We all know about inflation. It’s a necessary evil. Well, I don’t know if it’s evil, but they tell us it’s necessary. It can be a problem.
I don’t understand how the economy of a country, and the world, works. It’s too much to try to comprehend at my age.
In Russia we also have some other problems.
The collapse of the Russian rouble, oil prices, and sanctions. We’re living in a pretty different Russia than we were living in before 2014. Although there was also what’s called the Great Recession (2008-2009), and the 1998 Russian Financial Crisis as well. So there’s been some big ups and downs in the Russian economy since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. (But please don’t get all political on me, I’m not here to discuss that).
Russia and the Russian people are no newcomers to financial difficulties.
And as a foreigner here, it’s something that I just accept now, as part of the experience. After all, one of the reasons I left Australia to come here was because in Australia my life was quite stable and boring. Including the economy.
That’s certainly not the case here.
Ham and cottage cheese
Anyway, the reason for this post? Ham and cottage cheese.
Yes, that’s right. Ham and cottage cheese.
You see, in our local supermarket (not the one with the cat but another one that’s open 24 hours), we found a cute little snack in the refrigerator section.
It’s a thin slice of ham, rolled up. And inside the rolled up ham is some cottage cheese mixed with garlic. And the ends are dipped in fresh dill.
It’s something you could easily make at home. It’s not very attractive, is very simple, but it’s a nice, tasty snack when you want something small to eat. Something a Grandma might give you when you visit.
I sometimes stop at the shop on the way home from teaching in the evening just to pick up some for a little snack before dinner (along with some chocolate, of course).
So, I took a photo of this food I bought one day in 2016. I can’t remember why I took the photo. I think we were talking about how cute it was and I decided to take a photo so we can remember it in our old age. As I often do.
And then one day last November (2018) while looking for other photos for this blog, I found that photo from 2016 and decided I’d try and buy it again on exactly the same date in 2018, and compare them. I went to the shop on the 16th December 2018 but the refrigerator was empty. So I went the next day, 17th December 2018, and bought some. Two years and one day later.
I was shocked when I looked at the price difference! In 2016 it was 449 roubles a kilogram, and just 2 years later it’s now 689 roubles a kilogram! That’s an increase of 53.45% (if I’ve done my calculations correctly – someone please check it for me)!!!!
Wow! It’s ham and cottage cheese – neither of which has gone up 53.45% in the previous two years. At least I think they haven’t. Cottage cheese is a staple here and I’d be surprised if it’s increased by more than 50%. Ham I’m not sure about. I don’t even really know if it’s ham from pork or ham from turkey (which is quite common here and what we usually buy because it’s more affordable).
So, here’s just one example of how much one product has increased in price in recent years. I don’t really think it’s an indication of the general situation, but I might be wrong.
Are there any Russians reading this who have noticed something similar? Let me know in the comments – I’m curious to know if there are other products here which have increased by such an extreme percentage in such a short time.
In the meantime, we adapt to the situation.
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