One or two of you may have seen that I got a little mention in the mighty O Globo yesterday morning! If your Portuguese isn’t up to it (or you’re just straight-up lazy) then I’ll see if I can summarise what the article said.
Rio is one of the most expensive cities in the world for expatriates. Tom Le Mesurier, who has a blog called Eat Rio, wonders how a bottle of wine from Chile can be cheaper in the UK than in Brazil. Tom jokes that the solution is to drink cachaça instead and says that although some foods like fruit and vegetables are cheaper than London, the fancier restaurants are more expensive.
An Italian guy who has lived all over the world says Rio has been the most difficult. He’s planning to open a business but high prices worry him. An economist says that high prices remain one of the biggest challenges that Brazil faces in terms of being competitive. Weirdly, the Lonely Planet has just voted Rio the best value city in the world [this is so weird - I just can't understand this, it makes no sense].
Expat rats have money to burn! Are they (we) driving the high prices in Rio?
Things are even harder for Latin Americans. A Colombian woman says that public transport is also very expensive and that property rental prices are higher than in Paris. The economist then says that property prices have been rising above inflation in many Brazilian cities as demand is greater than supply.
A Frenchman says that prices are the same as Paris but the services are not of the same quality. Finally Nathan Walters, an American [and a friend of mine!] says that he feels lucky to have found a 2 bedroom apartment in Copacabana for around 1,600 USD/month. He also says that the restaurants in Rio are expensive.
The piece finishes up by saying that despite the high prices, none of the foreigners said they want to leave Rio.
So that was a quick summary of the article. I haven’t had the courage to read the ‘Reader comments’ section yet – on past experience with O Globo, I expect more than one go something like “If the stinking rich Gringo is so bothered about the high price of imported wine, why doesn’t he go and live in France!”.
But on a serious note, having had my name against one small comment in a larger article, I wanted to expand a little on prices in Rio. I’ll quote all prices in Reais – divide by 2 to get USD, divide by 3 to get GBP.