Tuesday, October 11, 2005

World's Most Expensive City Revisited

During my lunch today I came across the 2005 list of the World's Most Expensive Cities, conducted bi-annually by MercerHR. Topping the list are Tokyo, Osaka, London, Moscow, and Seoul, in that order. The rankings are compiled by Mercer using a "cost of living basket" comprised of 186 items which are purchased at three different stores (supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores) in each city. Add them up, divide, so some math, and there you have it, a list of the most expensive cities. Now, if you have been reading this blog for the past few months, you know that PositiveMode and I recently travelled to Europe, stopping first in Reykjavik, Iceland. Further, you know that PositiveMode and I are in mutual agreement that Reykjavik is the most expensive place on the planet (read my three previous posts about Reykjavik here, here, and here if you'd like).

So, where is Reykjavik on the list of the 144 most expensive cities (entire list here)? It's not there. There is absolutely no explaination for this whatsoever. Trust me. I've been to the cities ranked #1 (Tokyo), #3 (London), #8 (Copenhagen), #12 (Paris), #13 (NYC), #18 (Stockholm), and #20 (Sydney, where I even lived for six months) and not one of those places has anything on Reykjavik in terms of expensiveness. And those are just from the top 20. Is this ranking seriously trying to tell me that Reykjavik is less expensive than Chicago (#52), D.C. (#78), Detroit (#101), Pittsburgh (#111), or Winston Salem, NC (#119)? That's madness! Do you know how much a pizza pie is in Reykjavik? $30-$40. A .75 lb. piece of chicken breast at the super market? $12-$18. No joke. I saw it with my own eyes.

The only thing I can think of is that Mercer forgot about Iceland or Reykjavik for some reason. Perhaps their maps don't include any cities north of Oslo. I know PositiveMode can back me up on this one. If any of you have been to Reykjavik, please, feel free to comment, cause I'm at a loss here.

Unrelated News: This is just disturbing. Don't worry, it's safe for work, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing. It's a link to Steven Seagal's energy drink. I'll repeat that. It's a link to Steven Seagal's energy drink. Yes, Steven Seagal is producing an energy drink. I'm not sure what to even write about that. Just read this gem from the webpage: "Steven Seagal Enterprises was formed in 2004 as a way for Steven Seagal to share his wisdom and experience of energy with the world. The infinite wisdom of Steven Seagal combined with an experienced Sales and Marketing team has made it possible for Lightning Bolt to emerge as one of the most unique energy drinks on the market." WTF?!? "Wisdom and experience of energy"?!? "Infinite wisdom of Steven Seagal"?!? This has to be a joke right? Please tell me this is a joke (sadly, it isn't). Someone, please try this and let me know how your energy experience was. . . .


dj skuggs said...

i hate it when people refer to pizzas as pies. they're not pies. they're nothing like pies. pies have flaky crusts and are stuffed with other things, such as chicken or blueberries (and stuffed-crust pizza doesn't count).

PositiveMode said...

I will once again confirm NegativeMode's view on this, that it is some sort of grave error that left Reykjavik off the list. I think we need to contact this survey and find out the reason for this omission. (Though perhaps it's some of the included goods in the "basket" that skews things away from Reykjavik, such as perhaps "Cup of Skyr", which in Iceland is only $5.00, but in other cities must be imported via an expensive shipment, and "Hot Springs/Geyser Tour", which in other cities would require a plane ride to a city with a geyser, whereas in Iceland it's only a $100 bus ride. Just a thought).

I do tend to agree with Skuggs when it comes to calling pizzas "pies", but I wouldn't say that I hate it; it's sort of just an expression. You'll probably start using yourself, DJ, if you stay in NY for too long.

NegativeMode said...

The whole "pizza pie" comment is very interesting Skuggs. I actually agree with you, and upon rereading my post, was surprised that I used that parlance. I think in that context is was the most efficient way of saying "a whole pizza" as opposed to a slice. It got the idea across with the least amount of words.

What would very much interest me though, would be an actual pizza pie, that is, a pie crust stuffed with tomatoes and cheese. Would that be good? Why haven't the pizza technicians at Pizza Hut come up with this yet?