PDA

View Full Version : Most expensive city... my ar**!



tomowen
27-01-2010, 17:53
I'm curious as to whether any expats really consider Moscow to be the most expensive city in the world. Granted, I'm only a student, who doesn't really live in the real world (I have generous parents, a student loan, an overdraft and whatever I earn from part time, minimum wage, work to piss up the wall in Europe's biggest city whilst for my 12 hours' Russian tuition per week I only need 70% attendance to 'pass' my year abroad) nor am I that accustomed to the finer things in life (my tipple of choice is a good Czech/German/Polish/Ukrainian lager or, failing that, Baltika 7, eating out means fast food or a 'business lunch' whilst TGI's on a Saturday night is pushing the boat out somewhat, plus I hate getting taxis and am quite happy travelling Platzkart). Cutting to the chase, I cannot understand why how Moscow is considered the world's most expensive city for foreigners; not least when the average salary for Muscovites is well below that of just about anywhere in Western Europe.

Granted, durable goods like clothes from Western High St chains and mobile phones are expensive (my Nokia 6300 costs about 50 in the UK, plus 10 to get it unlocked on York market, whilst a Russian friend said hers cost 6000r), but food in the supermarket is comparable in price as are cigarettes and alcohol (provided it's not imported). So is eating out at most lower-mid range places; a Big Mac in Moscow is 70r (1.50) whilst the individual sandwich in the UK is over 2 (though there are no meal deals at Russian McD's so the price of a large big Mac meal with ketchup works out about the same). At many Moscow restaurants the cheapest draught pint is often as low as 2 as often at swanky bars/clubs which often don't even charge admission on Friday/Saturday nights. Then public transport/Gypsy cabs are not very expensive either.

Then there's rent. My brother lives in Shoreditch; the current 'trendy' area of London, 5-10 minute walk from the nearest Tube and about a 1 hour walk from Buckingham Palace/10 Downing Street etc and the flat he shares with two others is about 1500/$2500/70000r a month plus utilities and that's with the living room doubling up as a bedroom plus the bathroom and kitchen are small and leave a lot to be desired- would a similar flat near Kitay Gorod/Mayakovskaya cost more/less?

Anyone care to add their thoughts?

tvadim133
27-01-2010, 18:12
In some thoughts you are quite right!

There are possible to live without so huge spendings and Moscow is not so expensive as they say (who live aboad).

The point is that for tourists it can be expensive and for business first of all, + for foreigners, for people who come from other cities:

1. they do not know affordable places and from the first sight, some restaurants, shops e.t.c. are too expencice (if you go to Pushkin cafe, Bolshoi teatre only ($200 for so-so sits) and TSUM (the 1st 2 floors);

2. renting is not "affordable" (there are plenty of offers for such kind of people:

the 2 rooms appartment in Chisty Ponds (only for foreigners) costs 3 times more then in Ryazansky prospect (4-5 stops from the centre, that is 12 minutes of going by undergaround);

3. Taxi is different indeed (I found that some can take 12 pounds for 300 metre);

4. Commercial renting was unbelievable high (there are not so many spaces for business still, though the situation is changing);

5. Corruption (that is spending as well)

6. Clothes (there are plenty of shops and amrkets with cheap clothes, but the real D&G will cost 2 times more indeed. Though I found the Sisley, CK are absolutely of the same price (and collection) as in Florence (I checked last March);

7. As for food, cigars and so on, it can be much cheaper (cigarettes for 1 USD (!) and not so-bad-as-some-can-think food.

Actually the quality control is (even too) high here. But you know, people have their own "opinions" just because we (marketing) make them think so.....

What I would like to say, Moscow can be very and more expensive for customers with up-middle or up-average needs.

Matt24
27-01-2010, 18:40
I'm curious as to whether any expats really consider Moscow to be the most expensive city in the world. Granted, I'm only a student, who doesn't really live in the real world (I have generous parents, a student loan, an overdraft and whatever I earn from part time, minimum wage, work to piss up the wall in Europe's biggest city whilst for my 12 hours' Russian tuition per week I only need 70% attendance to 'pass' my year abroad) nor am I that accustomed to the finer things in life (my tipple of choice is a good Czech/German/Polish/Ukrainian lager or, failing that, Baltika 7, eating out means fast food or a 'business lunch' whilst TGI's on a Saturday night is pushing the boat out somewhat, plus I hate getting taxis and am quite happy travelling Platzkart). Cutting to the chase, I cannot understand why how Moscow is considered the world's most expensive city for foreigners; not least when the average salary for Muscovites is well below that of just about anywhere in Western Europe.

Granted, durable goods like clothes from Western High St chains and mobile phones are expensive (my Nokia 6300 costs about 50 in the UK, plus 10 to get it unlocked on York market, whilst a Russian friend said hers cost 6000r), but food in the supermarket is comparable in price as are cigarettes and alcohol (provided it's not imported). So is eating out at most lower-mid range places; a Big Mac in Moscow is 70r (1.50) whilst the individual sandwich in the UK is over 2 (though there are no meal deals at Russian McD's so the price of a large big Mac meal with ketchup works out about the same). At many Moscow restaurants the cheapest draught pint is often as low as 2 as often at swanky bars/clubs which often don't even charge admission on Friday/Saturday nights. Then public transport/Gypsy cabs are not very expensive either.

Then there's rent. My brother lives in Shoreditch; the current 'trendy' area of London, 5-10 minute walk from the nearest Tube and about a 1 hour walk from Buckingham Palace/10 Downing Street etc and the flat he shares with two others is about 1500/$2500/70000r a month plus utilities and that's with the living room doubling up as a bedroom plus the bathroom and kitchen are small and leave a lot to be desired- would a similar flat near Kitay Gorod/Mayakovskaya cost more/less?

Anyone care to add their thoughts?

Young Sir,

Well spotted, beautifully argued, now keep it to your self! Of course it isn't the most expensive city, (....by far), but as long as the boss doesn't find out and keeps signing the exorbitant X's, we the bringers of western business ethics and the free market economy are going to carry on telling war stories about endemic corruption, (if nothing else it get's you passed a lot of the receipt rules), Russian business culture requiring vast amounts of alcohol laden lubrication and strippers, you can't get no respect unless you got an S500 and the impossibility of finding anything in the shops recognizable as food unless you've got an Amex centurion card.

Thankfully, (at least for this former multinational corporation's ex-patriated wage slave), the makers of international surveys ask businessmen and not students, the impression of Moscow as an expensive to unbelievably expensive place to live will persist as long as middle and upper level ex-patriated execs see an opportunity to screw the expenses! Long live globalization.

Sorry, was a very slow day

Matt

tvadim133
27-01-2010, 19:47
Young Sir,

the impossibility of finding anything in the shops recognizable as food unless you've got an Amex centurion card.

Matt

What do you mean?

Can not you buy Nestle, Mars, Unilever, Martini, Malboro,veuve clicquot and so on without Amex in your pocket?

Or you have meant something else?

Vadim
27-01-2010, 20:07
Or you have meant something else?

Food is a very sensitive matter for newcomers. One time I visited Russia being accompanied by a British friend. He made his assessment of food within the first week saying something like: "yes, I like it, but it does not look healthy to me". However, he had nothing really against and enjoyed an unhealthy diet during all stay. It happens to any visitor or migrant. For instance I cannot find proper bread and mayo in the UK. Whatever you can see in a supermarket will differ from Russian. They even sell Stolichnaya bottled in Latvia (for some hidden reason). ASDA started to sell Baltika beer and this is significant move forward :-) It's a matter of habit and time. I became comfortable with kebabs very shortly :-) Cannot say I enjoy them, but is there a choice?..

tvadim133
27-01-2010, 20:12
Agree, I found myself in difficult situation in Tunisia, in France, in Italy, due I know nothing about their local brands, but when I found Unilver, Nestle, Heineken (I do not mean, bread only, eggs, nuts), I definetley bought what I get accustomed to buy in Russia.

Vadim
27-01-2010, 20:17
What does Unilever produce?

tvadim133
27-01-2010, 20:23
What does Unilever produce?

From butter, maionnaise, ice-cream to cleaners, shampoo and so on.

Bels
27-01-2010, 21:52
I can understand your thoughts as a Brit, and I thought the same things about six years ago. So I am not going to have a go at you, as I thought it and I hear other Brits thinking the same thing of Russia and Moscow.

But first of all Russia and Moscow are like two different countries. We have Moscow and we have Russia of which are two different words apart.

Moscow is a very mysterious place. It suffers greatly in infltion at the moment. Prices are rising fast in everything, and yet it also has depression where peoples incomes are not rising, and many have lost well paid jobs.

Although Russia currently has the existance of possibly the highestinflation plus great recession, both recession and inflation shouldn't exist together.

We all know that when we have hiflation. without rise of income everything comes to a standstill and then we have a recession.

Or when we have a recession? Prices go down!! Because the people can't pay or buy. Common sense isn't it.

But not Russia. Prices continue to go up, even though many have stopped buying LOL! Russia is a mystery.

So why not visit it, on your now much lower value GBP pound. You have a lot to learn. Russia is expensive if you decide to stay here for six months for example.

To summarise. Russians refuse to drop prices, even if they are starving and have no buyers. Yes they are that stubborn


I'm curious as to whether any expats really consider Moscow to be the most expensive city in the world. Granted, I'm only a student, who doesn't really live in the real world (I have generous parents, a student loan, an overdraft and whatever I earn from part time, minimum wage, work to piss up the wall in Europe's biggest city whilst for my 12 hours' Russian tuition per week I only need 70% attendance to 'pass' my year abroad) nor am I that accustomed to the finer things in life (my tipple of choice is a good Czech/German/Polish/Ukrainian lager or, failing that, Baltika 7, eating out means fast food or a 'business lunch' whilst TGI's on a Saturday night is pushing the boat out somewhat, plus I hate getting taxis and am quite happy travelling Platzkart). Cutting to the chase, I cannot understand why how Moscow is considered the world's most expensive city for foreigners; not least when the average salary for Muscovites is well below that of just about anywhere in Western Europe.

Granted, durable goods like clothes from Western High St chains and mobile phones are expensive (my Nokia 6300 costs about 50 in the UK, plus 10 to get it unlocked on York market, whilst a Russian friend said hers cost 6000r), but food in the supermarket is comparable in price as are cigarettes and alcohol (provided it's not imported). So is eating out at most lower-mid range places; a Big Mac in Moscow is 70r (1.50) whilst the individual sandwich in the UK is over 2 (though there are no meal deals at Russian McD's so the price of a large big Mac meal with ketchup works out about the same). At many Moscow restaurants the cheapest draught pint is often as low as 2 as often at swanky bars/clubs which often don't even charge admission on Friday/Saturday nights. Then public transport/Gypsy cabs are not very expensive either.

Then there's rent. My brother lives in Shoreditch; the current 'trendy' area of London, 5-10 minute walk from the nearest Tube and about a 1 hour walk from Buckingham Palace/10 Downing Street etc and the flat he shares with two others is about 1500/$2500/70000r a month plus utilities and that's with the living room doubling up as a bedroom plus the bathroom and kitchen are small and leave a lot to be desired- would a similar flat near Kitay Gorod/Mayakovskaya cost more/less?

Anyone care to add their thoughts?

andymackem
27-01-2010, 22:49
I can understand your thoughts as a Brit, and I thought the same things about six years ago. So I am not going to have a go at you, as I thought it and I hear other Brits thinking the same thing of Russia and Moscow.

But first of all Russia and Moscow are like two different countries. We have Moscow and we have Russia of which are two different words apart.

Moscow is a very mysterious place. It suffers greatly in infltion at the moment. Prices are rising fast in everything, and yet it also has depression where peoples incomes are not rising, and many have lost well paid jobs.

For the final quarter of 2009 inflation in Russia was given a zero rating by the central bank. The overall inflation rate for 2009 dropped below 10% for the first time in ages. Price growth _is_ slowing. It's still higher than in the UK, though.


Although Russia currently has the existance of possibly the highestinflation plus great recession, both recession and inflation shouldn't exist together.

We all know that when we have hiflation. without rise of income everything comes to a standstill and then we have a recession.

Again, the Russian economy emerged from the 'official' definition of recession late last year (before the UK economy, for example). But I'd concede there's a clear difference between official and everyday definitions of recession. Overall, though, I'd question that point.


So why not visit it, on your now much lower value GBP pound. You have a lot to learn. Russia is expensive if you decide to stay here for six months for example.

Why is it only expensive for six months? Do I get a discount card after that?

A few figures. My rent has just gone up from 24,000r / month to 28 (rent was frozen in 2009 because of the crisis). I live one stop from the circle line, in a studio. I remember in 2000 paying 200+ a month plus bills for a studio in Hounslow.

In December I paid 7200 roubles for a 365 metro p**** giving unlimited travel around the city by metro. That price will have gone up from Jan 1, though.

On Sunday I was in St Petersburg and went to hear the Mariinsky Opera (also known as the Kirov). I sat with my gf in the royal box, and had change from 50 for the two tickets. In 2005 I saw the Kirov at Covent Garden. A 10 ticket had me on the top tier with a view of very little.

Man Utd charged something like 42 for their Champions League tie at home to CSKA Moscow. The match at Luzhniki cost about 7 for the cheapest seats.

When I was back in the UK at New Year I paid 10 for a haircut. The place next to my building advertises trims from 150 roubles. However, the guy I go to at home has been cutting my hair since I was a teenager and I'm a sucker for brand loyalty.

Bottom line, I was able to bring back more than 3000 which I'd saved over here in 2009. I've never been able to do that in UK. My current salary is similar to what I was earning back home, but the tax take and related costs are much lower. And, with trips to Barcelona, Prague and Tallinn plus a jaunt to Kazan I wasn't exactly short of holidays this time around.

Some things are pricey of course - most seriously stuff like clothes and some household goods (I'm thinking pots and pans more than washing powder and soap). But a lot of the high expat costs seem to me to be about trying to rebuild expat life in Moscow. It would be expensive for me to spend my weekends drinking guinness and watching the Premier League football on TV - but if that's all I want to do, what's the point of doing it in Moscow? I could do it just as easily back home.

I suspect you'll come and find its a balancing act - some serious bargains, and some serious rip-offs. Your own tastes, interests and needs will lead you through the maze, and you'll probably learn fast enough. Good luck, and don't panic.

Matt24
27-01-2010, 23:14
What do you mean?

Can not you buy Nestle, Mars, Unilever, Martini, Malboro,veuve clicquot and so on without Amex in your pocket?

Or you have meant something else?

Tvadim 133 respect,

please excuse my ill explained point. What I was trying to say was that the reality of living in Moscow in 2010, (which is, as you quite rightly point out, knee deep in consumer brands, very adequate service and compared to my previous postings in London and Tokyo totally affordable), is not the message that I gave to my bosses in corporate HQ - going out on a limb I might suggest that quite a few ex-patriated workers embroider the true situation re pricing and living conditions, in order primarily to maintain high 'hardship allowances' and also to keep the boys and girls from head office from visiting.

Cheers Matt

Peter82
28-01-2010, 17:29
i think if you are sensible, prudent, and actively seek out the best/cheap places to eat/drink etc, it is easy to live well on a modest salary.

i was having this discussion last week with a friend who was here on business. in moscow, you can find cheap restaurants/bars etc, where a pint of beer is 2 pounds or even less. Then, there are palces where it will cost you 7 pound or more. Whereas in the UK, there is much less price differential - the cheapest place might be 3 pounds, and the most expensive 5 pounds.....

so if you are on a budget, then moscow does offer a lot of opportunities.

xSnoofovich
28-01-2010, 18:26
i think if you are sensible, prudent, and actively seek out the best/cheap places to eat/drink etc, it is easy to live well on a modest salary.

i was having this discussion last week with a friend who was here on business. in moscow, you can find cheap restaurants/bars etc, where a pint of beer is 2 pounds or even less. Then, there are palces where it will cost you 7 pound or more. Whereas in the UK, there is much less price differential - the cheapest place might be 3 pounds, and the most expensive 5 pounds.....

so if you are on a budget, then moscow does offer a lot of opportunities.

Why drink in a bar at all? Just buy your beer from the kiosk, and drink on the street !

Even better - buy in quantity - such as the 2 or 5 liter bottles :)

mikegulf
28-01-2010, 19:50
My family doesn't live in Moscow so I don't have any way of comparing but I found on my trip to Elabuga and Kazan that it all depended on what you were doing with your money. I found many products and/or services that were less expensive there than a similar product or service here in the States.

When we went shopping for groceries or other stuff I had no problem. Everything looked the same. A chiicken there looked like one here, chips (crisps) looked the same, cigarettes too. The nice thing about where I was at? Elabuga has absolutely NO fast food places!!! Such a nice change. There must not have been a fast food place within hundreds of miles!!

Of course I was living on my USD and I am not somebody who has to make a living in Russia so perhaps I don't have a true understanding of everything. If I moved to Elabuga and lived off of my retirement alone at the current exchange rate I could live very well. At the same time my father and mother in-law are both engineers and it startled me to learn what they made a month in comparison after considering the exchange rate.

Niklas
28-01-2010, 22:35
What does Unilever produce?
Unilever makes Lipton, Beseda, Calve, Brooke Bond, Knorr, Rama, Axe, Dove, Rexona, Clear, Becel, Baltimore, Timotei, and a few other brands. So this is one of the big multi-nationals...

Bels
28-01-2010, 22:58
Without any doubt, Moscow is now one of the most expensive cities in the world,without having a large volume not earning enough cash. So problem, big time.

Seaham
29-01-2010, 02:56
There is one question but two answers, and both are correct.

ogenoct
29-01-2010, 12:10
Just buy your beer from the kiosk, and drink on the street !

Yeah, that's a real good idea, especially when it is -20C out. Standing on the street is also more comfortable than sitting in a cozy bar.

xSnoofovich
29-01-2010, 12:48
Yeah, that's a real good idea, especially when it is -20C out..

So drink vodka, you will save even more money !

andymackem
29-01-2010, 12:59
If Moscow is such an expensive city, how come the same net salary as I was earning in the UK enables me to live one station away from the circle line, travel fairly frequently around Europe and Russia and save several thousand pounds each year?

Compared with London, prices here are nothing frightening. And every high-cost purchase has a heavily subsidised compensation. Look at transport costs - compare the metro with the London underground. Or compare petrol prices of over one pound / litre with something around 50-60p / litre here. Or look at the 100 quid I spent on a ticket from London to Durham (one-way) and contrast with a return to SPb (200km further) for less than 80 quid.

I've already given examples of some entertainment costs further up the thread.

Then we move on to mobile phone charges, utility costs etc. I'd say my spending on food is similar, and my only really problem is affordable clothing and a shortage of low-price hotel accommodation when I'm travelling elsewhere.

I stand by my original verdict: if you insist on recreating your home country lifestyle in Moscow, it will be expensive compared with doing it at home (just like a bottle of Baltika 3 costs the equivalent of 150rr in the UK). If you avoid buying up too many imports (and ideally get your clothes when you're heading home anyway) it won't be anything like so expensive.

ogenoct
29-01-2010, 14:01
So drink vodka, you will save even more money !

Drinking vodka on the street? Sorry, but I am not a degenerate bum.

tomowen
29-01-2010, 15:02
Even better - buy in quantity - such as the 2 or 5 liter bottles :)

No No No No NO! Beer in plastic bottles is just wrong and it's cheap enough in 500ml cans/glass bottles.

tvadim133
29-01-2010, 15:19
Drinking vodka on the street? Sorry, but I am not a degenerate bum.

I do not know if it is something connected with degenerates, but we used to drink cognac in the yard-garden when we were students in duscussing global topics and so on.

It was nice and even "romantic".

When I was 30y.o. we decided to meet and to get remembered our past (did it in the Chistye Pond area with whisky that time....hm....It was nice!

You know, there may be some exceptions.... :)

Though I would agree that it is worth drinking in a nice atmosphere and with nice people.

andymackem
29-01-2010, 16:12
I do not know if it is something connected with degenerates, but we used to drink cognac in the yard-garden when we were students in duscussing global topics and so on.

It was nice and even "romantic".

When I was 30y.o. we decided to meet and to get remembered our past (did it in the Chistye Pond area with whisky that time....hm....It was nice!

You know, there may be some exceptions.... :)

Though I would agree that it is worth drinking in a nice atmosphere and with nice people.

Not long after I first moved here some Russian friends invited me out 'for a drink' and said to meet at Chistye Prudy metro one evening. I assumed this meant going to a bar and drinking, and although it was a slightly cold evening in November I dressed fairly lightly (walk from metro to bar wouldn't be far).

They were thinking more of kiosk / bench. I've never been so cold!!! An early introduction to cultural differences :cold:

But last summer, for one of those friends' birthday, we were back with gin and tonic and sunshine. That was nice. And there were even paper bags to hide your beer bottles in, bearing a warning that children could see what you were drinking and you should be responsible about it :)

Bels
29-01-2010, 21:39
One area agreed, and the only area, metro continues to be cheap, but in general, Moscow continues to be the most expensive city in the world, with the fastest inflation rate I have ever seen in my long life. When you have such high inflation rate in a recession it becomes unbelievable. In other countries it is impossible. Recession normally means dropping prices drastically, but not in Moscow, as Moscow is the only city in the world taking on recession and massive inflation at the same time, and when this happens it can only mean a standstill somewhere, eventually. No money, no honey!


If Moscow is such an expensive city, how come the same net salary as I was earning in the UK enables me to live one station away from the circle line, travel fairly frequently around Europe and Russia and save several thousand pounds each year?

Compared with London, prices here are nothing frightening. And every high-cost purchase has a heavily subsidised compensation. Look at transport costs - compare the metro with the London underground. Or compare petrol prices of over one pound / litre with something around 50-60p / litre here. Or look at the 100 quid I spent on a ticket from London to Durham (one-way) and contrast with a return to SPb (200km further) for less than 80 quid.

I've already given examples of some entertainment costs further up the thread.

Then we move on to mobile phone charges, utility costs etc. I'd say my spending on food is similar, and my only really problem is affordable clothing and a shortage of low-price hotel accommodation when I'm travelling elsewhere.

I stand by my original verdict: if you insist on recreating your home country lifestyle in Moscow, it will be expensive compared with doing it at home (just like a bottle of Baltika 3 costs the equivalent of 150rr in the UK). If you avoid buying up too many imports (and ideally get your clothes when you're heading home anyway) it won't be anything like so expensive.

tvadim133
29-01-2010, 21:47
Bels, and you? Have you reduced the price per hour?

Bels
29-01-2010, 22:27
Bels, and you? Have you reduced the price per hour?

Absolutely NO! I am increasing and joining every Russian as the same, I am playing my part in increasing inflation. And this person who cklaims that food , groceries , property are similar to UK , He is in cloud cuckoo land. inflation and recession is a major problem here, and those who live here must surely feel the constant rising of prices here, and with a recession. Normally a recession reduces inflation. But not in the case of Moscow for the moment. But in my experience, business has to give way eventually. I am very surprised that the government hasn't set up a crisis price control to reduce this very serious inflation problem. Latest news., electric and local tax bills have gone up signicantly. So what is the current inflation control plans coming from the government, before the crunch begins,.

andymackem
02-02-2010, 17:54
Absolutely NO! I am increasing and joining every Russian as the same, I am playing my part in increasing inflation. And this person who cklaims that food , groceries , property are similar to UK , He is in cloud cuckoo land. inflation and recession is a major problem here, and those who live here must surely feel the constant rising of prices here, and with a recession. Normally a recession reduces inflation. But not in the case of Moscow for the moment. But in my experience, business has to give way eventually. I am very surprised that the government hasn't set up a crisis price control to reduce this very serious inflation problem. Latest news., electric and local tax bills have gone up signicantly. So what is the current inflation control plans coming from the government, before the crunch begins,.

A general point from cloud cuckoo land - one reason that Russian inflation is high is that generally prices are low. For example metro fares went up four roubles on Jan 1 - or about 20%. The latter figure is a huge rise; the former is actually not much at all. You can make the same call on the price of a bottle of beer - I remember getting Baltika 3 for about 22 roubles when I arrived here in 2006. Now I'd probably pay 30? 32? It's approaching a 50% hike over four years (12.5% per year) but you're not telling me that 10 roubles in itself is a huge increase. Do you drink 50% less beer than you did in 2006? Doubt it.

A couple of specific illustrations ...

Property: when I bought a flat in Southend-on-Sea in 2005 it cost me 85,000 pounds (about 4.25 million roubles). That was the average price for a one-bed flat in the town at the time. When my ex-gf bought a similar flat in Korolev in 2006 it cost her 3.5 million roubles. Both towns are in the overspill from the capital; Korolev is actually a shorter train ride into central Moscow (about 30 mins) than Southend is into London (about 50 mins). Sounds to me like her flat was cheaper than mine, but better located for a commuter (who would also pay less to get into the city).

Property 2: I'm paying 28,000 / month for a studio flat between Dinamo and Aeroport, ie one stop outside the circle metro line. I'm not convinced I'd get a reasonable quality place on my own, similarly close to the centre of London, for 600 pounds. Nor do I think I'd get a property on the circle line, for two people, for 800 pounds / 40,000rr (which is what I'm about to start paying when I move next month).

But let's not put numbers in the way of 'cloud cuckoo land'. Why not show us how you spend all this extra money here instead? With comparisons to UK prices? Maybe you could give local tax rates here in comparison with UK council tax? Perhaps you'd care to point out how Russia's flat-rate 13% income tax (isn't that less for an individual entrepreneur like yourself? I don't remember) looks next to the rates that you paid in the UK? Or is it easier to complain than to rationalise?

Plus you haven't responded to the points I made several posts back about the Finance Ministry arguing that there has been no inflation over the past quarter (I think the official rate in Sep, Oct and Nov was about 0.1%, but would need to look it up). Or the fact that the annual inflation rate for 2009 fell below 10%. That's the effect of the recession you keep talking about - it has slowed price growth, just as you say it normally would. And I seem to recall that about this time last year the government did indeed introduce price caps on certain key food products, though I'd have to research prefcise details of this and I believe those limits have now expired. But again, it's easier to complain than to put up any kind of factual argument.

I wouldn't dream of suggesting anyone was living in a fantasy world, but maybe the six years you have spent away from the UK have blunted your sense of what the cost of living is like over there. There's not much point in comparing Moscow 2010 with UK 2004, is there?

Benedikt
02-02-2010, 21:14
What does Unilever produce?


Page not found (404) (http://www.unilever.com/:whisper:)

princedwp
02-02-2010, 22:30
I think the main problem is for foreign travelers, who pay $500 to stay in a hotel analogous to a "nice" hotel like back home, and expats who try to maintain their exact lifestyle from the US, UK, or wherever. I can find Campbell's soup or Old El Paso flour tortillas if I miss them, but the cost is 3-4 times the price back home. I lived in a 200 sm, 4 bedroom house with a garden in a small US city. If we had tried to duplicate that here, it would have cost a fortune, but we opted for a smaller 2 BR flat in the center which costs, well, STILL a fortune, but less than if we'd tried to have the same abode here...

tvadim133
02-02-2010, 23:15
I think the main problem is for foreign travelers, who pay $500 to stay in a hotel analogous to a "nice" hotel like back home, and expats who try to maintain their exact lifestyle from the US, UK, or wherever. I can find Campbell's soup or Old El Paso flour tortillas if I miss them, but the cost is 3-4 times the price back home. I lived in a 200 sm, 4 bedroom house with a garden in a small US city. If we had tried to duplicate that here, it would have cost a fortune, but we opted for a smaller 2 BR flat in the center which costs, well, STILL a fortune, but less than if we'd tried to have the same abode here...

You are right! :) :)

As I guess, in NY you would not afford to live in 200 sm. house with a garden in the very central part fo the city...

Besides if I am in NW and want to buy russian beer "Ochakovo", it will cost 7 times more there (on Brighton Beach?).

Bels
02-02-2010, 23:21
You are right! :) :)

As I guess, in NY you would not afford to live in 200 sm. house with a garden in the very central part fo the city...

Besides if I am in NW and want to buy russian beer "Ochakovo", it will cost 7 times more there (on Brighton Beach?).

Of course, supply and demand, Who on earth would want to drink a russian beer in Brighton. Including a Russian. We are talking about quality control here.. Of Which Russia doesn't have.

Sorry Vadim, we are both being quirky :) And sometimes I do support Russian side of arguments. But not this time LOL!

tvadim133
02-02-2010, 23:28
Of course, supply and demand, Who on earth would want to drink a russian beer in Brighton. Including a Russian. We are talking about quality control here.. Of Which Russia doesn't have.

Regarding quality, Bels, we have already talked about it in another thread....

You are not much of it indeed, cause you have never worked in FMCG sector in Russia, as I did,,,

So I would remind you that my experience told me the quality in Russia is under control and too much even...

Probably, you wanted to point out the taste of Ochakovo, and that will be true (it is not bad, but not excellent).

Brighton beach (in NY not in UK, sure) is overloaded with russians, who just have nostalgie.... One Russian company even imports russian ice--cream to USA (which seemed to many to be stupid.....but had significant sales).....

andymackem
03-02-2010, 12:12
I think the main problem is for foreign travelers, who pay $500 to stay in a hotel analogous to a "nice" hotel like back home, and expats who try to maintain their exact lifestyle from the US, UK, or wherever. I can find Campbell's soup or Old El Paso flour tortillas if I miss them, but the cost is 3-4 times the price back home. I lived in a 200 sm, 4 bedroom house with a garden in a small US city. If we had tried to duplicate that here, it would have cost a fortune, but we opted for a smaller 2 BR flat in the center which costs, well, STILL a fortune, but less than if we'd tried to have the same abode here...

Spot on. And, to be honest, why bother moving to Russia if you're going to try to recreate life back home?

Jacta Alea Est
03-02-2010, 12:52
I'm curious as to whether any expats really consider Moscow to be the most expensive city in the world. Granted, I'm only a student, who doesn't really live in the real world (I have generous parents, a student loan, an overdraft and whatever I earn from part time, minimum wage, work to piss up the wall in Europe's biggest city whilst for my 12 hours' Russian tuition per week I only need 70% attendance to 'pass' my year abroad) nor am I that accustomed to the finer things in life (my tipple of choice is a good Czech/German/Polish/Ukrainian lager or, failing that, Baltika 7, eating out means fast food or a 'business lunch' whilst TGI's on a Saturday night is pushing the boat out somewhat, plus I hate getting taxis and am quite happy travelling Platzkart). Cutting to the chase, I cannot understand why how Moscow is considered the world's most expensive city for foreigners; not least when the average salary for Muscovites is well below that of just about anywhere in Western Europe.

Granted, durable goods like clothes from Western High St chains and mobile phones are expensive (my Nokia 6300 costs about 50 in the UK, plus 10 to get it unlocked on York market, whilst a Russian friend said hers cost 6000r), but food in the supermarket is comparable in price as are cigarettes and alcohol (provided it's not imported). So is eating out at most lower-mid range places; a Big Mac in Moscow is 70r (1.50) whilst the individual sandwich in the UK is over 2 (though there are no meal deals at Russian McD's so the price of a large big Mac meal with ketchup works out about the same). At many Moscow restaurants the cheapest draught pint is often as low as 2 as often at swanky bars/clubs which often don't even charge admission on Friday/Saturday nights. Then public transport/Gypsy cabs are not very expensive either.

Then there's rent. My brother lives in Shoreditch; the current 'trendy' area of London, 5-10 minute walk from the nearest Tube and about a 1 hour walk from Buckingham Palace/10 Downing Street etc and the flat he shares with two others is about 1500/$2500/70000r a month plus utilities and that's with the living room doubling up as a bedroom plus the bathroom and kitchen are small and leave a lot to be desired- would a similar flat near Kitay Gorod/Mayakovskaya cost more/less?

Anyone care to add their thoughts?
While Moscow is not the most expensive city it certainly is #3... I would love for you to tell me where to get a decent haircut, shop so I can save money because everywhere I go it seems everything is expensive - I am comparing the prices to Macedonia where there were similar brands of clothing and shoes... I have seen clothing that would cost me $50 in Skopje and here it was priced at 14000 R... not a brand mind you...and this had me wondering - Russians must shop at other places but where..? I had interviews for housekeepers - one said she would work 8 hours a day, 3 days a week for $1500 a month... forget about house rent - I am not going to even touch that...

Another point - I have visited several hair salons and the average price for a hair cut was $150... if this is not expensive I don't know what is... obviously women are very careful when it comes to hair salons - I will be taking a huge risk - especially so with my type of hair in going to any neighbourhood stylist... btw in New York City at a decent hair salon I paid $30 for a haircut...

Then there is a matter of taxis - they cost me 1,500 R - this is for a 10k destination - in Skopje it would cost 150 denars about $3, From JFK to Manhattan costs about $45 - this is a 15 minute drive... of course there is always the Metro which I have tried a few times - it is very efficient with many beautiful stations but it can be uncomfortable at times for me - because I am different looking and while some people are fine with this it is obvious others are not so much, I have had 2 close encounters during my 4 times on the Metro...

It may be cheap for Russians to live here but as foreigners we somehow - and I am sorry to say this - are taken advantage of at times...

All the best

tvadim133
03-02-2010, 13:21
While Moscow is not the most expensive city it certainly is #3....

Another point - I have visited several hair salons and the average price for a hair cut was $150... if this is not expensive I don't know what is...

It may be cheap for Russians to live here but as foreigners we somehow - and I am sorry to say this - are taken advantage of at times...

All the best

Agree and with you!

The most important think that locals (not only foreigners) know where and how much to be paid.

Just an example, my hair salon costs me 300 rur (10 USD) + I give 100 rur for tips (qute good but not very fashionable (why due I do not work in specific areas).

But in 300 metres, there was a salon (bankrupt now), where a man's hairdress costed (for me) 120 USD.

If you want to "feel" rich, you can go to 120USD's and get more or less the same result as if you go t0 10USD's.

If you need just to hair cut, and you are not preparing for fashion defile, photo portfolio, marriage party.

Moscow is not expensive, it pretends to be.

xSnoofovich
03-02-2010, 14:09
One Russian company even imports russian ice--cream to USA (which seemed to many to be stupid.....but had significant sales).....

The ice cream that comes in bags, gold, silver, brown, and one more, i forget is the best ! it only costs maybe 30 rubles.....

however, the fat content is so much higher, (i think), and as a result, the ice cream is SOOOOO much creamier !

tvadim133
03-02-2010, 14:19
There are several types of ice cream... "the most tasty" and harmful is really with "fat" and called cream-brullet (for example: Nestle's brand "48 koppeek" in brickets.

Russian love cream-brullet most of all (it is a short results of some researches, I read).

xSnoofovich
03-02-2010, 14:21
If you want to "feel" rich, you can go to 120USD's and get more or less the same result as if you go t0 10USD's.


But, everyone knows a $120 haircut is better, and is of a much higher quality.....

tvadim133
03-02-2010, 14:50
But, everyone knows a $120 haircut is better, and is of a much higher quality.....

Probably, I do not understand the difference really: I used to go to Jack Dessange and then to another hair dresser..... yes, they did it (cuting) for 2 hours and may be each hair was perfect together with the next hair and so on...

May be for women it is too important, but for me, |as quicky as possible and good (in order, accurate, nice (not perfect, may be)" are enough.

:) :) :)

xSnoofovich
03-02-2010, 15:39
There are several types of ice cream... "the most tasty" and harmful is really with "fat" and called cream-brullet (for example: Nestle's brand "48 koppeek" in brickets.

Russian love cream-brullet most of all (it is a short results of some researches, I read).

The one I am talking about is a Russian brand. I will look at the packaging tonight...