Well not me exactly, but according to Business Weekly, Baku, Azerbaijan has been recently named the 20th most expensive city in the world. I’m not shocked by this at all.
Baku has always been overpriced in my opinion. What really gets me about this list of expensive cities is the value that they give for your overpriced buck. Sure, Tokyo is consistently one of the most expensive places in the world, but you get the benefit of all the crazy stuff they have going on over there. In Baku, when I went in a couple of months ago for some official siteseeing, I was shocked at how quickly it all went by.
The expensiveness of Baku has to be a huge turn off for people considering traveling through the region. This is especially true when you see that number 21, 22, and 23 on the list are Berlin, Vienna, and Moscow respectively.
The other bone I would have to pick here is that living in the regions of Azerbaijan is pretty cheap. People commonly ask me how much money I make, and when I tell them it’s a couple hundred bucks a month, they are usually shocked and tell me that it’s nothing. I usually counter with “Well, look where we live. There isn’t really any place to spend my money.” It’s an exaggeration, but it’s not like I’m tempted to blow my monthly living allowance on movie theater tickets.
I guess I just don’t understand how such expensive cities exist in such poor countries. The lack of parity is actually pretty common on this list of cities though, with Abuja, Nigeria and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo coming in right before Baku at 18 and 19. And surprisingly, Luanda, Angola (which I have never heard of) is number one on the list. Talk about not getting value.