My city is better than yours

An Egyptian friend asked me whether he should relocate to London or Berlin, and whether I know someone living in London that he can talk to.

Here is my answer, since every-time I sit with a group of Egyptians living abroad, they start comparing the cities they live in, and this is one of the most annoying discussions for me.

The problem with these questions is everyone will be biased to the city they live in.

You shouldn’t ask which is better, you should have specific parameters and judge based on them.

For example: Average salaries after taxes, accommodation costs, what differs if you are married/have kids?

Then there are more meta questions: Language. Ease of changing job (in terms of supply and visa). Citizenship if you are interested like how many years, does it require giving up the Egyptian, are you opposed to renouncing your Egyptian citizenship?

The salaries point is also rhetorical. As someone working in tech you are probably in the 90th percentile of the pay scale of any city in Europe. I have no data to back this claim, but at least I know it is the case in Berlin. I wouldn’t imagine London, or Zurich are any different.

It all comes down to answering a simple question: What are you optimizing for?