netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Food for thought

The exchange rate between the India Rupee and the U.S. Dollar is roughly RS 44 : $1. Sudhi and I spent a fair amount of time over the course of my visit talking about, and comparing things in the U.S. and India. We deduced that orange juice (imported from Florida) is a little more expensive there than here. Gas is a bit more too (roughly $3.50 a gallon, if we did our liters/gallons and Rupees/Dollars conversions right). Other things are a lot cheaper. One evening, Asha and I walked over to the corner store in Sudhi's neighborhood and picked up some basics -- a half kilo of potatos, and a quarter kilo each of peppers and onions -- for RS 33. Try to buy that in the States for 75¢

While in Mysore, ashacat and I stopped in a government-run handicrafts emporium; we bought some gifts for folks back home, and I picked up a silk necktie. That tie cost RS 550 ($12.50). In the U.S. it would probably go for around a hundred bucks. We also purchased a pair of silk scarves there for RS 325 apiece. I have no idea what ladies fine silk scarves go for here, but I imagine that it's a lot more than seven dollars and thirty-nine cents.

If you total up all of the expenses for our four-day trip to Mysore (train, hotel, food, hired car, tips, shopping, museum fees, etc) and the cost of the dinner we hosted for thirty family members, it comes out to a bit over 23,000 Rupees -- an absolute steal at $528. Or, in other words, in two weeks we spent the equivalent of two years income for a poor substance farmer in India.

I'm still thinking about that.
Tags: economics, india

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