Sunday, December 20, 2015

Money doesn't grow on trees . . . .

Or maybe it does!
Let's just call this a money tree.  Most local bars on West Bay Beach seem to have one, whether the Honduran lempiras are stapled to the ceiling, a post, or stuck to a palm trunk.
I know it's puzzling why people would deface a $10 or a $20 bill, but when you realize the Honduran $10 is only worth around 45 cents USD, then you get it.  So that makes the Honduran $20 bill worth around 90 cents, but just round it up to a dollar.
I've often made fun of travelers to Isla Mujeres who just can't grasp the peso, so I'm getting my comeuppance here in Honduras.  I realize it's easy for me in Mexico because we always use pesos when we're on the island except for lodging where the price is often based on the US dollar.  Here on Roatan, it's suggested to bring a stash of US dollars because restaurant tabs and a lot of shops are priced in USD.
I met my nemesis in the grocery store right off the plane.  I walked around with my money conversion app on my cellphone gasping at the prices.  Almost $8 USD for cream cheese?  Skip it.  $8 USD for that lovely loaf of pumpernickel bread?  Gotta have it, so bite the bullet.  We had the same experience when we traveled to Ambergris Caye, Belize a few years ago, so I was expecting it.
We were in a local deli that also has some grocery items yesterday and Craig pointed out a small bag of red licorice.  (The Australian type.)  Yum!  I wanted it!  195 lempiras.  The exact conversion on that would be $8.74 USD.  Stores and restaurants here like to round the conversion to about 20 lempiras to one USD, so that small bag of licorice would be almost 10 USD.  The converter in my head said no way in hell I'm paying $10 USD for a tiny bag of licorice.
Hmmmmmm.  Maybe I'll tell Craig that's what I want for Christmas!


Emily said...

Although there was no conversion since they use USD, we experienced much the same sticker shock in the Abacos, Bahamas when visiting this past May. Since it was our 30th anniversary, we tended to splurge more than we would have normally, so a $10 small cocktail or $9 for fresh lettuce soon became the norm, and if we didn't spend $100 on a simple seafood dinner on the beach, we felt like we got a real steal. Although I adored the Abacos, the prices made me appreciate Mexico even more! We lived in Ambergris Caye for 18 months, and that was a bargain compared to the Abacos.

Life's a Beach! said...

We noticed here and on Ambergris Caye that it's mainly the gringo imported stuff that's outrageous. Fruit and vegetables are affordable at the little stands, and restaurant food is about the same as the U.S. Compared to the rest of the Caribbean, I'm sure this is a real bargain! Taxi prices remind me of Ambergris Caye, but with the steep hills, it's pretty impossible to just walk everywhere. The Bahamas? Ouch!

Laurie Matherne said...

You are making me homesick for Honduras. Stop that! I do love your money tree.