Sri Lanka is one of those places that can be very cheap or very expensive, depending on what you’re after and where you are. It basically boils down to this – if it’s imported, you pay more, if it’s made/grown here, you pay less.

As volunteers, most of the time we need to live very cheap. However, because we’re foreigners, we also pay more of a premium price for things compared to locals. I’m working on my tan, but I’m not there yet, so blending in is not an option.

All prices below are estimates in Canadian dollars and are based on Colombo rates, which are pricier than most in the country. And inflation is on the rise and is a concern throughout the country.

* 355 ml can of Coke – $1.50
* loaf of bread – $1
* shit load of rice – $5
* vegetables and fruit (a week’s worth) – $10
* rice and curry lunch plate – $1.10
* 1 L of ice cream – $3.20
* 625 ml Lion beer – $1.10
* a hand blender (passed on this) – $100
* toaster (wtf?)- $50
* a stand up fan (still pricing out this) – $50
* a bus ride – 5 to 15 cents
* first class train ticket half way across the country – $6.50
* one litre of gas – $1.10
* one month rent for two-bedroom apartment – $270
* half month’s worth of electricity – $2 (this price goes up substantially if you’ve got an air conditioner)
* 3G internet monthly fee – $19/month
* one month gym/pool membership – $30/month

That’s a enough for now. Once I find out what a lap dance costs, I think this list will be complete.