16 December 2008

The Land of Tim Hortons

Despite how great it is to live in the Washington DC area, I've always thought one thing is sorely lacking: Tim Hortons. Sure, there are locations in the U.S. but none even remotely near were I live. Disappointing, right?

Anywhoo, a few weeks ago I was in Hamilton, Ontario -- I know! The very city that ushered in the dawn of a new coffee, right? -- and I stopped at a Tim Hortons near my hotel. To my surprise Tim Hortons only takes Master Card.

Strange, right? Most places, if they take credit cards, take both VISA and M/C, and maybe American Express (which you can, despite what commercials say, leave home without), to boot. So why only M/C? I wonder if they have cheaper fees or something.

This odd tidbit (tidbit, get it? Hah, I even amuse myself) leads to a slight tarnishing of Tim Hortons. Since I don't have a M/C, which actually is in violation of my which-credit-cards-to-own policy, and only had U.S. cash I was going to cancel my order. The cashier looked surprised and said, amused and smiling, "We take American money".

Now, when a store says that they take U.S. cash I've always assumed that meant they calculated the current exchange rate. Am I wrong? Well, in this case I was. Tim Hortons took my U.S. cash at face vale, at a 1:1 rate. Eh?

The coffee barely made up for my irritation.

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