Expat Life Within Sri Lanka, ColomboI recently visited the wonderful island of Sri Lanka, and found a nation full of surprises.Sri Lanka is situated simply south of indian , in the Indian sea. Once known as the Dominium ofCeylon and often referred to as the teas country, tea farms abundantly thrive across the island, withspice gardens, banana as well as coconut palms developing randomly to create a new world ofnatural assets.People, animals as well as transport seem to co-exist side by side with no bitterness towards eachother. Canines wonder aimlessly throughout or bask in the sun at the side of roads, cows and goatsroam around everywhere, even on the beaches (that we found rather humorous ) and people areeverywhere, regardless of whether walking, cycling, utilizing a tuc-tuc, motorbike along with 5 astride,inside a taxi, bus, car or truck , each takes up an area of the not too wide road. However co-exist theydo, there is no anger at being stuck behind the truck, merely a short hooting of the horn to say I amright here and would like to move , politeness abounds and the expression and seems are all offriendliness, within a country which sorely needs help at redeveloping itself since the tsunami.Individuals are poor and yet joy is everywhere.... NOt only for the child on the hip or the individual attheir side , but for expats as well as tourists as well.Tourists fluctuate towards the hotels and some chance other locations slightly outside of these areas,to experience the quieter less harassed holiday. Small pockets of expats can be found , dotted allover the country. When you bump into these people and chat about existence on the island, there isnot much to grumble about. Yes, occasionally the water gets turned off or the electricity, indeed theinternet is not as fast as they would like it to be. Isnt that how most people feel within developedcountries anyway: the faster it gets the faster we want this. In this little bit of paradise, expats arenttoo concerned that it takes longer to do things right here , the people are prepared to wait , not toohasty to move forward too quickly. There was a lot of speak and concern about the elections andsafety within the country there are still road blockades and police or army personnel along with gunswandering close to keeping peace if necessary. However, with 70% of the population beingBuddhists, the lifestyle is actually peaceful and existence simplistic.From a good expat perspective, i possibly could not fault the life-style. As said over , yes there areparticular things missing, things are slower, it takes a good 4 - 6 hours to obtain from Colombo toGalle and similarly to anywhere about 200kms apart. I cant say that the roads are particularly ingood shape , but in the 10 days that I visited, i did not see one accident. Hardships could include thelack of being able to get in one part of the island to another quickly, the lack of fast internetconnection, perhaps the individual waste / decline , which allows for the influx of flies, the dirt which isremaining to lie close to and lastly the lack of money to rebuild the country to what it was prior to theTsunami.Having said that , I have to look at all of the good things that you discover there, the beauty of thenatural resources, how the nationals and expats are trying to rebuild the country , the beaches, gamerecreational areas and mountains. This really is truly a beautiful part of the world.
Expat Cost of living summaryThe currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee LKRThe Exchange rate because at 15 the month of january 2010 was $1 = 114.217 RupeesI am going to break the Cost of living down according to some of the container items:Alcohol as well as Tobacco: Alcohol at Bar, Beer, cigarettes , Locally Produced spirit , Whiskey,WineCigarettes (twenties ) - $3.fourteen to $9Domestic ale (500ml) - $2.50Imported Beer (330ml) - $5.80Wine at a bar - $6 a glassWine at a shop - $15 (750ml bottle )Hotels tend to increase the prices of alcoholic beverages as it is the one method in which they canmake a profit. There are lots of small hotels as well as restaurants which produce a competitive edgeto where you can stay.Clothing: Business Suits, Casual clothes , Childrens Clothing as well as footwear, Coats as well ashats, Evening Wear, footwear Repairs, UnderwearCasual long-sleeved Shirt (Men) - $12Casual Long Sleeved trousers (Men) - $20Shorts (Men) - $11T-Shirt (Men) - $6Casual Blouse (Women) - $7Casual Skirt (ladies ) - $12Childrens denim jeans (Boys) - $5Childrens Jeans (Girls) - $3.50Childrens shirt (Boys) - $5Childrens Shirt(Girls) - $4Clothes are extremely inexpensive , in Colombo an individual can get most of the name brandedclothing at fairly reasonable prices within Factory shops.Communication: Home Telephone leasing and Call costs , Internet Connection and service providerfees, Mobile or Cellular Phone Contract as well as CallsMonthly phone leasing - $4.36Phone call rate - $0.05 for any local callInternet collection connection fee - $104 (buy just about all equipment with set up )Internet service provider fee - $17 (1 geg free after that )Monthly mobile contract fee - $2.18 (for the 12 months )Mobile / cellular call rate - 90% of mobile phones are prepaid,Mobile Phone 100 moments Call - $38- $0.012 - $0.05 sms peak timesDue to so many of the nationals working overseas to send money home, the conversation costs are
extremely low and there are often special deals or cost-free is involved in the actual call.Education: Creche / Pre-School costs , High School / college Fees, Primary college Fees, Tertiarystudy FeesAnnual Creche fee - $4.thirty six per monthAnnual primary school fee - $260 - $436 per monthAnnual high school fee - $260 - $436 per monthAnnual 1st 12 months Tertiary / college fee - $260 to $436 monthly (dependent on whichprivate college they go to)Private schooling is the most expensive on the island for expat children to attend , however the ratescompared to other countries tend to be reasonable. Expats which i came across spoke highly of theeducation system in the country and were happy with the personal education that their children werereceiving.Furniture and Appliances: DVD Player, Fridge Freezer, iron , Kettle, Toaster, microwave oven ,Light Bulbs, Television, vacuum cleaner , Washing MachineDVD participant - $87Fridge or Freezer - $489 (LG / Whirlpool - 4 12 months guarantee)Iron - $12 cheap to $35 top of the rangeKettle - $20 inexpensive to $37 top of the rangeMicrowave - $191TV 21 inch - $244 (2 12 months guarantee)Washing device LG - $570Discounts can be negotiated along with stores on just about all itemsGroceries bought inside a grocery store: Baby Consumables, Baked Goods, baking , CannedFoods, cheese , Cleaning Products, dairy , Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, fruit juices , Frozen, Meat,oil & Vinegars, dog Food, Pre-Prepared meals , Sauces, Seafood, treats , Soft Drinks, Spices &HerbsPowdered baby method (400g) - $7Plain biscuits (100g) - $0.20Loaf white bread (200g) - $0.70Cake Flour (1kg) - $2.80Baked Beans (415g) - $1.92Tuna (185g) - $2.75Cheese: Cheddar (250g) - $6.63Crisps: Pringles (139g) - $2.50Autowash clothes powder (750g) - $1.57Dishwash fluid (500g) - $0.87Clothing Softener (2l) - $5.40Breakfast Cereal (250g) - $2.45Butter (227g) - $2.18
Milk (1l) - $1.40Eggs (12) - $1.80Orange juice (1l) - $2.80Frozen Mixed vegetables (1kg) - $6.20Cooking oil (1l) - $3.22Olive oil (500ml) - $8.28Can associated with cola (355ml) - $1.00Local Fizzy Soft Drink (1l) - $1.30Local natural Mineral Water (5l) - $1.08Tea Bags (200g) - $1.85Instant espresso (100g) - $6.75Local Ground espresso (200g) - $3.66Salt (400g) - $0.26Pepper (400g) - $0.35Prices were obtained from local grocery stores, there are no big department stores to shop within.Healthcare: General specialist Consultation rates, medical center Private Ward daily , Rate, Non-Prescription medication , Private Medical Insurance or Medical Aid ContributionsGP Private rate go to with meds - $3.50Hospital personal ward rates - $28 per dayDentistry - Tooth extraction - $4.35Most expats use Bupa or the Sri Lankan EquivalentHousehold: House or Flat Mortgage, house / Flat leasing , Household Electricity usage , HouseholdGas or Fuel Consumption, household Water Consumption, local Property Rates or Taxes / LeviesRent 2 bed condo City Centre - $700Rent 2 bed Apartment outside of city Centre - $600Electricity, Gas, Water, garbage per - $80 to $90 monthly for an averagehousehold, this really is expensive when taking householdair conditioning into accountGas / energy - 12 ½ kg bottle - $14Local property prices - 8 to 10% of value associated with propertyExpats cannot purchase a property directly, this has to be done via a Lawyer who owns the property.Mortgage for locals is 4/5%. This is when most expats find the costs creep within , running the air hairconditioners is extremely expensive as well as the cost of water.Miscellaneous: Domestic Help, dried out Cleaning, Linen, office supplies online , Newspapers andmagazines , Postage StampsDomestic prices - full time per person - $80 average1 Black ink jet printer cartridge - $141 Color ink jet printer cartridge - $21500 sheets inkjet printer paper - $5.23
Local Daily paper - $0.17International Daily Newspaper - $0.45International magazine - $20International Airmail Stamps - $0.22Domestic Stamps - $0.12Domestic help is cheap and most employees either live on the property or close by. Office suppliesonline are reasonable, along with CDs and digital video disks freely available on the street wheremost locals buy them.Personal treatment : Cosmetics, Haircare, moisturizer / Sun Block, diapers , Pain Relief Tablets,mouthwash , Toothpaste, Soap or Shampoo / ConditionerBody lotion (400ml) Vaseline Intensive car - $4.53Toilet paper 1 ply per roll - $0.50Toothpaste (200g) - $1.92Shampoo (200ml) - $2.40Some of the items that can be purchased can be expensive, like creams, sunblocks as well ascosmetic creams. NAme brand products are the most expensive.Recreation and Culture: Books, Camera Film, cinema Ticket, DVD as well as CDs, Sports goods ,Theatre TicketBooks paper back - $10Cinema ticket - $0.50DVD / cd Imported - $2Cricket ticket - $0.50 to $8Theatre Ticket - just in Colombo - $30Hard cover publications are expensive in the country, however paper back publications are of acomparable cost to the us and UK. Cinema tickets are inexpensive due to the availability ofinexpensive DVD replicas which can be bought on street corners. International cricket tickets are alsoheld cheap for the local population.Restaurants or Meals out or Hotels: Business dinner , Dinner at cafe (non fast food), hotel Rates,Take Away beverages & Snacks (fast food )Business Dinner excl Alcohol - $22 per personDinner or lunch at local restaurant - $8 per personMcDonalds big Mac - $4.10Hotel Rates 3* - $8 to $50 pppnHotel prices 4* - $80 to $120 pppnHotel Rates 5* - $140 pppn upwardsTake away - may of cola x 1 - $0.70Medium pizza - $3.50Hamburger - $2.00Coffee - pot x 3 cups - $1.40
As in most countries how much you pay for any meal is dependent upon where you go, theneighborhood restaurants have great local meals, in addition to international flavours, we found afabulous vegetarian restaurant in Galle, well worth a visit and all prices were fairly cheap. Somerestaurants do take advantage of the tourist population and serve sub standard meals. However,most restaurants were good using their portions and diet plans.Transport: Hire purchase / Lease associated with Vehicle, Petrol or Diesel, Public Transport, supportMaintenance, Tyres, automobile Insurance, Vehicle PurchaseHire / Lease vehicle - Sedan Toyota Corolla - $37.14 per day for 1 weekHire or Lease car - Toyota RAV4 - $46.71 per day for 1 weekPetrol unleaded per litre - $1.23Diesel per litre - $0.64Bus solution (one way) - $1.00Taxi Ride - per km - $0.50Tuc Tuc - 10 kilometres ride - $6.00Train Ticket 2nd class - $1.57If you are visiting I would suggest you use the local taxis and tuc-tucs, driving can be a head-acheand unpleasant experience if you are not used to the neighborhood norms. However, speeds do notgo over 80km on the bigger roads and overall a safe place to drive.The above detail are some of the items form the foundation of the cost of living indexes for eachbasket team in the Xpatulator calculators , these costs tend to be then used with their indexes andforex rates to calculate the price of living in different areas.For more information upon Sri Lanka find out more at www.xpatulator.com/outside.cfm.lawyers in Costa Rica