Back to the Past for Dollars

"Wouldn't it be great to go back to 1995 and buy dollars for five rubles each? I'd be rich!" shouted one shopkeeper to another in a grocery store when we walked in. Their conversation was a classic "if only" scenario, but let's assume this is possible: there's a time (and space) machine that can send you back to 1995 and return you safely.

Full of joy, you take out loans, borrow from relatives, friends, enemies, scrape together your last savings, and now you have 100 million rubles in your hands. With that, you can buy 20 million dollars and sell them today for 1.5 billion rubles. Not bad, right?

You hop into the machine, land in the summer of 1995 in central Moscow, look around, and begin to realize that a dollar costs not 5 rubles, but 5000 rubles (actually, about 4500), and not the kind you have in your suitcase, but entirely different ones. Your hundred million could become a hundred billion here, but there's nowhere to exchange them.

What should you do in this situation to avoid coming back empty-handed?

You could try to find your relatives or friends (if they were adults back then) and try to persuade them to give you all their savings again. Let's say they believe your story that everything is bad in 2022, you urgently need a lot of dollars, and they give you all they have left. You buy currency with that money, return to 2022, but everything has changed. Those from whom you took money in 1995 have become poor, and their lives have turned out completely differently. No one recognizes you, you have no friends, and you might even have disappeared because you died of typhus. Or you didn't disappear if we consider the situation in the context of the theory of alternative realities, but you definitely became a very lonely person. But at least you have dollars.

Or you could try to earn a bit right here, in 1995. But the problem is, no one knows you here, and your passport is invalid. And even if you find a job without a passport and miraculously start earning 500,000 rubles a month (500 rubles by our standards), you can only buy 100 dollars with this salary. Moreover, you'll live hungry and on the street.

The only option left is to make new acquaintances with people from the dangerous business and at some point simply steal these dollars, quickly run away with them to 2022, and hope that you will never run into any of these guys on the street.

It's risky, in short. If the opportunity presents itself to go back in time for some dollars - think twice.