Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reverse Culture Shock #4

Without a doubt the biggest reverse culture shock there is for me, is money. I find that I'm constantly doing currency conversions in my and realizing how much more expensive things are in America compared to Vietnam. The result of this has been that I'm feeling extremely cheap these days.

Here's a few simple conversions I've done recently:

1. I paid $10 for breakfast at my local diner in New Jersey. For that same $10 I could have eaten 40 breakfasts at my local market in Vietnam.

2. In Pittsburgh we paid $150 a night for a hotel room. That is two weeks rent for me in Vietnam or FOUR MONTHS rent for Huyen.

3. Two weeks ago my friends wanted to rent a car for the weekend which would have cost almost $400. $400 is more than how much it cost to rent my motorbike for THE YEAR!

4. At the gas pump recently, it cost $35 to fill up the car. That is roughly three months worth of gas for my motorbike in Vietnam.

5. Yesterday I met my friend Lisa for a drink and two beers cost us $8. That is the same as 47 beers at my local bia hoi. 47 beers!!!!!

Like the picture above, I feel like I'm flushing money down the toilet. That said, I still always tip 20%...which is infinitely more than you ever tip in Vietnam since you don't tip there!