Rubbish in My Head


Today, my mind was full of rubbish.  The cheeky reader will no doubt raise an eyebrow and think to himself/herself that this is nothing new for LGS but you would be wrong cause I was deeper into rubbish than usual.  Specifically, I was trying to find a decent pedal bin to use for throwing  rubbish and wastes in the kitchen.  Of utmost importance, the bin must be ant proof as I am having so many ants in my kitchen that they are fighting turf wars over territory and dropped food scraps.

Anyway, there I was, innocently walking into a shop which sells said pedal bins when it happened!  I will never be the same again.  My jaw dropped like a ton of bricks when I saw the price of the small 10 liter pedal bin.   It was Malaysian Ringgit 490 or USD 159.  That seems rather a lot to spend for a rubbish bin.

I remember when I was traveling, different things were cheap and different things were expensive in different parts of the world.  Some had to due with the lack of supply or the logistics of supply. In Japan, fruits can be costly indeed.  A single banana can cost USD 1.  Even more awe-inspiring, Japanese will pay as much as USD 240 for a melon.  In India, I was surprised to find good quality saris (traditional dress for Indian women) can be very expensive but food and long distance phone calls were very cheap.

I don’t pretend to understand economics but it seems that when demand is low, the price can be high.  When the demand is moderate, then the price usually lowers but when demand is very high than the price goes up again.

A lot of travel blogs like to use the price of a McDonald’s set meal as a way of comparing relative cost of living in different parts of the world.  The rationale being that unfortunately the golden arches is ubiquitous all over the world.  I prefer to use eggs.  Eggs is a more basic unit of comparison especially to help us get our perspective right.

For example, my USD 149 rubbish bin is the same as 1,176 eggs.  Assuming I take two eggs (whether sunny-side up, scrambled or as an omelette), that is about 588 satisfying breakfasts that I could have instead of owning a pedal bin.

So using the Egg Index, here are some of the relative costs of things here in Malaysia.  How about in your neck of the woods?

  • cheap breakfast = 7.2 eggs
  • Big Mac burger  = 11 eggs
  • liter of milk        =  12  eggs
  • bottle of beer    =  30 eggs
  • moderate restaurant meal   =  60 eggs
  • Music CD   = 120 eggs
  • average visit to doctor for minor ailments  = 192 eggs
  • Broadband internet access  = 240 eggs
  • pedal bin (rubbish)    = 1,176 eggs
  • Nintendo Wii console = 4,200 eggs
  • mid range computer  =9,600 eggs
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11 thoughts on “Rubbish in My Head”

  1. Sorry but I could.t figure out the cost of an egg in US dollars. 70 cents seems kind of high. But I have a seven gallon which I think roughly equals 15 liters stainless steel garbage bin I paid less then $40(US) for. Now i know that doesn’t make you feel better but I just don’t eat that many eggs.

  2. I’m too lazy to figure all that out, but I will tell you that a bottle of beer in a bar as well as a cheap breakfast is probably about the same as a big mac and that a wii console is about the same as a mid range (not laptop) computer. A music CD is probably half the price of a moderate restauarant meal here instead of double the price. And I believe I could find a nice pedal bin for about the price of 5 or 6 beers instead of the 39.2 beers that you show. Does that help?

  3. Where I live we pay 12 cents for one single egg.
    I’m thinking I could buy you a pedal bin and mail it to you cheaper than you could buy it.
    How bizarre.

  4. I figured that, roughly, you are saying each egg is about 12 cents where you live, or you pay about $1.50/dozen (they are pretty much sold by the dozen here). I think i pay about $2.50-3.00/dozen for “organic,” free-range eggs. But i can buy the trashcan for about $40-50, & we consider that expensive.

    Ants, however! Ants seem to be a problem world-over. Our best solution is to kill the immediate ones with vinegar & water. Then we spread a line of diatomaceous earth around the house. It is not harmful to people or pets, but is death to ants. It takes a while to work (& will wash away in the rain), but it has taken care of our horrible ant problem. I’d tried a number of other “green, organic” types of things with ants, but this has been the best.

    The ants here are awful. They even got into a closed jar of honey (i’ve no idea how they managed that). We had to cover everything with plastic before closing the jars!

    Good luck with that. I hate ants! (And love squirrels. 🙂

  5. I base it on the expensive (“bio”) egg not produced in industrialized chicken camps – a matter of trust, but I simply hope that they do the right thing and treat them creatures well.

    A cheap breakfast (Kaffe, 1 sweet thing) = 14 eggs
    One Big Mac (I am not sure about the actual prizing, normally I do not go there) at least = 19 eggs
    1 liter Milk, depends on quality, but = 4 eggs
    1 bottle of beer (glass, by a good brewery) = 8 eggs
    moderate restaurant for one person, one drink = 60 eggs
    Music CD (I have no clue, do not buy these) = 100 eggs ?
    visit to the doctor is free basically (Krankenkasse), but every quartal one has to give 40 eggs, if and only if one has to visit the doctor
    Broadband internet access, the cheapest should be around = 80 eggs
    pedal bin, metal – I have no clue, but I think more than 140 eggs is plain robbery.
    nintendo whatever = no idea, sorry.
    mid range computer, standard without screen and printer, = 1.400 eggs

  6. I, too, was too lazy to do the math (and hate math, as well), but I will say what another said – have someone buy you a rubbish bin and send it to you – waaaaaay cheaper! Interesting figures you posted, though, particularly the price of a melon in Japan. Makes me all the more grateful for what we have, meager as that may be. Peace.

  7. Mark,
    The rice of the pedal bin was quite ridiculous but apparently I should be duly impressed cause it was imported from Europe. Hmmm. Rather eat well. I don’t need a bin that is designed to survive a nuclear blast.

    geewits,
    I thought it was cute how you abandoned my Egg index and used the beer index instead! I do like beer too but I guess I like my breakfast more! Some interesting comparisons though. I picked up on how your music CDs are much cheaper whether in beers or eggs.

  8. Sweet Cheeks,
    I once enquired the price of a party balloon and was shocked at the outrageous price. By way of explanation, the sales clerk said that the wire they use to keep the balloon display in shape was imported from Germany. So I asked, in what way does German wire give an advantage over local wire in a balloon display; I mean, I don’t need the display to last for 10 years, survive a typhoon or anything like that. Of course, there was no answer from her except to recant that it is specially imported.

    Kathryn,
    I am surprised that you are having so much problems with ants cause I always thought the colder climate would keep them ants in check. I guess I was wrong. Thanks for the egg index info. It would seem that pedal bins are getting a bit costly …..more so in Malaysia.

  9. Mago,
    Thanks for doing the maths. I was particularly interested to discover that your computers are about 4 times less expensive than here when we compare the egg-quivalent value. And of course, your beer is better and cheaper than ours.

    Freedom,
    Thanks for visiting my humble and eccentric blog and for leaving a comment. I agree with what you said about being more grateful for what we have. I always believed that there is something fundamentally wrong with the world economic system. We produce vegetables in Malaysia but export most of our good quality vegetables to Singapore. This causes a shortage of good quality vegetables in Malaysia which perversely leads to Malaysians paying a higher price for our own vegetables than the Singaporeans. I’d say that is bizarre but it happens way too often.

  10. Ah now you are talking rubbish 🙂 lol and eggs It is getting interesting for me here We have chicken you see who lay on average three eggs a day So it would take us 3200 days
    to be able to buy a computer over there. Have to speed up these chicken

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