I have been back in Canada for a little over a month and am starting to get caught up. I will try to post periodically with more information from this past trip, so check back often.
I was going through my pictures and found several where I had taken pictures of products in a store in Chausy to do some price comparisons. To put things into perspective; the average Canadian earns approximately $38,000 per year, in Belarus it is approximately $4,200 per year and of course in the Chausy region it is far less than this Countrywide average.
There are only a few stores in Chausy and all of them are quite small and have extremely limited choices. I took the following pictures in the main “department” store in Chausy. This is a look down one of the aisles:
Here is some toothpaste. The Sensodyne is priced at 8,030 rubles which equals $3.76 Canadian, the cheaper ones get down to about $3.35:
I went into the hardware and electronics department and found the following:
Here is a blender for $52:
A TV (somewhere in the 19 – 21 inch range) for $592:
If you want a DVD Player to go with that you will pay $93:
And here is a small microwave that can be yours for only $137:
I know you are thinking that maybe I picked out the most expensive of each item … well you would be right … because they were also the ONLY item of each of these electrical appliances in the entire store! Imagine if you were making $4,200 per year (or a lot less if you lived in Chausy) how long it would take to save up for one of these luxuries?
On the other hand cigarettes are cheap, anywhere from $0.40 – $0.50 per pack:
Of course the government subsidizes bread ($0.35 per loaf) and Vodka (you can pick up a bottle for $3.00) so at least you will be able to afford to eat and drink!