Monday, September 24, 2007

The Dollar

Many of you probably arent aware to the extent I am how bad the dollar is valued now against the euro. One dollar is worth just slightly over 50 cents in europe! Needless to say, that makes things much more expensive for me before I even wake up in the morning. But then you add to that the high price of living in Venice (easily the most expensive city in Italy), and the task of staying on budget takes every bit of my math degree to attain!

I dont spend alot of time converting from euro to dollar because that would just cause me a constant headaches and fear. I figure if I would pay 5 dollars for it in Phoenix, then I can pay 5 euros for it in Venice....the value of the dollar cant enter into my calculations or I would never buy anything! But occassionally, it is 'fun' to figure out just how much I am paying for something over here. Here are two recent examples:

1. I bought an eyeliner pencil at Target before I moved. Never used the brand before but it said it was made in Italy, so I figured if I liked it, I would have a greater chance of finding it here. I paid 99 cents for it (and to my surprise, its actually a good product!). Over here, that exact same pencil costs 6.95 euro--this is about $10 US dollars!!!! (By the way, I had someone bring me a supply of the pencils from Target).

2. I am not a cook and dont claim to be one, but every year around this time, I bake my pumpkin bread. I hadnt thought of doing it here but was pleased when I saw in a store canned was even Libby's brand from the US. So, I decided to keep my tradition and bake. Today I went to the store to buy the cans. I needed 2 of them. They were priced at 4.80 euros each! So for 9.60 euros (or about $13 US dollars), I am now baking my gold lined pumpkin bread!!!

There are many other examples I can provide--some not so drastic, but in general, everything is more expensive over here. I can only think of 2 items off the top of my head that I can get for cheap here (aside from medical care which is government sponsored so therefore regulated).

1. Gelato! There really isnt a bad time to have gelato. And for 1.70 euro you can get 2 scoops! I have tried most of the flavors already and have my favorites. Hardly a day goes by when I dont indulge in my sweet treat.

2. Breakfast. A typical breakfast here in Venice is a coffee and brioche (croissant). For 2.30 euro you can get a good start to your day. Albeit, the coffee is smaller than a US cup but the flavor and potentcy is far superior, so you dont need as much. And the choices of brioche/pastries are almost endless.

So think of me the next time you grab something on sale and thank the overabundance of competition in America for creating it!

1 comment:

Gil said...

I hope that the down turn in the Dollar doesn't cut your time in Italy too short. I enjoy reading and seeing your adventures in Venice as that is one place that my Wife and I have only visited once.