To Market, To Market

While ‘market’ back home seems to imply a vast variety of veggies and fresh fruits, that’s not exactly how it works here. Here’s a pile of dirty carrots, there’s a pile of squashed tomatoes. Need nail polish? Got it. How about some hot pants? Lacey bra? See through shirt?

Yes, even though Cameroon is a traditional country with generally more conservative dress attire, you can still manage to skank it up with little to no effort.

I figure I’d post a list of some things I buy on a regular basis, so you can get a feel of how much it costs to live in a country like Cameroon. Keep in mind the CFA is about 500 to 1 with the dollar.

Tomatoes (small pile) – 200 CFA or about 50 cents
Rice (1 kilo) – 300 CFA or 50 cents
Bananas ( a crapton) – 100 CFA or 25 cents
Potatoes (5 small) – 500 CFA or 1 dollar
Kotmanjo/Basil (small bushel) – 100 CFA or 25 cents
Motorcycle ride from one end of town to the other – 100 CFA or 20 cents Pineapple (small) – 300 CFA or 50 cents
Pasta (medium) – 500 CFA or 1 dollar
Internet for one month—10,000CFA or 20 dollars
Phone call to US for 1 minute – 300 CFA or 50 cents
Ride to Kumba, my banking town—3500 CFA or 7 dollars
Meal at Classy Burger, my favorite American place – 1000 CFA or 2 dollars Beer (very large) – 500 CFA or 1 dollar
Meat on a stick – 100 CFA or 25 cents
Pagne (6 meters) – 6000 CFA or 12 dollars
Puppy – 5000 CFA or 10 dollars
Flip flops (destroyed by above) – 500 CFA or 1 dollar
Price to receive a package (large) — 2500 or 5 dollars

As you can see, living here is not too expensive, though I’ve already seen my mindset change with regards to spending. I used to think in terms of American dollars and everything was on sale all the time! Now I think more like a Cameroonian, and every 50 CFA piece counts.


3 thoughts on “To Market, To Market

  1. I’m trying to think of meals that you like that are combinations of those ingredients and all I keep coming back to is Classy Burger. And what kind of meat is on that stick?

    • Well, I can tell you that tonight I had a guacamole sandwich. I also make bruchetta pretty often, regular ol’ spaghetti, omelet sandwiches, pineapple fried rice and alfredo. Classy Burger is a pretty great place… they have fried chicken! Not that I eat it, but they’ve got it! They also have real salads with lettuce and everything!

      No telling what the hell’s on that stick. I don’t eat them. It could very likely be rat.

  2. wow, i si say you don de kameroonisze molo molo.
    maybe you fit try som other local vegies like : okro (okro/egussi soup with fresh fish) and garri, fried sweet bitter leaf with fufu, or njama njama with fufu corn, another one na ekwang with bitter leaf.
    life for village cheap but na for stay de hard.
    Ashia o

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