Thirty-five cents. It seems like such a meager amount when I'm in Canada. Perhaps it can buy a cookie, a few candies, or in my city, a call on a payphone. For most living in "Westernized" countries, this meager amount is barely worth keeping in your pocket due to the massive increase in the cost of living over the last few decades. When the basics cost so much, thirty-five cents doesn't seem like a lot.
In Ecuador, a public bus cost a quarter. In Vietnam it's even cheaper at twenty cents a ride. In China I dined on Baozi (steamed buns which are stuffed with different fillings) that set me back about fifteen cents each. A few of those made an excellent breakfast. In Ghana, I bought fried plantain chips for a dime, and in Korea where I used to live, my favourite snack of pastry filled with red beans cost me thirty cents every morning.
Traveling around the world has definitely put the value of thirty-five cents into perspective. For us in North America we can buy so little, but in countries that are developing, your money can go far and not just for the little things.
Thirty-five cents can make a huge difference for many. I've seen it happen, and it often has a very positive domino effect.
Thirty-five cents can buy a few eggs which can provide protien and vitamin A for a young child. It can buy oral-rehydration salts to help a child who is sick, or a few tablets to lower a fever. Depending on the country, it can pay for a child to be vaccinated against disease or help educate a new mother on how to take care of her baby.
It can pay for pencils and a notebook or a pair of flip-flops so a child can go to school. It can buy clean water, or a toothbrush or soap.
It's the chance to catch a bus when the roads are dark and dangerous, or a needle and thread to patch your clothing.
Thirty-five cents can buy so many things around the world, the list is long and often covers many of life's necesities.
Those above are just a few.
Traveling has indeed changed the way I see money, and has made me grateful for whatever sale I can get : )
Here are a few sites that you might want to take a look at if you're interested in what one dollar can buy, and on a larger scale, what five dollars can buy.
Until next time,