Paying for things in Romania is largely the same as anywhere else, except for one small factor. Shops tend to be very relaxed on the issue of small change. For example: If your total came to 10 Lei and 3 bani (which is a around two English Pounds) – the cashier would just ask you for 10 lei and let you off with the 3 bani. Similarly, if the change you are owed is less than, say, 10 bani, the shop cashier will often not give you anything. If they have run out of small change altogether, they will offer you some kind of sweet, stick of chewing gum, or a box of matches as a payment! I’ve also noticed that many people leave the small change even when they are given it.

This practice feels normal to me now, but I remember how odd it seemed at first in comparison to how we pay for things in England – where you rarely get let off with a penny, and almost always want your 3p change.