The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Did I hear right?

Sugamo ear

Yet another moment of disbelief in the continuing saga of moving back to my own country. Apparently it costs 80 quid to pass through Heathrow airport. Now when I left there years ago it didn`t cost that much…10 or even 20, memory is a little hazy these days, but certainly not 80!

Personally I am embarressed that my country should think it is worth that much money. Come on! What are tourists to think? London is already the second most expensive city in the world, after Moscow or Olso (depending which report you read), and I know our welcoming attitude to foreigners is a real plus when added to the cost of actually going anywhere on the public transport, eating, drinking, buying any souvineers or basically doing anything outside your expensive hotel in the first place.

I was always under the belief that the grottier the country the more expensive the visa was, and as often as not the bigger and gawdier it was on your passport pages too. This conclusion was drawn from a lot of experience of visiting some pretty grotty countries. Now, I love my country and think it is a great place that people should see and get to know but right now I would advice people to go elsewhere. The place just looks so damn greedy and well…grotty.

As for us “poor” local brits it appears we are to be trapped there rather like the way a really grotty country like North Korea won`t let its people travel abroad. I know travelling is a privilage and we have been lucky to have the opportunity and the money to do so, but that doesn`t mean it should be for the privilaged alone. The chance to experience other places and peoples is a right of all people, rich or poor, yet the price of passports and airport taxes is prohibitive for all but the wealthy travellers these days and that is just not fair if you ask me.

Anyway I am slightly annoyed (edited as such from yesterday for those revisiting)

Talk soon

Damon

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2 responses

  1. Andy

    Moscow ? Are you sure ? all the CNN cities are ranked relative to NYC
    Try this list from the (reliable?) BBC
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/4669400.stm

    Oslo is f#$%ing expensive and I expect Tokyo is there based on land prices. NYC ranks a lowly 27th and with the value of the dollar at the moment I wouldn’t be suprised if it was lower still

    Of course the real cost of living can be found here (sadly no cider though)

    http://www.pintprice.com/

    March 7, 2008 at 10:15 am

  2. Thanks andy, yes actually I`d heard Olso was the most expensive city in the world but could find that info when it came time to write the post. You know how it is!
    Damon

    March 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm

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