Thursday, February 16, 2017

More Money Than We Could Spend - R2BC

DD and her friend man the toy stall
Last week they had a fair at DD's school. I mentioned it last week before the actual event so I want to return to it today. It was a fascinating experiment in human behaviour as well as being lots of fun.

Anyone who wanted to set up a stall could do so. Usually the stalls were run by teams of two or three friends. If you had a stall you started with a float of 200 Gs (for change) and got to spend all the money you made. Prices were capped at 200 Gs (school money) for even the biggest item.

Everyone else gave 10 shekels (about 2 pounds) in exchange for 1000 Gs. So a G is actually only 1 agorah - 1/100 of a shekel or about 0.05p. In this way the children could price their wares with realistic numbers without any money lying around and at no great expense to anyone. Having said that, there were some elaborate cupcake stalls for which some dedicated parents had obviously paid for the ingredients.

All around the basketball court and more inside the gym at the back.
Among the sweets and cakes there was a hot-dog stall, a felafel stall (in pita bread with salad, and pickles as it's served here), homemade lemonade, jellies, and fruit salad. Many stalls carried crafted items like key-ring pom-poms, bookmarks, masks, and fridge magnets. There were a couple of book stalls, face painting, and manicures, I'd say there were about 50 stalls in all.

DD and her friend had a stall of all the old games, toys, and books that they'd grown out of. We had 35 books in Hebrew that we never read. We got them free over DD's two years in kindergarten as part of a programme to give each child a personal library. Funded by some charity, she came home with new picture book every month.

It was hilarious to see all the different personalities. You could tell which children would be shopaholics and were just amassing as much 'stuff' as possible. I'd told DD beforehand that the idea is not to get rid of a load of stuff we don't need and come back with a whole other load of stuff to take its place. She was very good. She'd take from their earnings and go looking around. She bought a few sweets, a drink, and a jelly cocktail. In the end we only came home with two pom-poms and a small sheep with ice-lolly stick legs.

Jelly Cocktails
DD's business partner was taking it all very seriously, considering her prices carefully and keeping track of the money. DD was just having fun. When she came back from one of her shopping excursions she said to me, "I'm not bothering to get change. What do I need it for? We've got so much money we can't even spend it all." (From your lips to God's ears my darling.) And indeed, they were doing a roaring trade.

I manned the book section. I mainly sold to some mothers who were there and other teachers. Many of them had the exact same collection of books at home but others were delighted to purchase amost new books for 20 Gs a book (1p). I mostly persuaded them to take 5 for 100 Gs.

There was so much money it was blowing in the wind. Children were giving each other spare money when their friends ran out. The giving of change was a loose approximation depending on what notes were available. No one really cared - it would all be worthless in a couple of hours.

As the fair drew to a close the shopaholics desperately tried to use up all their money before it turned into a figurative pumpkin. We were cleared out apart from one book which I donated to the class library. And when we got home DD announced, "we reached our goal. We sold all our things and didn't have to bring any of it back home."

I'm joining the R2BC linky over at Becky's on Lakes Single Mum .


  1. How wonderful and some of them are very creative to boot - love those Jelly Cocktails! DD seems to have a wonderful attitude about it all and good for her for donating so much!

    1. She's definitely all about the fun and not about the money.

  2. They have to be the best kind of school fairs, reaching goals and not bringing anything back. Our last school had a hideous tombola where people donated unwanted stuff, the kids spent all their money on it, and you ended up with a whole load of someone elses unwanted rubbish! :D

    1. That's just not fair, is it? I gave DD a whole talk about how we don't want someone else's unwanted rubbish. She totally got it.