I have a friend who is carrying on an online relationship with someone in, of all places, Romania. She is about to send him $50 via Western Union.
What does $50 buy in Romania? I’m having difficulty even converting it to Romanian currency, but even if I could do that, I wouldn’t be any closer to understanding the real value of $50 in Romania. How many Big Macs will that buy? How many disposable diapers? How much liquor, or rent, or clothing, or prostitutes?
According to some figures I found, the average monthly wages in Romania are in the 80-120 US $ range. So, it could give you an idea. Your friend is sending something like the equivalent of two weeks salary.
If I remember, I’ll ask my co-worker tomorrow. He come’s from Romamia, you know. I call him Vlad. It annoy’s him for some reason. Go fugure.
I’ll ask him about the cheeseburger thing. That put’s in better perspective than just the exchange rate.
Recalling as best I can from conversations with my Romanian girlfriend, and noting that she was last in the country about 15 months ago, with considerable inflation and economic turmoil since then:
Salary for “most jobs” is about $150-200 per month; with the bad inflation of late, that would agree with what clairobscur found. People working tech jobs for foreign companies can make closer to $800/month.
A regular loaf of bread costs about 15 cents. Some produce items, like bananas, are more actually more expensive than they are here, due to the cost of importing.
A typical Romanian car would cost about $2-3000, which is, she notes, rather out of step with salaries.
A train ticket from Bucharest to Constanta (about 150 miles) is about $10.
An interesting note re: fast food; going to a foreign fast food place like McDonald’s is evidently something of a treat for the typical college student, though I don’t remember being told any specific prices.
Thanks, everybody; I’ll pass this along.
Regarding the price of a Big Mac; I was in Bucharest in 1999. I forget what number of Lei (their currency) it cost, but in converted $US a Big Mac Meal was about $0.90. Plus they had something like 5% inflation per month.
The trouble with using a hamburger as a standard is that in poorer countries fast food restaraunts aren’t cheap, they are expensive, and people eat there for the experience, or the make a statement, not because it’s cheap. Most of the time local food is much much cheaper. Even in places like Japan you’re going to pay quite a lot for a hamburger, proportionally much more than you would here. But you could get a bowl of noodles very cheaply.
I used always the standard beer as a measurement, in my travels. When I was in Romania in 1995, the beer was 35 to 40 cents a bottle, and very tasty too. I have no idea what it is now.
I was in Constanta on the Black Sea Coast, though in the off season, unfortunately.
finaly, a thread about Romania…
I was born in Romania, and my father just came back from a short trip there last week.
So, 50$, american would be around 1.5 million lei (I might be wrong though because I’m used to CAD)
anyhow, I can’t give very precise awnser but that $50 can buy a lot of locally produced stuff (i.e. food, clothing, services, etc) but most imported things are usually as expensive as everywhere else.
I can site an example: for around 70$ CAD (so arnoudn 45.5 USD) my father bought two hats, two training pants, two short pants, two jerzeys and two training coates (warm up coats) all with the colors of the national football team.
Anyhow, it won’t buy you a house but it’s interesting money, I guess you could translate that into the value of $300-400 here.