Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sorry, No Sympathy Here

Alright, for all you folks back home who think you are wowing us with your fuel prices and think you are going to get some sympathy from those of us living in the Southern'll have to look elsewhere for a sympathetic ear, my friends.

Notice the prices above. I know what you're thinking, "well those prices would be great!" But let's keep in mind this is Brasil, so those prices are in Reais per Liter. Don't worry about me making you do some math. Here, I'll do it for you (everything in US dollars with today's exchange rate of R$1.65 per US$1.00):
G Comum (common gasoline): $5.48 per gallon
A Comum (common alcohol - pure ethanol): $3.65 per gallon
The one without a label is diesel: $4.39 per gallon
Hmmm, that gasoline at $3.40 per gallon ain't sounding so bad after all, huh?
And I know your next argument, "oh, but you drive a little car with excellent fuel economy!" Well, the numbers aren't in on our new 1.4 Liter Punto yet, but with the 1.0 Liter Chevrolet Corsa we were renting, we were getting around 11 kilometers/liter when we used gasoline. Converted to standard units, that would be 26 miles/gallon. That sounds alright unless you happened to drive a 2.0 Liter Ford Escort in the United States that always got 27 - 32 miles/gallon (and then you are disappointed in an engine half the size getting worse fuel economy!)
On a side note, the economy is worse using alcohol, but Eric made an extensive spreadsheet to find at what price/fuel economy combination it was more fiscally economical to buy gasoline versus alcohol (yeah, I know, he's a nerd, huh - haha) and we've found that, at the current prices, we are much better off using alcohol.
But anyway, it all boils down to this: You ain't gonna win the who-has-to-pay-more-for-fuel- contest against us. But we'll try to be a gracious winner and not rub it in too much.


Laural said...

I was tring to convert from Reais per Liter to Dollars per gallon in my HEAD. I got it totally wrong. Thanks for doing all the math!

Just a little side note: my husband's mother's family live near Aracaju and own massive amounts of ranch land. One of their crops is sugar cane for alcohol!

Jeremy Sarber said...

Maybe ya'll should thinking about trading in the Punto for a moped.

Amanda said...

Ohhhh....I would LOVE to see y'all tooling around town on a moped!!

About the gas prices, care to start a little wager? Because I just bet that come June here in the good ol' US of A we will sooooo beat y'all with price per gallon!!!

Emily said...

WHAT!?! (insert dramatic tone here) Do you people want us dead? Do you have any idea of what traffic is like in this city? Or more importantly, how erraticaly people drive around here? The road is practically littered with people from mopeds and motorcycles. (Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little on that last part, but seriously, we regularly see some pretty terrible wrecks involving bikes. Eric loved his street legal dirt bike in Burlington, IA, but wouldn't think of driving one here - if only because his wife would kill him for even considering it!)

A funny story about mopeds here though: In the first hour that we were here for the first time back in July, the guy who picked us up from the airport asked what we thought of Brasil. About that time, 2 grown men in business suits pass us on a little moped. Eric's first response was, "Well, you certainly wouldn't see THAT in the US!" Our friend was like, "Why? What do you mean? What's wrong with it?" Eric tried to explain why you wouldn't see two grown men on a moped together, but it didn't seem to really make sense to our friend. I still giggle though when I see two guys on a motorcycle together, and on a moped, well that's still just too much for me! hehehe

Justin said...

You may have us beat on the gas price, but your pedicures are still cheaper than mine! (Kidding, of course...or am I ;)

wondering ego said...

Ermmmmm... what's wrong with two guys on a motorcycle together?? I don't get it either!

Emily said...

wandering ego, I can only explain it as another cultural difference! ;)

American men will rarely even sit on a couch beside each other, and definitely not if it is tight and they might have to (cringe!) touch . . . so, all cozied up straddling a rather small moped, well, that's certainly out of the question for your typical American guy. (If you want to really laugh, watch two guys who are friends go to the movie theater. They will always skip a seat between each other...because otherwise someone might (oh, gasp!) think they were a couple or something!) American men are just really funny about proximity to other men.

wondering ego said...

Wow! And we "latinos" are supposed to be the "machos"?!!! Hahahaha
Nope... here friends share a (even tight) couch, sit side by side at the cinema, ride motorcycles, touch...
However, we don't kiss (as frequently) as argentinians dudes do... thats completely off and considered somewhat gay.

Ray Adkins said...

Eric, Emily,

If I were you I'd start making plans to bring that Fiat Punto back home with will need it...we are at U$4,12 a gallon here in Rhode Island, June 29th!
In case you don't want to bring the Fiat Punto, please bring it and sell it to me ;) , I am really getting over my 8 cilinder Expedition by now...
And regarding men touching or being close to each other in the US...try "getting married" now featuring in CALIFORNIA and MASSACHUSETTS!!!


Ray Adkins