01

US Coins

So going from 4 to 9 coins was a bit overwhelming at first.. who am I kidding, it still is.

Last season I was better at keeping my coin accumulation in my wallet to a minimum by dumping them into a little tub each day… or about every other week… ok, maybe like once a month. Same thing. Let’s just say I was better than what’s going on right now in my wallet.

A picture of my coin collection last season.

By the way, I love being able to go back and creep through my old post for useful pictures.



Then during my last week in Poland I went to Tesco, visited my handy self help check out machine, aka my “best friend”, and just threw every coin I owned in there to pay for my groceries.

It doesn’t look like a lot of coins, but there were.


It took the machine a while to accept and recognize all of them, but after a few minutes they were all gone and I was very happy to see them go. I had plenty of people staring and watching me as they checked out.


And the Polish coins made some friends in my wallet with the random Japanese coins that I forgot were in there.


Ok ok, enough about coins.


We play against Pila on Saturday the 16th in Pila, so were headed out today. Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 4.24.32 PM

I have my iPad all ready and loaded with all the shows and movies I need to catch up on. First show up on the list, Scandal. I heard it was a really good episode, so of course I’m super excited that it was able to be downloaded when I woke up this morning even though it just aired a few hours ago in the US.

6hrs on Google maps, but add in bus speed and sit down lunch breaks.. about 9hrs? More or less, it’s still long and I need my entertainment.


And of course I have to at least include one more GIF before I end this post.


Okkk, just one more.





Rachael Adams
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6 Responses to “Rachael Adams – Let’s Talk About Polish Money”

  1. Mr. G

    Yet you are so lucky, you’re seeing the world meeting new experiences head on and enjoying a totally different way of life. Good for you Rachael aka US Bronze Medalist and my fav volleyball girl!

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  4. Johnny

    I don’t know about Poland, but in Russia the old cashier women are really nasty when you don’t have exact change. Someone said it’s a leftover attitude from the Communist days (not being ostentatious by carrying around big-money bills), but I think it’s cuz they don’t stock the registers and sometimes don’t have change to break the big bills.

    • Athletes Abroad

      Interesting.. I (Geena) personally experienced that in Italy and Czech as well, but more so that they got annoyed when I was using a credit card to pay for groceries rather than cash. Guess it’s more of a hassle for them to have to pull out the credit card machine.


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