Friday, February 14, 2014

Livin' La Vida Broke

I figure I need to get this blog post out before my bank account has something more than $4 in it (thanks mom!) so I wanted to dedicate this post to livin' the broke life in Dushanbe (which has been my last week or so).

1) Mumkin ast? (Is it possible) This is what you will find yourself asking while simultaneously apologizing as you hand your poor marshrutka driver thirty 10-diram (think cents) coins. 

2) Take your bubblegum and put it where... err. Common practice in Tajik stores (and I mean little family shops, medium sized stores, and chain supermarkets) is to give bubblegum sticks or teabags as change. So for example if  my bill is 4 somoni and 70 diram, giving a 5 somoni bill will result in a stuck of bubblegum for change. Needless to say, I've had to pester the cashiers at a few stores for my dirams instead of bubblegum.

3) Hey bacha, diram te! (Hey kid, give me my diram!) As previously discussed, all buses in Dushanbe are equipped with a small Tajik boy (#8 in the 'Getting Around...' section). The price for buses is technically 60 diram, but everyone pays 1 somoni usually. You can usually get your 40 diram from the bus-bacha if you tell him to give it you though.
4) So, bread definitely covers all of the categories in the food pyramid right? One large loaf of bread can last you for two and a half dinners and it is only 4 somoni!

5) The Russian Cafe is your best friend. Located near the place where I used to study, the Russian cafe offers you two fantastic things. A bazillion Tajiks who do not know how to form a line (I successfully told off a young student who tried to cut me yesterday to be with his friends, by the way) and a plate full of rice, french fries and some mysterious (yet tasty) sauce for only 4 somoni. Lunch = win!

6) So you have frequent flier discounts, right? "Please Mr. Works-out-too-much-and-has-no-neck bouncer at People's Club, I'm here so often! Let me skip the cover just this one time..." but seriously, nice guy.

7) So you won't sell me just one roll of the nice stuff? I don't want to have to buy the individual rolls because they look (and feel) like this, but if you won't let me take just one roll of the nicer stuff...

8) Well Mr. Repairman, you see... I would like you to fix my toilet, but right now it's just not in the funds. I'll keep old-school flushing it. (But actually check out that link. How absurdly detailed is that? Haha)

And that's all for now.

P.S. Go Team USA!