Today a girl was wearing sparkle Toms. If you didn’t know, I own sparkle Toms. I told her that I did and she said “don’t you love how cheap they are?!” Yeah, cheap…that’s what I think when I think of Tom’s. Now we all know that I will spend money on clothes and shoes, but I also know that $60 is not “cheap.” That is one point today where I realized there is a class difference between me and my students.
I heard that clothes were expensive here. That was not a lie. Everything is priced the same as the States. I looked at a Michael Kors purse at the mall. It would have been around $250 in the states (not on sale). It was 199BD here. Discount right? Wrong. With an exchange rate of 1BD=$2.65 That 199BD purse is now roughly $500. So my girl's “cheap” Toms were to her, they were only 20-25BD. That’s the kind of prices their Spring store has (a cheaper shoe store here and in the states.) Another example is Bath and Body Works. I wanted hand soap. Usually it’s 5 for $12 on special, or around $3 a piece when not on a good sale. I got 3 for 5BD. That is 3 for $13 roughly. That stuff adds up fast! So while I will be making more money here, I won’t be buying that much. I know, I know, I joke, I kid…I’m going to buy stuff. Lots of it. I can’t help it when you have a Tory Burch STORE!!!
Now what is cheap here? Service industry. Food is 1-3BD per entrée. The most expensive place we’ve gone so far (and it was really nice) was 5BD for steak, mashed potatoes and vegetables. There is also no formal tipping here and everything delivers. A couple of nights ago I ordered Hummus, Tabbouleh, and a chicken dish (three different things). Yes, that’s a lot of food, but it was lunch the next day too. It cost 4.200BD and I had it delivered to my door. I gave the guy a 5, because we were told to round up for a tip (it’s a local place and I want them to know I am worth delivering to) so for $13 I had two meals of food...delivered. Another girl had fried rice delivered. It was 1.800BD. So for around $5 she had food at her door. Ridiculous.
Taxis are also cheap. 5 of us took one to the local mall which is about 15 minutes away, for 4BD, we thought that was fine, but we were told that was too much by friends! You can also have secret drivers who are not associated with Taxi companies and they are cheaper. It is crazy to me how that works. About half the people I work with have cars and half do not. I would really like to not have one, and if I can get over having to call someone to pick me up, I think I can make. We live in a good part of town to walk to things too, so that will be good!
See, with all of the money I’m saving on food and car I can definitely buy more clothes J