CHAPTER – Swap Meet and Currency
January 21, 2108: Back on Mars work had started on the first of the new
tunnels and had progressed smoothly. This first tunnel would run eight hundred
The new arrivals were extremely qualified people with a good attitude. It
was difficult for Tim to find enough work to keep them all busy until they made
the first breakthrough. The air lock had been set where the dig had started.
The dig had not turned up any new diamonds but they were finding many
semiprecious stones that would make great jewelry.
A lot of people had accumulated things that they no longer needed or
used so they decided to hold the first swap meet on Mars. It was really a kind
of pitiful beginning to what was to become a Martian tradition. Surplus personal
property would always be in short supply even after stores began selling
merchandise. There were dozens of vendors and hundreds of buyers but
everyone needed change for a $100.00 bill.
Most people had plenty of cash and no place to spend it. Making change
was a problem for those buying or selling anything. Most of the cash was in
large bills. There was a real shortage of small bills. Almost no one missed the
coins because nothing on Mars would be sold for odd change for a while yet. At
least not until Burger Boy's opened. Bob told Tim that when the next ship
arrived he would have three million Dollars in change but that wouldn't be until
May. Until then people were just writing out IOU's and signing them. Then that
person would pass the IOU along to someone else and sometimes the IOU that
someone had written would find its way back to the one that wrote it. Some
people kept track of their outstanding IOU's and some didn't. Everybody took
IOU's willingly because that was about the only medium of exchange other than
large bills. People began to get concerned about all the money they had
stashed in their unlocked homes.