Upsetting the “authorities”

Followed

I haven’t done as much touristy things this trip for several reasons. First, I have spent a lot of time working. Second, I have spent a lot of time meeting people. Third, I want to do a lot of this stuff—like go up to the mountains—with S.  Fourth, because I want to use this time to plan our move.  What do we need? What can we buy here? What should I worry about? These questions are ones that I normally don’t think about when traveling.

When we move, we may try and bring some food stuffs that will help our kitchen taste like home.  I am all for trying local cuisine and sampling the local restaurants; however, there are nights when I simply crave a familiar taste.  I know we will be able to ship stuff and people have said that we can buy almost anything here— but I have also heard that the city was very expensive.

I decided to go out and investigate.  I found a trusty pen and pad of paper and headed out. I went to Gros, one of the many supermarkets in the area.  I have heard that they are less expensive than Interfood and Ramstore, but their selection is not as good.

As I wandered through the store, trying to decipher what items were and writing down prices, I found myself being followed.  One guard seemed to have decided that writing in a supermarket was a very suspicious activity. Pretty soon there was a second. And a third.

I continued writing and looking.

After a while, they finally decided to confront me. A woman stepped forward and said, in Russian, something that I can only assume meant: “What the hell are you doing writing in MY store??”  Not wanting to try to have a conversation with three guards in broken Russian, I replied in my worst accent: “ne panemayu”.

They returned to discussing what to do about me. I returned to writing down prices. In the end, it was a standoff. They won, I left. I won, I had a list.  Here it is:

Item

Price in Tenge

Price in dollars (as of 10/20/09)

Exchange rate 150 tg to 1 USD

Juice (1 liter)

195-500

$1.30-$3.33

Olive Oil (750ml)

1400

$9.33

Green Olives (can)

200-300

$1.33-$2.00

Black Olives (can)

190-300

$1.27-$2.00

Vinegar (250ml)

374

$2.49

Tartar sauce (275ml)

386

$2.57

Jar whole pepper

369

$2.46

1 lint roller

603

$4.02

O.B. tampon (box of 32)

738

$4.92

Kotex (box of 12)

309

$2.06

Nivea Body cream (250ml)

741

$4.94

Kleenex x 4 toilet paper

550

$3.67

Pedigree 2 kilos

974

$6.49

Pringles large

485

$3.23

Wine

672-2000

$4.48-13.33

Cricova champagne

1446-635

$4.23-$9.64

Martini (100cl)

2030

$13.53

Kailua (70cl)

4350

$29.00

Bombay Gin (100cl)

4712

$31.41

Sauza Tequila (70cl)

4439

$29.59

Captain Morgan Rum (75cl)

2852

$19.01

Bacardi Oro (75cl)

3230

$21.53

Leffe (330ml)

383

$2.55

Hoegaarden (50ml)

239

$1.59

Lowenbrau

173

$1.15

Jardin Supremo Coffee med bag

533

$3.55

One comment

  1. I think it is a code. My neice is a math phd and i shal give it to her to decipher. of course, her field is sort of like bubble theory so who know what whse might come up with. Maybe she could give it to her daughter’s 4th grade math club to work on?

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