Travel website Lonely Planet recently asked people on their Facebook page to tell them what the local equivalent of $1 American would buy in their corner of the world. The responses were, literally and figuratively, all over the map. While some praised the versatility of their currency, others took the opportunity to complain about taxes. And while some suggestions were intended to help a casual tourist, others were clearly meant to confuse and/or terrify outsiders (or at least give them alcohol poisoning).
Read on to discover what you can buy for a dollar in eleven different countries!
According to Niraj, in Nepal, you can get ten momos: a kind of filled, steamed dumpling that usually has meat, veggies, cheese or khoa (milk solids mixed with sugar) inside. You’ll also have change left over for 250 ml of coke, which to me sounds like a pretty good meal. (104.11 Nepalese Rupee).
Lynn of Vietnam gives us a lot to work with: she says you can buy a hat, a DVD, three pairs of inexpensive sandals, five noodle packs or a meal in some (inexpensive) food courts. (22725.00 Vietnamese Dong).
Sheila of Chiang Mai, Thailand, is pretty optimistic about your chances of getting a good street meal for under 1 USD, and she says that she gets “a cooked-to-order vegetarian lunch delivered to my office every day for that price.” But how much will it cost to allay my seething jealousy? (฿ 331.79 THB)
Michael tells us that in Paris, a dollar will buy you a little less than half of a Starbucks espresso. That’s rough, Michael (0.85 Euros).
In India, Tarun suggests getting a thali (a south Indian mixed platter that can be made with several different foods, much like dim sum), and his recommendation is rasam, sambhar, and curd. Priyanka, on the other hand, suggests getting boiled rice, dal, veggies, pickles, and chutney. (65.19 Indian Rupees).
Kin says that in Australia, you can get a “scratchy” (lottery ticket) for one US dollar (1.28 Australian Dollar). In the UK, Alex says that you can pick up “a small portion of fries from Maccy D’s” (0.76 British Pound). In neither place will any amount of money buy you knowledge of the complex, incomprehensible local slang.
Robert of Middle Italy says that you can buy “a liter of cheap wine” and “just about one tablet of Ibuprofen” for the resulting hangover (0.85 Euro). Dilyan, in Vienna, Austria, says the same cash would buy you a “freshly baked Kornspitz,” or a small bread roll, and recommends taking the roll to the Museum of Applied Art (famous worldwide as the first museum to purchase an artwork using bitcoins, in 2015), as it’s free on Saturdays. Well, I know where I’m going on my weekend!
Aly of Cairo, Egypt recommends buying a koshary plate, a standard Egyptian dish that includes rice, lentils, pasta, and onions, covered in tomato sauce. But they admit that, depending on which part of Cairo you visit, you might only be able to buy a doughnut. I guess tourist neighborhoods are the same everywhere (1 USD = 17.65 Egyptian Pounds).
Ashley of Canada, ever the optimist, claims that one American dollar will buy you nothing. As a Canadian, I have to say that she’s wrong: 1 USD will buy you a Timmies doughnut, accompanied by a gang of Canadians who are united only by their passionate, inordinate love for what’s essentially a glorified fast food chain. (1.27 Canadian Dollars)