30 June 2007

Can I Get a Price Check, Bitte?

Some things here are amazingly cheap, like gelato. Anywhere you go eine scoop is € .70. That is soo fair. And it's good, which means I can afford to eat it coming and going nearly everywhere I am heading. And, since I get it in a cone I am eating the container, which is good for the environment (I love the earth), and saves me that problem I discussed earlier of figuring out which of the 11 trash bins to put it in. But I digress (again, I know. I love tangents, too). Other things are so expensive you feel like someone has taken your brain or ability to read, and then you have the intense desire to immediately check with someone close by if you haven't turned into Sybil. Perhaps this is some clever trick someone has come up with to make us all chatty with one another in the retail shops (Germans don't chit-chat you see), as a way of making sure each other hasn't lost one's mind, and in the course of doing this, you have also made a friend. For instance, a plain vinyl shower curtain liner. In the states, this would cost a few bucks tops. After all it is just plastic. Nothing fancy or crafty about it, right. Here, I kid you not it ranged from €8,00 to €39,99. Just for friggin vinyl. Plastic people!! Actually, the more, shall we say, fashionably gauche it looked, the more expensive it was (this is where the yard gnome was invented after all). I managed to find a ratty one for €8,00 that will last us until we drive all the way out to Ikea (it is probably made of dissolvable material, but I am still bad with German, so I won't know till I take a shower). Just as a point of reference, it was actually cheaper to buy a brand new toilet bowl for €34,99. An ironing board? Try €50. Yeah, that thing that my mother always tried to get me to use. If I knew it was going to be as expensive as a Hummer, I would have kept the crappy one we had in the states and brought it here, but I just assumed that an ironing board was the universally cheap thing. So, if you're looking to invest to stave yourself off from the declining value of the dollar, I have two pieces of advice for you: invest in German vinyl shower curtains and ironing boards. You will get rich quick, my friends. These people iron like mad. (Ok, so I iron like mad, but whatever.)

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