Writes a friend:


I am in Stockholm.  Before I left the US, I had my bank get some Swedish Kroner for me so I wouldn’t have to hassle with this after I arrived.  However, the bank gave me many bills of small denomination – this is what they had in inventory.

So I figured that when I got to Stockholm I could go to a local bank and exchange these for larger denominations.  Silly me.  I asked at the hotel front desk where I could find a bank, describing what I intended to do.  The person I asked looked lost.  A second person looked equally lost.  Eventually three of them put their heads together.  After talking together for a few minutes, one let me know that banks in Sweden don’t have cash – if you want cash from a bank you have to arrange it beforehand – to order it, the same way I had to order Swedish Kroner from my US bank (which is at least understandable).  They said the best I could do is go to a small shop or market; such places typically prefer to receive smaller bills in exchange for the large ones that they are holding.  I decided that none of this was worth hassling with.

BTW, my hotel is proud to be “cash free.”