Mark Terry

Friday, May 30, 2008

Where in the world?

May 30, 2008
I was at the gym today and while I was lifting weights, I noticed a penny on one of the bench legs. I ignored it for a while, then the old saw about, "See a penny, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck," popped into my head and I figured I could use all the luck I can get, so I picked it up.

Only it wasn't a U.S. penny. In fact, I didn't know what it was. I was guessing India. And although I don't have a picture of the back, the reverse is what looks vaguely like the Taj Mahal.

So when I got home I tried to figure out what this coin was. It actually took longer than expected. It turns out that it is a Pakistani Rupee, which I've since learned, is derived from the Sanskrit word for Silver (rupya), even though the coin appears to be copper.

I wondered who that cranky-looking guy on the coin was and that took a little time. It turns how it's an image of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the first Governor-General of Pakistan. And on the back is not an image of the Taj Mahal, but rather the Badshahi Mosque, which apparently is the second largest mosque in Pakistan. It's in Lahore, in case you were wondering.

So I guess you just never know what you're going to learn on any given day, do you?

Mark Terry

p.s. And yes, occasionally you'll get non-writers asking you, "Where do you get your ideas?" Do you have any idea of how many story ideas picking up this rupee generated?


OpenID eric-mayer said...

Don't you hate it when you get those Pakistani rupees in your change?

That is pretty weird though. Sure it's not bugged? Maybe Homeland Security is leaving terrorist bait around or something?

10:08 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

LOL! Curiosity is a writer's friend. :-)

10:21 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Sure, Eric,--you just stole one of my plot ideas!!!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

I love it. I did resarch today on the origin of the magic word "abracadabara." What a story!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Was it like Harry Potter: avada kadavre? Or something like that, which I guess was rough Latin for something like "move the corpse."

10:50 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Avera (alternate spelling, averah) is a sin against man or God in Judaism. It comes from the Hebrew root ayin-bet-resh



A sin against the body.

Of course, Wikipedia has a lot of interesting stuff on it. Now...

I think I've killed enough time on Pakistani coins and magical words.

Time to go back to text messaging and healthcare.

10:59 AM  
Blogger kitty said...

Not to change the subject -- I know finding a Pakistani rupee in my health club would make my day -- but I just read this blind item on another blog:
#2 - Famous author. Writes legal thrillers. Married. Having an affair with entertainment reporter who interviewed the author.

So far it's a toss-up with the readers between Grisham and Patterson, although someone pointed out that it could be a female, since gender was eliminated from the clues.


3:28 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Turow? I don't think Patterson would be called a legal thriller.

Or maybe it's Lisa Scottoline!

Inquiring minds want to know, huh?

6:48 AM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

Where do ideas come from?
When my kids were little we used to play a game whenever we had to wait (in line, restaurants, road trips). It was called "Tell me a Story". We would pick one thing. It could be a painting on the wall, a spoon off the table or even a person near us and the challenge would be for one person in the group to tell us a story about the choosen object/person. The person who told the story gets to pick the next object and the person who has to tell it. Amazing things came from these games. Stories are everywhere!
But Pakistani coins? not so common. Who left it there? Did it fall out of a pocket? Was it left there intentionally as a sign to someone? Perhaps its a magic coin? Or one that will bring great luck!

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