Work Abroad but earn in USD

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More on Currencies

After a recent trip to China, the topic of currencies and exchange remains present in my mind. I thought I was living in the country where you get the best bang for your buck (Argentina). But it turns out that your dollars and euros will go MUCH farther in China than in Argentina. There are of course lifestyle tradeoffs (like no good Argentine wine) but that is another topic... The peso to dollar rate has dropped to 3.02 to 1 today according to yahoo finance. Accordingly, the Yuan (or Riminbi) to the dollar is at about 6.8 to 1. So what can you buy in each place? In China: Chinese food for 4 people at a neighborhood restaurant for 10 dollars TOTAL, knock-off brand name clothing and accessories for 10% of what they cost in the US, subway rides for 60 US cents. In Argentina: Great steak dinner with wine at a neighborhood restaurant for 12-15 dollars per person, leather goods for 50% of what they cost in the US, subway rides for 30 US cents. There are other tradeoffs of course like ridiculous pollution, information censorship and the hardest language in the world to learn. But things in China have changed immensely from when I was there the last time in 1994. Back then it was a 3rd world country with very few stop lights, animals in streets and extreme disorganization. Now it rivals the US in its modernity. And compared to Argentina, its like night and day. Suffice it to say, I would have a very hard time living in China even if I spoke the language. A wonderful place to shop and see history, though.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting Blog... Good job!

7/15/2008 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger 狡兔三窟 said...

Well, as being Chinese borned in Beijing, I think you probably happened to be in the one of the cheapest neighbourhood restaurants there. Cost per person in ordinary restaurants range from 7 USD to 20 USD, depends on the type of food you have. In luxurious places price can easily go up to 50USD per person.

Compare with the situation of pesos, the rate of RMB to USD dropped from 8.3:1 in 2006 to 6.8:1 in 2008, and the is still countinously rising against USD nowadays. Unlike Argentina, China have benefited a lot from the rate of currency and is trying hard to keep the rate low.

Hope it helps.

11/10/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not been to China but I know Argentina. The restaurant comparison is probably not a fair one. An Aunt of mine recently went to China and visited a supermarket. She says that she simply could not spend her Yuans it was so cheap. She was taken there by a chinese girl who was a girlfriend of an expat whom she had met at the hotel.

2/17/2009 10:11:00 AM  

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