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Gabon among World’s Top Ten Most Expensive Cities for Expatriates

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  • tom_leblanc_chico
    A survey by Employee Conditions Abroad International, a membership organization for international human resources, has ranked Harare, Zimbabwe, as the world s
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 11, 2006
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      A survey by Employee Conditions Abroad International, a membership
      organization for international human resources, has ranked Harare,
      Zimbabwe, as the world's most expensive city for expatriates, due
      largely to the country's soaring inflation of 1,700%. Luanda, Angola
      ranks number two. The survey takes into account more than 125
      economic factors such as the cost of luxury goods, restaurant meals,
      and grocery costs. The world's 10 most expensive cities for
      expatriates according to the survey are:

      1. Harare, Zimbabwe
      2. Luanda, Angola
      3. Oslo, Norway
      4. Moscow, Russia
      5. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
      6. Stavanger, Norway
      7. Copenhagen, Denmark
      8. Seoul, South Korea
      9. Libreville, Gabon
      10. Tokyo, Japan
    • Bradley Alan Hodges
      What a tiring issue this has become, of how much expatriates must spend on luxury goods, restaurant meals, and grocery costs. C mon RPCVS, help me out here.
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 12, 2006
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        What a tiring issue this has become, of how much expatriates must
        spend on "luxury goods, restaurant meals, and grocery costs." C'mon
        RPCVS, help me out here. It's rather sad to see U.S. Americans
        buying frozen pizzas and Pringles cans in a Central African version
        of Wal-Mart (Mbolo). Why the hell don't you go back to the U.S., if
        this was how you expected to live here?!? LBV isn't at all an
        expensive place to live, that is, if you would only learn how to
        shop, eat, and live like the locals. Arghhh...

        Moussavou

        --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "tom_leblanc_chico"
        <tom_leblanc_chico@...> wrote:
        >
        > A survey by Employee Conditions Abroad International, a membership
        > organization for international human resources, has ranked Harare,
        > Zimbabwe, as the world's most expensive city for expatriates, due
        > largely to the country's soaring inflation of 1,700%. Luanda,
        Angola
        > ranks number two. The survey takes into account more than 125
        > economic factors such as the cost of luxury goods, restaurant
        meals,
        > and grocery costs. The world's 10 most expensive cities for
        > expatriates according to the survey are:
        >
        > 1. Harare, Zimbabwe
        > 2. Luanda, Angola
        > 3. Oslo, Norway
        > 4. Moscow, Russia
        > 5. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
        > 6. Stavanger, Norway
        > 7. Copenhagen, Denmark
        > 8. Seoul, South Korea
        > 9. Libreville, Gabon
        > 10. Tokyo, Japan
        >
      • Amin F. Abari
        I personally, very rarely saw any U.S. Americans (or other Americans) buying Pringles or anything else. Gabon is not like some other sub-Saharan African
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 12, 2006
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          I personally, very rarely saw any "U.S. Americans" (or other
          Americans) buying Pringles or anything else. Gabon is not like some
          other sub-Saharan African countries and just a quick head count in
          any shop would tell you that. Most people buying the things you
          mention are Gabonese, French, Lebanese, ... - in that order. Most
          Americans in Libreville work for the Embassy and they order all their
          Pringles from NetGrocer and have it delivered vat and duty free.

          I once met a French man who had married a Gabonese. I had a
          conversation with him concerning cost of living in Gabon. He argued
          how Gabon was cheap while his wife was sulking on the couch! Later,
          she told me he would give her and her family very little money
          arguing the same thing. Why would they need money in such a cheap
          country?

          BTW, here is a quote from you from a year ago:

          "Let me start by saying that, even with all its corruption,
          mosquitoes, hot and muggy rainy seasons and ridiculous cost of
          living, I really miss Gabon a lot."

          Maybe prices have dropped significantly since last year for you to
          have changed your tune or maybe you meant ridiculously "LOW" cost of
          living!

          But while you are still on your high horse and telling the rest to
          get the "hell" out of Gabon, and if you really want to stay native,
          then stop giving milk* to your children (if you have children). Once
          the breast milk is finished most locals can't afford it on a regular
          basis. But then again life is cheap in Gabon.

          Amin

          *For the record there is no milk production in Gabon. All is
          imported from France. Most local women I spoke with would not be
          able to afford milk for their children after their breast milk was
          finished. If the children got any protein after was from locally
          caught fish. I can't think of any other country that does not have
          milk!


          --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Bradley Alan Hodges"
          <niakurondi@...> wrote:
          >
          > What a tiring issue this has become, of how much expatriates must
          > spend on "luxury goods, restaurant meals, and grocery costs." C'mon
          > RPCVS, help me out here. It's rather sad to see U.S. Americans
          > buying frozen pizzas and Pringles cans in a Central African version
          > of Wal-Mart (Mbolo). Why the hell don't you go back to the U.S., if
          > this was how you expected to live here?!? LBV isn't at all an
          > expensive place to live, that is, if you would only learn how to
          > shop, eat, and live like the locals. Arghhh...
          >
          > Moussavou
          >
          > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "tom_leblanc_chico"
          > <tom_leblanc_chico@> wrote:
          > >
          > > A survey by Employee Conditions Abroad International, a
          membership
          > > organization for international human resources, has ranked
          Harare,
          > > Zimbabwe, as the world's most expensive city for expatriates, due
          > > largely to the country's soaring inflation of 1,700%. Luanda,
          > Angola
          > > ranks number two. The survey takes into account more than 125
          > > economic factors such as the cost of luxury goods, restaurant
          > meals,
          > > and grocery costs. The world's 10 most expensive cities for
          > > expatriates according to the survey are:
          > >
          > > 1. Harare, Zimbabwe
          > > 2. Luanda, Angola
          > > 3. Oslo, Norway
          > > 4. Moscow, Russia
          > > 5. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
          > > 6. Stavanger, Norway
          > > 7. Copenhagen, Denmark
          > > 8. Seoul, South Korea
          > > 9. Libreville, Gabon
          > > 10. Tokyo, Japan
          > >
          >
        • Bradley Alan Hodges
          Which proves my point entirely. If you re going to order your food over the Internet and have it shipped in from another part of the world, you shouldn t have
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 12, 2006
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            Which proves my point entirely. If you're going to order your food
            over the Internet and have it shipped in from another part of the
            world, you shouldn't have the right to complain about how expensive
            it is when smoked fish and plantains are $1-$2 a pile.

            By the way, a large can of Nido costs $3.

            --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Amin F. Abari"
            <aminabari@...> wrote:
            >
            > I personally, very rarely saw any "U.S. Americans" (or other
            > Americans) buying Pringles or anything else. Gabon is not like
            some
            > other sub-Saharan African countries and just a quick head count in
            > any shop would tell you that. Most people buying the things you
            > mention are Gabonese, French, Lebanese, ... - in that order. Most
            > Americans in Libreville work for the Embassy and they order all
            their
            > Pringles from NetGrocer and have it delivered vat and duty free.
            >
            > I once met a French man who had married a Gabonese. I had a
            > conversation with him concerning cost of living in Gabon. He
            argued
            > how Gabon was cheap while his wife was sulking on the couch!
            Later,
            > she told me he would give her and her family very little money
            > arguing the same thing. Why would they need money in such a cheap
            > country?
            >
            > BTW, here is a quote from you from a year ago:
            >
            > "Let me start by saying that, even with all its corruption,
            > mosquitoes, hot and muggy rainy seasons and ridiculous cost of
            > living, I really miss Gabon a lot."
            >
            > Maybe prices have dropped significantly since last year for you to
            > have changed your tune or maybe you meant ridiculously "LOW" cost
            of
            > living!
            >
            > But while you are still on your high horse and telling the rest to
            > get the "hell" out of Gabon, and if you really want to stay
            native,
            > then stop giving milk* to your children (if you have children).
            Once
            > the breast milk is finished most locals can't afford it on a
            regular
            > basis. But then again life is cheap in Gabon.
            >
            > Amin
            >
            > *For the record there is no milk production in Gabon. All is
            > imported from France. Most local women I spoke with would not be
            > able to afford milk for their children after their breast milk was
            > finished. If the children got any protein after was from locally
            > caught fish. I can't think of any other country that does not
            have
            > milk!
            >
            >
            > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Bradley Alan Hodges"
            > <niakurondi@> wrote:
            > >
            > > What a tiring issue this has become, of how much expatriates
            must
            > > spend on "luxury goods, restaurant meals, and grocery costs."
            C'mon
            > > RPCVS, help me out here. It's rather sad to see U.S. Americans
            > > buying frozen pizzas and Pringles cans in a Central African
            version
            > > of Wal-Mart (Mbolo). Why the hell don't you go back to the U.S.,
            if
            > > this was how you expected to live here?!? LBV isn't at all an
            > > expensive place to live, that is, if you would only learn how to
            > > shop, eat, and live like the locals. Arghhh...
            > >
            > > Moussavou
            > >
            > > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "tom_leblanc_chico"
            > > <tom_leblanc_chico@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > A survey by Employee Conditions Abroad International, a
            > membership
            > > > organization for international human resources, has ranked
            > Harare,
            > > > Zimbabwe, as the world's most expensive city for expatriates,
            due
            > > > largely to the country's soaring inflation of 1,700%. Luanda,
            > > Angola
            > > > ranks number two. The survey takes into account more than 125
            > > > economic factors such as the cost of luxury goods, restaurant
            > > meals,
            > > > and grocery costs. The world's 10 most expensive cities for
            > > > expatriates according to the survey are:
            > > >
            > > > 1. Harare, Zimbabwe
            > > > 2. Luanda, Angola
            > > > 3. Oslo, Norway
            > > > 4. Moscow, Russia
            > > > 5. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
            > > > 6. Stavanger, Norway
            > > > 7. Copenhagen, Denmark
            > > > 8. Seoul, South Korea
            > > > 9. Libreville, Gabon
            > > > 10. Tokyo, Japan
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • bobutne
            How many US expatriates reside in Gabon? My guess, besides the US embassy staff, only a few missionaries and a few others working in the petroleum industry; in
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 12, 2006
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              How many US expatriates reside in Gabon? My guess, besides the US
              embassy staff, only a few missionaries and a few others working in the
              petroleum industry; in total, about 30.
            • Tom LeBlanc
              I must admit that at first I was taken aback but then pleasantly surprised by the strong responses in both directions (both pro and con) to this simple
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 12, 2006
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                I must admit that at first I was taken aback but then
                pleasantly surprised by the strong responses in both
                directions (both pro and con) to this simple
                statistic. This data points out the stark contrast
                between how expensive it is for the poorest of the
                poor (who have no money) to live in Libreville and the
                reality that for most middle class people (both
                foreigners and locals who seek to lead a middle class
                lifestyle), Libreville is one of THE most expensive
                cities on the planet. I mean, it's more expensive for
                a middle class expat to live in Libreville than it is
                for a middle class expat to live in Tokyo! This is an
                outrage when you think that more than 60% of all
                Gabonese still live at or below the poverty line (in
                fact, 30% of the Gabonese living in Libreville live
                below what is called the "absolute poverty line"--that
                means they have no money whatsoever so those dried
                fish for a buck might as well cost a million bucks)
                whereas the vast majority of Japanese are middle
                class. Not only that, there are only about half a
                million people living in Libreville and 12 million
                living in Tokyo. One more statistic of interest: the
                average life expectancy in Libreville is 56; in Tokyo
                it's 81.

                I remember not too long ago (maybe a few years ago) I
                saw another statistic that ranked Gabon as the highest
                consumer of champagne per capita in the world. Do you
                think it's middle class expats who are sitting around
                sipping tons of French champagne? There is a severe
                gap between the very richest Gabonese and the rest of
                the population. When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in
                Gabon in the early 1980s, the contrast was no
                different. In more that 20 years, it seems nothing has
                changed. If anything, the fact that it's more
                expensive to live in Libreville than Tokyo suggests it
                may be getting worse.

                --- bobutne <bobutne@...> wrote:

                > How many US expatriates reside in Gabon? My guess,
                > besides the US
                > embassy staff, only a few missionaries and a few
                > others working in the
                > petroleum industry; in total, about 30.
                >
                >




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              • Amin F. Abari
                I like your logic!! All it proves is that Gabon is so expensive that it is more cost efficient for the people to have food shipped all the way from the US and
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 15, 2006
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                  I like your logic!!

                  All it proves is that Gabon is so expensive that it is more cost
                  efficient for the people to have food shipped all the way from the US
                  and still save money! And these are the few lucky American diplomats
                  that have access and are allowed to do this. You can imagine how
                  expensive it is for the rest.

                  BTW, you didn't explain why you thought Gabon was expensive last year
                  and now you think it is cheap? What could have changed?

                  "What's for dinner honey?" "The usual. Plantains and smoked fish.
                  What else would there be?" "Wow. Aren't we lucky to live in a cheap
                  country where we can eat that every night? I wonder why the rest of
                  the world doesn't move here. It is so cheap!"

                  Also, based on your logic and the fact that $1-$2 for a pile of
                  plantain is also more expensive than any other country in the world;
                  why don't you move to the bush, stop paying the 1000CFA an hour for
                  your internet cafe luxury and live off the land? Life would be free
                  and then you can truly claim Gabon is the cheapest country in the
                  World.

                  I'd say anyone lazy enough to pay a dollar to buy plantains and is
                  not willing to walk into the wild and find it for themselves should
                  get the hell out of Gabon. And should automatically loose all rights
                  to complain, whine, and pass judgment on others. :-)

                  Amin




                  --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Bradley Alan Hodges"
                  <niakurondi@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Which proves my point entirely. If you're going to order your food
                  > over the Internet and have it shipped in from another part of the
                  > world, you shouldn't have the right to complain about how expensive
                  > it is when smoked fish and plantains are $1-$2 a pile.
                  >
                  > By the way, a large can of Nido costs $3.
                  >
                  > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Amin F. Abari"
                  > <aminabari@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I personally, very rarely saw any "U.S. Americans" (or other
                  > > Americans) buying Pringles or anything else. Gabon is not like
                  > some
                  > > other sub-Saharan African countries and just a quick head count
                  in
                  > > any shop would tell you that. Most people buying the things you
                  > > mention are Gabonese, French, Lebanese, ... - in that order.
                  Most
                  > > Americans in Libreville work for the Embassy and they order all
                  > their
                  > > Pringles from NetGrocer and have it delivered vat and duty free.
                  > >
                  > > I once met a French man who had married a Gabonese. I had a
                  > > conversation with him concerning cost of living in Gabon. He
                  > argued
                  > > how Gabon was cheap while his wife was sulking on the couch!
                  > Later,
                  > > she told me he would give her and her family very little money
                  > > arguing the same thing. Why would they need money in such a
                  cheap
                  > > country?
                  > >
                  > > BTW, here is a quote from you from a year ago:
                  > >
                  > > "Let me start by saying that, even with all its corruption,
                  > > mosquitoes, hot and muggy rainy seasons and ridiculous cost of
                  > > living, I really miss Gabon a lot."
                  > >
                  > > Maybe prices have dropped significantly since last year for you
                  to
                  > > have changed your tune or maybe you meant ridiculously "LOW" cost
                  > of
                  > > living!
                  > >
                  > > But while you are still on your high horse and telling the rest
                  to
                  > > get the "hell" out of Gabon, and if you really want to stay
                  > native,
                  > > then stop giving milk* to your children (if you have children).
                  > Once
                  > > the breast milk is finished most locals can't afford it on a
                  > regular
                  > > basis. But then again life is cheap in Gabon.
                  > >
                  > > Amin
                  > >
                  > > *For the record there is no milk production in Gabon. All is
                  > > imported from France. Most local women I spoke with would not be
                  > > able to afford milk for their children after their breast milk
                  was
                  > > finished. If the children got any protein after was from locally
                  > > caught fish. I can't think of any other country that does not
                  > have
                  > > milk!
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Bradley Alan Hodges"
                  > > <niakurondi@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > What a tiring issue this has become, of how much expatriates
                  > must
                  > > > spend on "luxury goods, restaurant meals, and grocery costs."
                  > C'mon
                  > > > RPCVS, help me out here. It's rather sad to see U.S. Americans
                  > > > buying frozen pizzas and Pringles cans in a Central African
                  > version
                  > > > of Wal-Mart (Mbolo). Why the hell don't you go back to the
                  U.S.,
                  > if
                  > > > this was how you expected to live here?!? LBV isn't at all an
                  > > > expensive place to live, that is, if you would only learn how
                  to
                  > > > shop, eat, and live like the locals. Arghhh...
                  > > >
                  > > > Moussavou
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "tom_leblanc_chico"
                  > > > <tom_leblanc_chico@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > A survey by Employee Conditions Abroad International, a
                  > > membership
                  > > > > organization for international human resources, has ranked
                  > > Harare,
                  > > > > Zimbabwe, as the world's most expensive city for expatriates,
                  > due
                  > > > > largely to the country's soaring inflation of 1,700%.
                  Luanda,
                  > > > Angola
                  > > > > ranks number two. The survey takes into account more than
                  125
                  > > > > economic factors such as the cost of luxury goods, restaurant
                  > > > meals,
                  > > > > and grocery costs. The world's 10 most expensive cities for
                  > > > > expatriates according to the survey are:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 1. Harare, Zimbabwe
                  > > > > 2. Luanda, Angola
                  > > > > 3. Oslo, Norway
                  > > > > 4. Moscow, Russia
                  > > > > 5. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
                  > > > > 6. Stavanger, Norway
                  > > > > 7. Copenhagen, Denmark
                  > > > > 8. Seoul, South Korea
                  > > > > 9. Libreville, Gabon
                  > > > > 10. Tokyo, Japan
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
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