Posts Tagged With: casino

[D+147] – Working on a Sunday Afternoon with Coke

As I said in my post yesterday, I have recently started working on my internship report, which represents a good amount of work, although it is not so hard.

I bought some Coke earlier in the afternoon, and as you can see normal-sized Coke bottles are 65 cl ones (~22 oz), which is huuuge for us, Frenchies. I don’t know if the size in the USA is similar, so I hope some of you will share their knowledge about Coke bottle sizes by leaving a comment on this post !!

I have to say that, apart from the Casino, you can’t buy bottles in Poite-Noire. Well, I assume some places do sell them, but it’s rare. Actually, bottles are recycled. For instance, I brought 4 empty bottles to a restaurant I know and they gave me 4 Coke bottles bottles instead, for 2400 XAF. Bottles are interchangeable, which means that you can give some beer bottles and buy Coke.

As the bottles are recycled, you often find bottles which seem to be kind of old, often with oldish worn labels. One may think he’s drinking Nuka Cola, hopefully not the Quantum one… (I know this is a video-game reference but I know some people know what I’m talking about).

Keep in touch for more news soon, and don’t forget to leave a comment to tell the price and the size of Coke bottles in your country… !

Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

[D+118] – Of the Price of Things (or : The Fish Story)

I went to the market this morning, for the third time since I have arrived in Congo. The more I buy stuffs over there, the more I realize how overpriced stuffs are in “expat shops”. I had decided to wait a bit before talking about money topics, but I’ve been living here for four months now and I think I have a decent overview of the price of Food. Here you go.

First, since I am lazy to convert each price in this article to their equivalent in Euros/US Dollars/Canadian Dollars/Yens/Whatever here is a little table giving you an idea of the rate between the “Francs CFA” (XAF – the Congolese Money), the Euros and the US Dollars (EUR 1 = USD 1.29).

XAF 50 100 655 1000 2000 5000 10000 20000
EUR 0,08 0,15 1,00 1,52 3,05 7,62 15,24 30,49
USD 0,10 0,20 1,29 1,97 3,93 9,83 19,67 39,33

There are many little shops in the town, but there are three main possibilities if you want to buy some food for your lunch :

  • Casino, which is a French supermarket brand ;
  • Park’n Shop, which is a bit similar to Casino but with a lower quality and higher prices (seriously, everyone tells you that Park’n Shop is cheaper but that’s definitely wrong) ;
  • The local market, where prices are much cheaper but where all the aliments are on wooden tables or even put on a cloth on the ground.

One may think : ” well let’s go the French supermarket !”

Good and bad idea. Good, because the quality is supposedly okay (I’m saying supposedly because it’s not always true). Bad, because everything is overpriced at a point you can’t imagine. People are buying Grapes at 10€ per kilogram (~$13) !! The worse quality products in the shop exceed the price of similar average-quality products in France. It’s pure non-sense, really. Of course, the petroleum industry brings a lot of money, but do I really have to buy things at a price that does not correspond to what I’m buying  ? Tomatoes at 5€ per kilo ? Or Nutella at 10€ for one jar ? Prices here do not mean anything ; the only “cheap” thing in my opinion is that you can buy a middle-sized roasted chicken for 3000 XAF (check the table above I said!).

After some time eating pasta and low-quality beef steaks, you end up going to the market. What I am usually planning to do is to buy vegetables at the market, and meat (well, steaks, because the rest is expensive) at the Casino. Indeed, seeing meat pieces on tables without any refrigerating system is rather revolting (you don’t believe me ? come check the smell around the market – that’s a fact, not a real negative feeling of course), but this time I thought I’d give it a try.

And I bought some (supposedly rather fresh) fishes…

Actually I had asked for two of them, but the price I had been told was for two “portions”. Anyways. But do you know how much I paid for these fishes ?

No ?

Okay the price at the Casino must be around 7000 XAF per kilogram for these fishes. Obviously I’ve got more than 1 kg of fish here. And I paid 400 XAF for these 9 fishes. I swear this is true. I haven’t tasted them so maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you “Bah, the fish story shall end here”, but they looked fresh especially since there was no flies around (there are PLENTY of flies in the market). By the way,

Along with that, I bought some Onions for 250 XAF, a Papaya and 13 bananas for 2000 XAF (at the Casino it would have been at least 10000 XAF I assume) and a of handful of strong red-to-green hot pepper for 50 XAF.

Total price : 2700 XAF.

On the way back, I stopped at the Casino because I still had to grab a few stuffs that I prefer buying there. I am not going to insist on the price differences, because they are obvious. Just check the prices on the picture.

What do you think ? Just leave a comment on this post to share your point of view…

Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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