The Value Add

Some things are crazy expensive here. (Or maybe I should say: zany expensive.) Take, for instance, children’s toys.

I bought this Lego set on my trip to the anti-Tanzany in October. We’ll use it as a simple exercise in Purchasing Power Parity, in the spirit of The Economist’s Big Mac index.

Here are some comparison prices for the exact same Lego set:

  • Toy store in Geneva, Switzerland: CHF 39.95 (US $43.49).
  • $19.99
  • Shoppers, Dar es Salaam: TSH 172,500 (US $102.29)

It’s quite a mark up. I hope that Santa brings those in from the North Pole for Tanzanian kids instead of sourcing locally.


Zimbabwean police believe there is a nationwide syndicate of women raping men, possibly to use their semen in rituals that claim to make people wealthy … One alleged victim, who wished to remain anonymous, gave an account on national television in July…

“One of the women threw water in my face and they injected me with something that gave me a strong sexual desire,” he said. “They stopped the car and made me have sex with each of them several times, using condoms. When they had finished they left me in the bush totally naked. Some people gathering grass helped me by call the police who took me to hospital to deal with the effects of this drug … as the urge to have sex was still there.”

[The women] were detained earlier this month … [and] deny the charges saying they are prostitutes.

From “Zimbabwe women accused of raping men ‘for rituals’”, Daily News page 4 (Editorial/Analysis Section). The story that ran next to this one was “Dad claims twins came from sperm stolen by ex-girlfriend.”


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