Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Moscow most expensive city

This doesn't surprise me at all. I lived there for nearly two years and the cost of living was sky high for things like quality internet service and food. I had two internet services the first was RopNet, nicknamed rapenet by my expat friend Marc, which was just ridiculous. The funniest part was you had to go to their office to pay the bill, in person. It was about a mile from my apartment. First you had to go to a small office next to the building and wait in line for a pass to enter the building. There were always a dozen people crammed into this space. Then you went to the second floor of a very old, smelly building into RopNet's small office to wait in line again to pay the bill. When an alternative came up I jumped at the chance to quit them. Apparently I wasn't supposed to call them and just tell them I did not want their service, I had to go their and fill out a cancelation form. This I discovered when I was leaving Russia and my response was to let them come and get me.

Enough ranting. The funny part of thie article about the cost of living in Moscow was this:

In Moscow, a luxury two-bedroom apartment will cost an expat $4,000 a month; a CD rings up at $24.83; one copy of an international daily newspaper is $6.30; and a fast-food hamburger meal totals $4.80. [Emphasis added.]

First off, the luxury apartments for $4,000 are in the center surrounded by what is known as the Garden Ring Road. Roughly 250k of Moscow's 11+ million live in this area. Thanks to the marvelous transport system, it is possible to live miles outside of the center and to get anywhere fairly cheaply. Secondly, nobody in Moscow pays almost $25 for a CD. There is an enormous indoor market filled with kiosks carrying every blackmarket CD/DVD called Garbushka. You can buy the latest movies for about $2 a pop. Not that I have in case the MPAA is reading this. So this is highly ridiculous.

Besides, the Russians are pretty good at pirating music off the internet. That is, when the internet is working.



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