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From: Sandy Lubkin
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 1997 15:46:46 +0000
Subject: Prices in Moscow

Someone asked me about prices here, so when I went shopping, I took a few notes. Prices in general (at least for food items, I'm not quite ready to try asking for a specific size of clothing ;) aren't too different from what I paid in California. Some are higher; some are lower.

We pay US$900 per month rent, for which we get a fully furnished one bedroom apartment in a reasonably nice section of town. (We have taken walks at night, with no concerns.) Utilities are included with the exception of long-distance calls.

ITEM		Roubles/amount		US$/amount
Onions		5,000/kg		0.39/lb
Potatoes	14,700/2.5kg		2.30/5lb
Garlic		5,000/each		0.86/each
Nutello		14,500/lg jar		2.50/lg jar
Eggs		5,000/10		1.03/dozen
Milk		5,000/liter		0.86/quart (about)
Sugar		7,000/kg		0.54/lb
Juice (asst)	6,000/liter		1.03/quart
		16,000/liter		2.75/quart
Black Caviar	140,000/100 grams	24.13/100 grams
Sun Maid Raisins
		9,300/250 grams		2.91/half lb (about)
Butter		6,100/250 grams		1.91/half lb
Imported French
  Butter	13,400/250 grams	4.20/half lb
Black Pepper	9,000/42 grams		1.55/42 grams (spice bottle)
Tabasco Sauce	15,800/60ml		2.72/60ml
Bread (asst)	4,500/loaf		0.77/loaf
		2,000/loaf		0.34/loaf
Bananas		5,900/kg		0.46/lb
Oranges		8,000/kg		0.62/lb
Tomatoes	11,500/kg		0.90/lb
Tea Leaves	10,000/250 grams	3.13/quarter lb (about)
Toilet Paper	1,500/roll		0.25/roll
Pilsbury Blini
  Mix		29,500/cake mix box	5.08/cake mix box
Metro (subway)
  Token		1,500/each		0.25/each

Let's see... Prices vary widely. Some of these prices are from a grocery store (producti) and some are from the open-air market (yarmarkt), which is where we do most of our shopping. The produce tends to be fresher, and the prices better. Quality also varies widely, just like supermarkets back home.

There also are "supermarkets" here, for western visitors. They're a lot like a grocery store (I'll explain "producti" another time), and usually accept payment in US dollars rather than roubles. We went into one today, looking for a couple things we'd had trouble finding elsewhere. We didn't buy anything - the prices were outlandish... The one that stuck with me was a turkey (16-20lb, standard Thanksgiving turkey that stores give away in America around the holidays) costing $65.80.

One other thing: Blini are Russian crepes, usually served with caviar. It just tickled my funny-bone to see such a familiar brand of such an unfamiliar product. One of these days I'm going to buy a box and try them :)

Yet another thing: One metro token lets you get anywhere Metro goes - and it covers almost anywhere in Moscow. Metro's great. Every city should have one. I'll write more about it another day.

Sandy (all this talk about food's making me hungry) (Cannady) Lubkin

All text and pictures copyright 1997 Sandy and Bela Lubkin, all rights reserved.