Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I did some more shopping during my US visit, got the CSI season 6 DVD that came out today. EB hadn't gotten their delivery of Medieval II Total Wars, so I took that as a sign that I should better play the demo first, and bought Neverwinter Nights 2 instead. I also bought some trousers. It will surprise you when I tell you that I'm not usually a shopping type of guy. Why the shopping spree?
I earn my salary in Euros. Five years ago from today one Euro would have bought me 88 US cents. Today it buys me $1.28. Some readers recently mentioned real wages. In Euro terms my real wages have gone up by about 10 percent over the last 5 years, less than 2 percent per year (which still isn't so bad). In dollar terms my wages have gone up by over 50%, nearly 10% per year. When I stand in a US mall and see what things cost here, I feel rich.
A DVD in the US costs about as many dollars as I would pay for the same DVD in Euros in Europe. So over here I get it about 25% cheaper. And that's besides the fact that I can get DVDs here that aren't even out yet in Europe.
Even stranger are the prices for clothes. The trousers I bought was $25, about 20 Euro. The same trousers in Europe would have cost me at least 40 Euro. Which is curious, because the trousers are made in China, like most clothes nowadays, and probably cost the same to import into the US or into Europe. It seems European clothing retailers have a higher profit margin than US ones.
Well, shopping is limited by the empty space in my suitcase. And I can't buy everything I want in the USA. With most electrical things I'd run into problems of the US having a different voltage and plug size. And while with DVDs I managed to work around the regional code, I can't buy any console games here, because the regional coding on them isn't that easy to get around. Final Fantasy XII is out here in the US, won't be out before February in Europe, but I can't buy the US version here, because it simply wouldn't run on my PS2. Well, you can't have everything. And I think I prefer my higher purchasing power to getting games earlier.