Or maybe a better title would be: 10 things that are way more expensive than they should be, and we just can't bring ourselves to pay that much. (Prices are in US dollars with today's exchange rate of (ugh!) 1.68 Brasilian Reais to 1 US dollar.)
1. Flour Tortillas: In the rare supermarket where you can actually find tortillas, they run you $10.78 for a pack of 8 soft taco size tortillas. On the up side, I have just about mastered homemade flour tortillas, but the next time my flight gets rerouted through Mexico I must buy a tortilla press. It is a slow process when you have to roll each one out by hand!
2. A Dishwasher: I swore long, long ago that I would never, ever, under any circumstances live without a dishwasher. Of course, that was before I knew I was moving to Brasil and before I knew that a USA comparable dishwasher costs $1,487. (And do you have any idea how many dishes I dirty preparing just one meal? It's quite ridiculous actually...especially when I am making my own salsa, tortillas, taco seasoning, etc.)
3. Good Peanut Butter: Good ol' JIF or Peter Pan is rarely available here, but when it is you are going to pay over $13 for a 12 ounce jar of it. There is one cheaper domestic brand of peanut butter, but it is really a shame to even call it such. It's not so great. I debated getting all pioneer like and making my own peanut butter, but then I'd have to find raw peanuts which are also not so readily available.
4. Syrup: We have this really awesome Professional Belgium Waffle Maker we got for our wedding. We love making waffles for breakfast on the weekends. We hate that we don't have syrup to put on them. A small bottle of maple syrup is going to run you $20.80. (Granted, it is the real stuff and not that sugary imitation crap my husband loves, but still!)
5. A Ford Fusion: A Ford Fusion starts out at $49,773. Compare that to the starting price of $18,010 in the USA! Yes, we will be sticking with our little Fiat Punto (which BTW, we just found out is scheduled to be delivered from the factory on March 18!)
6. Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup: Are you ready for this? A can of condensed cream of mushroom soup costs $5.35. And that's not those big cans either, just the little normal ones. Do you know how many of my casseroles (I am, after all, a good Southern girl, and so you know I gotta have a gazillion casseroles in my arsenal!) include cream of mushroom soup as an ingredient?
7. M&M's: This one is really painful for a girl who loves her chocolate. I saw a small bag (like they would have enticing you in the checkout line in the US) for $4.17.
8. Decent Sheets: Seriously, thank goodness I brought the snazzy new sheet sets I got as wedding gifts. You can find inexpensive sheets here, but they must have a thread count of like 25 or something. They look more like cheesecloth than bedsheets, and I am not exaggerating. I came across decent sheets with a thread count of 250, so nothing real special, but a queen set was going to run me $119. I am fine with paying more for good sheets...but 250 t.c. doesn't qualify as good!
9. Nike's: On our very first flight down here, there was a big group of teenagers returning from a trip to the US. We immediately noticed that every single kid was wearing a brand new pair of Nike's. Once we got here, we realized why. So before moving here, I bought a pair of Nike running shoes in Iowa on sale for $39.99. The same pair of shoes here cost $154.00. (Of course there is that guy on the corner that always has Nike's for sale at a great price on the roof of his parked car...but Eric has a misfortune story of getting this wonderful deal on a pair of Nike basketball shoes when he was down in Mexico as a kid. About his fourth basketball practice back in the US, the Nike "check" fell off as he was running down the court. He thought would just ignore the lost article, but then someone picked it up off the court floor and said, "um, I think this came off your shoe." I can only imagine how much he got picked on for that one as a 13 year old!)
10. Anything made from cheap plastic: Think of the cheap junk you can buy at the Dollar Tree in the US: small plastic trash cans, a plastic mixing bowl, a plastic pitcher. Well, here you're going to pay a heck of a lot more than $1 and usually you are better off financially to buy glass. Much, much cheaper than anything plastic!
Now, granted, we can also go out and stuff ourselves on a nice big filet mignon supper complete with sides and a couple beverages each and pay $23 total. Or, we can both eat lunch at a cheap buffet for total of $4.90. Or, I can come home from the fruit market loaded down with all the bags of fresh fruits and vegetables that I can possibly carry the two blocks back home for less than $12. So I am not totally complaining here, just making a few observations. (Well, I am complaining about the dishwasher, but other than that...)