Monday, July 11, 2011

Now thats more like it...

CNN posted this article 

and I am like wait, whaaaaa t? Where is Sao Paulo or Rio on this list? I was in Shanghai in 2007 and while that was a few years ago I know I never felt that rush of expensive steam there quite the same way I did here. So then I was relieved to see this article in Bloomberg which, when it comes to this subject, I trust over CNN (even though they spelled Sao Paulo wrong... we'll just let that one slide...oppsies).

How is it that two mainstream articles are written within days of each other and ohh so different? I was shell shocked to see Brazil not even mentioned in the first article. Am I crazy? Is it normal to see $40 salmon dishes and $50 steaks at most of the restaurants nearby? Sure, there are exceptions and they are basing a lot of this off the cost of items like bread or cigarettes which are still very reasonable in Sao Paulo (actually not sure about cigarettes) but EVERYTHING else isn't! Jim wrote a great article that gets to the bottom of it, purchasing power. Economies are all very different but the most important factor wherever you are is how much does it cost to maintain your standard of living.

Take for instance the other day at the mall, I spy the EXACT same George Foreman grill for sale for a whopping 400R ($250)! I had literally just bought that same grill at Target in the US for $35... thats a 700% markup! Now I understand a markup on imported goods but I am sorry, you have to be a CEO to 'college kid' cook your chicken? I told a cab driver about it, he knew all about George Foreman grills, put it on the same level as acquiring a Louis Vuitton bag!  In the US you get a forman grill for your dorm room because you dont have a place to cook your food. Its cheap and probably embarrassing that I just bought one and was super excited to use it (less dishes when you have to handwash everything)! But c'mon!?! Even my old space heater I had at my desk at work in Chicago was $18.99 ....and $75 at the Sao Paulo Wal-Mart! Forget how you cook your chicken, freezing in this winter weather for that price just isn't fair!

So yea, how many times can I say it, its expensive here!  From $7 ice cream cones to $70,000 mini coopers... we feel it all around us and I am glad that Bloomberg finally legitimized it. Now... about those beaches.....


Ray and Gil said...


You are totally correct, it's ridiculously expensive in Sao Paulo, restaurants are an absolute abuse.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Sao Paulo ( and Brazil ) is mainly expensive right now because the REAL is artificially kept super valuated, and there is internal and external pressure to adjust the currency back to reality.
It is really tough for Brazilian companies to export right now and there is a flood of imports because of the overvalued currency, bringing total chaos to the balance of import exports. Brazil is in the red right now, importing too much and not exporting enough, they can't maintain this situation much longer.
Regarding the space heaters, George Foreman Grills and Cars for example, those won't be 700% more expensive, just maybe around 350% more expensive :(
You have to do like most Brazilians do, you buy this stuff when you travel to the US. That is why Brazilians go on wild shopping sprees when they visit the US.
My family drives me bananas everytime I announce I am coming to visit. Our house is innundated with crap they buy online and ship it to us so we can bring with us.
We have FEDEX trucks, USPS trucks and UPS trucks fighting for a spot on our driveway, delivering everything from Victoria Secret to Dell Laptops, Nike, to L'occitane Bath Bubbles.
I always tell them we refuse to carry Refrigerators or Cars, or they would probably have the Sears truck and a Lincoln dealer fighting for a spot in the driveway too. :)


Ray and Gil said...

One more thing, that George Foreman Grill you saw at the Mall for U$250,00, maybe, just maybe one could find it at Rua 25 de Marco, downtown for U$100,00. ;)
But it will be tough to beat the U$35,00 US Walmart price.


Nina said...

hey, Jana! That's crazy. My brother lives in Shanghai and he always tells me it's cheap there. two dollars a days for a maid, 5 dollars to take a cab across the city and a nice apartment for 400 dollars. And unlike Brazil my brother earns the dollar there. He taught English making 20-50 dollars an hour but now he works in international trade. But yeah Eric never never has complained about cost of living in China. However, when it comes to buying property China is more expensive than Brazil. A house is usually a sign of wealth.

Tony said...

most of the higher cost is from import taxes.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend was just offered a job in Brazil and we are thinking about getting married and going down there. I was wondering if I could talk to you about it and maybe you could ease some of my anxiety about it all and answer some questions about it! My email is Thanks so much!

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