Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I have gas (but not much)

Myspace Mood: Aggravated

We've heard that fuel prices have been going up in the States since we left. I think I can top just about any "fish story" about prices (albeit on a much smaller scale) that any of you might have. Gas hasn't been available for a couple of weeks in Bissau (who knows why, sometimes when stuff like this happens they don't even bother making up an excuse to explain it). We'd been hoping that we could finish our time on the gallon of gas that we had left in the little five gallon container we keep for the bike. A day before we left we ran out of gas on the way home and when I switched the bike to reserve found out that apparently it already was on reserve, so we were really out. I've seen lots of strange things in the back of a taxi but I don't think they would have been happy about us trying to take our bike home in a taxi, so we either had to break down and buy some "black market" gas or walk the bike home. We didn't have time that day since we were trying to get all of our stuff done before we left, so we had little choice.

I walked over to the service station to ask the workers where I could go to buy the black market gas, knowing that there wasn't any at the stations but figuring they'd know where, and one of the workers had a five gallon container of his own gas (purchased just before that station ran out at the normal price, I'm sure) to sell. The price was 2500 xof / liter. If I remember right, there are 3.78 liters in a gallon and 422 xof to $1, so even though I only bought one liter that works out to $22.39 / gallon. (In case anyone is curious a gallon's normal price at the current exchange rate is about $6.20.)

Good thing we have a fuel efficient bike, eh?

So that's what a $5.92 liter of gas looks like.