Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Expensive??? Or Not?

Seoul Ranks World’s 8th Expensive City
By Ryu JinStaff Reporter Korea Times
Seoulites live in the world’s eighth most expensive city, according to a survey released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on Monday.
It is the first time that Seoul has been placed on the top-10 list for the cost of living.
Oslo was in first place, followed by Tokyo, Reykjavik and Paris, in the survey conducted biannually by the EIU. Seoul was in the 16th and 13th place in August 2005 and January 2006, respectively.
I don't think so.
I'm not sure what their criteria are. I suppose things like rent are very expensive, so they live in smaller homes. The fuel prices are also up there. Other things, though, I find to be lower than at home. The cost of food, for instance, is much lower than at home in Edmonton.
As a foreigner here, I find the cost of living to be very cheap. So many foreigners regularly go out for lunch and/or dinner, because it is so cheap. If you add in the time it takes to make a meal, and the cost of the food, it is much easier to just go to a little Korean restaurant for a quick, big, delicious, cheap meal. I also regularly take taxis here, as they are so readily available, and cheap (Korean's don't think so).
I think the standard (usually one room) school provided foreigner home in Korea costs the hagwons around 300,000 Won per month. Mine is a bit more at around 600,000 Won (or so I've been told), but I have a Korean home rather than a one room villa or officetel room.
I suppose it is difficult for many Koreans, as they don't really do mortgages here... you have to have the money up front. It is possible to get a loan, but you have some sort of collateral, or a huge amount of money to begin with.
I guess if you include the cost of all of the after school academies and hagwons that the parents send their kids to, the cost of living goes up quite a bit.

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