That clown wouldn't be smiling if he were backpacking through Europe right now. The Big Mac is more than a dollar more over there than in America, the Economist reports. Their findings are based on an annual 'burgernomics' survey that uses the comparative price of a quick meal as a metaphor for our financial strength. The conclusion: We're all paying A LOT more these days than we suspected. Oh yeah, unless you are in China, where using yuan looks like a more yummy proposition.
But a quick look closer at the magazines archives give better food for thought about which currencies are actually more stable: Since 2005 the Chinese prices for that home nuked meal have been not only cheap, but dependable. Russia's fast food costs have also seemed ever-so-slightly more stable amid world economic hiccups as well.
Unlikely places for backpacking, sure, but at least you'll be able to estimate the budget for that global pit stop in 2010.
Added value (because I care): Attention backpackers of 2010 - If you're dining in France, the "tête de veau" is exactly what it translates too. Be forewarned.