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.