While it’s obvious that most things are cheaper over here, I thought I’d share some examples of just how different prices are.
mashdabwada (basically little doughnuts) 5 Malawi Kwacha
bunch of bananas for MK20.
plate full of chips (French fries) MK30
minibus to Blantyre MK550
night in a cheap hostel MK300
$1 = MK146 right now so the little doughnuts I buy as snacks cost about 3 cents each.
Many things cost as little as MK5 but the bills go all the way up to MK500, so getting change is always a problem. The fact that the bills only go up to MK500 is also a problem since it means you need to carry gangster rolls of cash if you need a lot of money for something. (Not exactly Zimbabwe, but it’s still a hassle)
What’s terrible is that after you’ve been over here long enough you get used to Malawian prices. I sometimes find myself guffawing at something that’s MK20 and refusing to buy it because it’s too expensive. I’m seriously starting to wonder how I’m going to survive in NYC again if I think 14cents is too expensive for a snack.
More pictures went up again today on my picasa site; I couldn't get them all up yesterday.