What can you do with 100 Ariary?

A gangster roll, but only $300

A gangster roll, but only $300

Madagascar’s currency is a mind-trip. Inflation (and I’m guessing poor central banking) has left large denominations mostly meaningless. At the airport in Tana on Wednesday, $1 was just shy of 2,000 ariary. The largest bill I’ve seen is a 5000 AR note. Do the math ($2.50).

Though my airfare was astronomical ($700 for the roundtrip from Nairobi to Tana and $425 for the roundtrip from Tana to Ft. Dauphin), prices on the ground are relatively cheap.

A coffee is between 50 cents and a $1.50. A 500 ml beer of Gold (the upscale brand that is actually not bad for a lager) is between $1.50 and $2.50.

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