I’m printing some business cards for a client. I needed to find the right paper, a heavy card stock in order to make it happen. So I went to the business center where all the Northern Sudanese run their stationary/photocopy shops and started hunting for the paper.
Surprisingly between my horrid Arabic and their lack of English I managed to communicate what I was looking for. I found variuos types of card stock, from 150gsm (heavier than normal paper) up to 250 gsm (really really heavier than normal paper, proper card stock).
Then came the price. The first man quoted me at 70 Sudanese pounds for one package, or 0.7 SDG per sheet. 100 pieces came in a pack. I didn’t have 70 Sudanese pounds. So I decided to shop around. Everyone else I approached wanted 100 Sudanese pounds for a package or 1 per sheet.
Just to clarify the expense here, 1 Sudanese pound is almost equal to .50 US cents. Maybe that is a normal price in any country, but it seems excessive to me. That means a whole ream (package) is $50. Ouch.
Towards the end I went back to the first man I had approached. I didn’t have the full amount he wanted, so I decided to buy a few pieces. That is when he informed me that I had to buy the whole pack in order to get that price.
So after spending about an hour hunting for the best price and wasting alot of time, I finally paid more than I wanted and only got about 20 sheets.
Sometimes it feels impossible to be thrifty in a place like this.