Petrol -- Roughly 10,000d a litre.
Cable TV -- 60,000d per month
ADSL connection from 100,000 per month.
New inner tube after a punture -- maximum 50,000d
Puncture repair -- 5000d
Pair of sports shorts from the market -- 50 Â 80,000d
Electricity -- $40-$60 a month for house running 2/3 aircon units, normal Vietnamese house bill probably $15-$20.
Mobile Phone -- a top up of 100,000 every 3 to 4 weeks.
Bowl of delicious noodle soup over the road -- 10,000 dong.
Mini Hotel -- $7-$12 a night.
20 odd litres of water -- 18,000d.
Orange juice -- 18,000d
Milk -- 18,000d
Beer at Level 23, The Sheraton -- 70,000d
Box ofKelloggs All Bran -- 91,000d
Sunday buffet lunch at 5 star hotel -- $20+
One carton of heat-treated milk costs two times the price of a hearty chicken noodle soup. A box of cereals is the same price as a basic ADSL connection for one month. Two beers on the balcony at the Sheraton would get you a reasonable room in a Pham Ngu Lao mini hotel. One beer would pay your cable TV for a month. My box of All Bran could pay my mobile phone for a few weeks, or two puncture repairs on the street. A buffet lunch on Sunday at a decent hotel pays your electricity for a month, a carton of orange juice costs the same as over 20 litres of mineral water. 30,000d fills up most bikes (3 litres), the same price as a small toblerone from the supermarket.
This lot costs a total of about 130,000d, equal to a full tank of petrol, a month of cable TV, your dinner, and some change.
Ouch! That's a kilo of apples, a kilo of pears, two grapefruits, a pineapple, a bunch of bananas and a massive bag of tomatoes from the market. Or two pairs of fake Nike shorts.