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Rio is expensive even for foreigners (Rio de Janeiro)

(the translation isn't mine; I just used Google Translator, so don't blame me for the incomprehensible fragments)

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Rio is expensive even for foreigners
Transportation, rent, food and entertainment can cost double in Rio in comparison with large Latino and European centers

CAROLINA JARDiM

RIO - Attracted by the climate, beauty, lifestyle and career opportunities, many foreigners disembark in Rio without much awareness of the living costs. Considered one of the most expensive cities in the world, the city has the 2nd highest living cost in Brazil and the Americas (second only to São Paulo) and 13th in the world for expatriates, according to a survey of Mercer Management Consulting. And budget becomes a challenge for those who come from another country.

- How can a Chilean or Argentine wine be cheaper in England? A bottle of Casillero del Diablo costs BRL 38 at Pão de Açúcar supermarket, while at Sainsbury's, a British supermarket chain, costs 7 pounds (about BRL Protected content Englishman Tom Le Mesurier, who works as a business analyst and just opened the blog "Eat Rio" with tips about restaurants and prices.

- Since the wines are very expensive here, now I drink cachaça instead. There is always a solution - joked the Englishman who moved into Rio two years ago.

Mesurier argues that some products such as fruits, vegetables and fish sold at green markets in Rio are cheaper than in London. However, he said, the major difference comes when searching for more sophisticated restaurants.

- If you want Italian or Japanese food in Ipanema, a meal for two can be for BRL Protected content more, especially if you drink wine. In London it costs almost half the price - he said.

Italian Gugo Cruciani traveled around the world before moving to Rio. Previously, he has lived in Rome, Miami, Caracas, London and Brussels. And he says it was the wonderful city where he found it to be the hardest to establish on.

- I always wanted to live in Rio, I'm in love with the city. But I had to postpone this move because of the high living costs. Everything is very expensive, prices are out of control, they went up in an shocking way. It's hard to live here if you don't have a good job - said he.

Before moving, Cruciani, who is also an economist and administrator, has put an eye on business opportunity on the carioca territory. Residing in Rio since one month ago, the Italian now prepares to open an ice cream shop in January or February Protected content . Despite being close to fulfill his dream, inflated prices remain a concern:

- The economy is growing, the World Cup coming up, if you want to build your business up is possible, but the issue of prices is a negative point for the city. I often wonder how middle class people can survive in the Southern Zone.

While the country does not shrink its production costs, the 69,263 foreigners living in Rio, according to the Protected content , will probably not see prices fall. According to the coordinator of the General Price Index Market (IGP) of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Salomão Quadros, this is one of the main challenges of a Brazil that wants to be competitive.

- A strong tax incidence, both in manpower and in inputs, makes production expensive and the cost of living is high. For the country to have more competitiveness, they have lower costs. Reducing the cost of living is a consequence of reduced production costs - said.

But although expensive, the city has just won the title of world's best tourist route in the category for money, by Lonely Planet. And yet the guide is a warning: "If you have plans to visit the beaches and symbolic sights of Rio, this Protected content be the year for it," says an excerpt from the guide, played by the BBC. "Then the big events come quickly, bringing development, growth in infrastructure and, in many cases, higher prices for visitors.

Squeeze to neighbors
If prices are high for Europeans, the situation is more severe for Latinos. The Colombian Carolina Aldana says Rio spends four times more than you would in your city, Cali. She, who has also lived in Buenos Aires, Miami and Paris, draws attention to shipping costs:

- Public transport is absurd. In Buenos Aires, the bus costs around 1.20 pesos, equivalent to $ 0.50, while in Rio costs U.S. $ 2. Protected content .

There are only seven months in Brazil working as Marketing Analyst, rent in Ipanema also tightens the budget of Colombia. She says there lived in affluent neighborhoods in their travels around the world, but nothing beats the charge in Rio:
- I wonder all the time how things can be so expensive here. In Buenos Aires, paid Protected content per quarter (about $ Protected content . In Paris, Protected content (about £ 1, Protected content in Rio, spent $ 1,600 to rent - compared.

- In Miami, for example, you can find a good apartment in regions valued at $ 1, Protected content £ 2,000). In Rio, the options are very limited - added.

According to the FGV economist, rents have risen consistently above inflation few years ago. Rio to Brasilia and displaced now has the most expensive square meter in the country.

- The real estate industry has gained momentum with special access to credit. Not only Rio as all major Brazilian cities have experienced a real estate boom. The valuation of buildings and land and rents go along. People are demanding more than the market is getting to meet - said Quadros.

Disparity in cost-benefit

The perception of an expensive city is shared by Frenchman Thomas Sparfel. He had the rent of his apartment, where he lives since arriving five years ago, just doubled.

- I rented a single-room 40 square meters flat in Santa Teresa. Before, I paid BRL 1,000. Today, it's up to BRL Protected content told.

Sparfel is a graduate in political science and came to Brazil after getting a job offer in the French Consulate in Rio. For him, rather than higher prices, the problem of the city is the cost/benefit ratio.

- Rio is as expensive as Paris and facilities have not the same quality. I live on a street that has problems of garbage collection, for instance.

Leisure is also no exception, according to Sparfel.

- Tickets for international concerts are absurdly expensive. The cheapest ticket for the Bob Dylan show in Rio was BRL 500. In Paris, it was less than half, around 80 euros (equivalent to BRL Protected content . In one of the presentations in my town, the ticket was even cheaper, about 40 euros (BRL Protected content the Frenchman from Brittany.

A lucky man

The American lawyer Nathan Walters, from Kansas, considers himself to be "lucky" for having found an apartment at Avenida Atlantica, in Copacabana, with two bedrooms and a rent of BRL 3,200.

- It's difficult to find a worthy apartment here. Renting a property in a traditional region is expensive. All my visitors tell me how lucky I am to have found mine - said he.

Walters says that, when he goes back to the U.S., he returns loaded with clothes and electronics, not daring to afford the high prices charged in Brazil. According to him, if you make an effort, it is possible to lead a life with reasonable expenses. But as for American and European standards, it is nearly impossible:

- In Europe and the United States, you eat in great restaurants and pay much less. In Rio, it is not like that - he compares.

Despite the complaints, when asked about the possibility of leaving Rio because of the high cost of living, foreigners have the same answer: they wouldn't trade Rio for no other place.

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