Another example of costs

Persimmons, R180/kg (just under $3/lb – just over 1kg – R203 ($7)
Grapes, R200/kg ($3/lb) – R307 ($10)
Parmesan, R370/kg ($6/lb) – 700g, R368 ($9)

Camper parking – 2000R ($70)
(normally one secured parking spot in Moscow will cost you 3-4500 roubles ($100-150) per month; a garage for rent is R4000-7000 ($130-230) per month)

Two stamped enveloped, local – R30 ($1). Needed these to send registration slips to the migration authorities to unregister I’ve registered earlier.

Already ~$98..

As I was typing this more came in:

R680 ($23) to Theo for breakfasts and lunches at school, for one week.

R150 ($5) to Theo for the mandatory “Patriotic education” program. The  Borodino Battle Museum (from Kutuzovsky) is bringing exhibits to school.

This is the fourth (?) day I’m keeping track of expenses. A patterns seems to be emerging. As disappointing as this exercise is I’m getting an explanation where money goes. But I’ll need to seriously revise my advice that $1000 above the cost of accommodation will keep you afloat for a month. Sure you’ll stay alive. But not much more.

My colleagues from recently announced that they will live, as an experiment, on R5000 ($170) per person, the official minimal cost of living, for a month.  At the end of my experimental month I’ll identify what was absolutely essential and see how much we could have spent if survival was the goal.

Alexandra has friends, a family with three children,  who get by for years on about R15000 ($500).  If the subject of living in Moscow cheap turns out to be of interest to the general public I’ll do a case study using that family. The breadwinner is a researcher at Zoology Institute of the Academy of Sciences.  The government of Moscow adds about R800 per child.  Thus the total..

Some things are remarkably cheap. A report on what can be bought for under $1/kg is coming up. One of these is barley. Onions. Oils is $2 for 1L of the cheapest stuff or $3 or under for decent corn or even rapeseed oil.  Made dinner out of barley and wild mushrooms frozen from last fall..

Went for a walk.  Supposed to do 40 minutes of this daily if I don’t want to croak in the near future. Had a beer and a cigarette, R50 ($1.7). The good thing is that in Russia it remains OK to buy a beer and consume it behind the beer kiosk.  But for drinking vodka or even wine in a public place you can end up in the cell till morning.

Another >$100 day.

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