Five som is worth about 12.5 cents. In Kyrgyzstan, five som buys a loaf of flatbread, about 9 inches around. It takes you one way on a minibus anywhere in Bishkek. It buys one head of garlic, or a small Kit Kat, a package of Ramen noodles, or a pound of potatoes or onions.
20 som buys a bag of milk, one banana, a pack of four rolls of toilet paper, or a kilo of cracked wheat.
25 som is a minibus ride to Tokmok, about 80 km away.
30 or 40 som is for a kilo of apples, a bottle of dish soap, 5 liters of water, or a half liter of kefir.
40 som is for a kilo of batken rice, a jar of tomatoes, a kilo of white rice, or a liter of apple juice.
50 som is for a short taxi ride around town.
80 is for a kilo of tomatoes in the winter, a jar of jam, a bottle of shampoo, a package of the least expensive diapers, a longer taxi ride in Bishkek, or a bottle of honey.
About 200 som buys a kilo of reasonably priced cheese, 500 sheets of paper, or a package of pancake mix.
300-400 som is a taxi ride out to the airport.
500-600 som is for a night in a homestay and all your meals.
2000 som is the average salary in Bishkek.
500 is the beginning salary for a public school teacher in the regions.
A horse (for eating) costs 20,000 som. So does a computer.
A flight to the US costs 60,000 som. Whether your employer pays for it or not.
A new apartment in central Bishkek costs 1 million som.
The mayor of Bishkek paid a 10 billion som bribe to become the mayor.