There used to be a time, where a bowl of char kuey tiow is RM1.00 ( 1990ish) in Taiping’s hawker stall.
And there used to be a time, where bringing RM0.50 would be good enough to get a bowl of curry mee from a school canteen.
How things has changed, where RM50 today is more or less equivalent to the spending power of RM10 in a not so distant past ( late 90’s to early 2000’s)
As our nation are embroiled in the 1MDB saga, with politicians spewing toxic soundbites garbage daily, I bravely boarded an Korea Air’s A380 ( better service + RM1.5K cheaper than our goodie MAS) to Los Angeles to search for a quiet peaceful time, to take a short break away from this dire states that all Malaysians are in.
On the day that i landed, Ringgit vs USD was at its lowest rate: at RM3.7ish to 1 USD.
An average engineer starting pay is about USD4K/month. While a average engineer starting pay in Malaysia is about RM2.5-3K/month.
I could feel my wallet catching a cold and shrinking in size, when i exchange RM1500 to get back 4 pieces of USD 100 notes.
The first stop in LA was definitely the local WholeFoods grocery market, where each branch try to source fresh produce locally (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/)
I chance upon a punnet of fresh local strawberries: USD 10 for 3 punnet. ( WOW, vs RM15-20ish per punnet in Malaysia.)
I chance upon a tub of Hagen Daz ice cream ( USD3.50/tun vs RM30/tub in KL) + others local favourites (Talenti’s Sea Salt Caremel ice cream rocks http://www.talentigelato.com/our-products/sea-salt-caramel/)
Braving the difficult economic situation, i whipped out my credit card and just sapu all the delicious produce and prepare a dinner for 4 at our place in LA.
a bottle of wine: check! USD10
a slab of cheese: check! USD4
a huge bowl of salad with half of each filled with assorted meat: Check! USD9.90
2 huge sandwich: check! USD20
a slab of smoked wild caught chinook salmon: check! USD6
All in all, i fed my family of 4 of an extravagant meal of wine and dine, with just USD50.
Let me pose a question to all of us here today…
How is our RM50 doing in KL today?