Here in the desert the Army (DoD maybe) is doing their best to make it a money free land. By money free of course I mean physical money. I still have to pay for all my meals (a long and complicated story) and capitalism is alive and well. From an officially sponsored mini shopping mall to the little stands in said mini mall run by local guys trying to sell anything from crazy looking lingerie to Persian rugs to knockoff jerseys, they all want your money. Back on subject, if you do happen to pay with money you won't get any change back. Instead you'll get these little pogs. Each one is a gift certificate for the denomination of coin you should've gotten back. The rationale behind this is something along the lines of coins being really heavy to transport and cumbersome to store. That makes sense I guess but there is one slight problem, or at least there was a slight problem last time I deployed. I gave the cashier cash money, they handed me back gift certificates. You can only spend those gift certificate at AAFES locations. Not that big of a deal if you want to spend your money at a military store but you weren't able to actually get any cash back even if you said you were leaving the Middle East. To top it off some of the AAFES places back in the States looked at us like we were crazy when we tried to pay for stuff with these. Apparently not all AAFES locations knew that they were in fact issuing gift certificates in 5, 10, and 25 cent denominations. The next problem we had is that they disintegrated in our pockets if we left them in there too long. Either the faces would scratch off due to dust and dirt or all the sweat from your uniforms destroyed them. So basically after you got them, you threw them in a drawer or a bag or something and never remembered to bring them back to the PX. The happy ending to the story is the last time we got back home, a few Soldiers in my unit had amassed a huge collection of these things and took them to the Class VI store (the liquor store on post) and bought two kegs with them. They had one hell of a welcome back to America party in the barracks thanks to the unpopularity of these tiny, in all senses of the word, gift certificates.