Welcome to Rock Bottom…

November 30, 2011

Honestly, I don’t even know why we cover stories like this.

It’s another one of those lists ranking living standards in various cities around the world. Vienna is in the number one position, while Baghdad ranks dead last.

No kidding.

“Honey, the company wants to transfer me, does it matter to you and the kids whether we go to Austria or Iraq? I told them I had no preference…”

“No, sweetie, they both sound very nice. You choose…”

Mind you, Baghdad does have competition for the worst places to live. They don’t give honors like that to just anyplace, and Iraq’s capital got to the bottom by edging out Khartoum, Port-au-Prince, N’Djamena and Bangui.

Have you seen the picture postcards from those places? Probably not.

Meanwhile, in a separate list, the same folks also ranked cities based on personal safety, and the five at the bottom of THAT list – I’m talking about places where if you go there you shouldn’t even bother with a round-trip ticket – are pretty similar to the ones I just mentioned.

This second list apparently establishes an important connection between being shot at, and not especially enjoying your surroundings.

I do admit there were some mild surprises on the living standards list. I had to go all the way down to number 29 to find a city in the U.S.. That was Honolulu, followed by San Francisco at number 30.

Speaking as an American, it’s a little embarrassing to see FOUR cities in Canada ranked above the top-rated U.S. city.

Maybe some of my readers should go up north and make Vancouver a little less pleasant, if you catch my drift.

Still, at least every U.S. city on the list is nicer than Baghdad. They can’t take that away from us.

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Top: Dietmar Muthenthaler, head confectioner, covers a Sachertorte with warm apricot jam at Demel’s pastry shop in Vienna March 2, 2007. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

Right: Residents fire their rifles into the air during the funeral of a policeman killed in an attack by militants in eastern Baghdad September 20, 2011. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem

Left: A voodoo worshipper takes part in festivities on the first day of Fet Gede, the Haitian Festival of Ancestors, in Port-au-Prince November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Swoan Parker

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Ottawa?!? Ottawa?!? OK, maybe it ranks high by the qualifications of this study, but it’s still Ottawa. @Ladylala and @Egeria, I mean no offense, but Ottawa?!?

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

I humbly offer a haiku:

High living standards
Not US or Africa
Better in Europe

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

I humbly offer another haiku:

Vienna tops list
Baghdad is at the bottom
Let’s all eat schnitzel

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

ooo… thanks for the idea, BG.. Sachertorte, you are mine!! Mwahahahahahahahah!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Oddly, you can’t get a decent hamburger in Hamburg, although you can get a really good frankfurter in Frankfurt.
Good to see two cities form the land of my birth in the top ten, although the actual city I was born in probably rates somewhere down near Baghdad, or worse, Detroit.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Blog Guy: There is a small typo in this blog post: Baghdadi.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Thanks, Spin. I’ve fixed it.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Vancouver is definitely the most wanted Canadian city. At least it’s home to some of America’s most-wanted — ask Randy Quaid.

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

Randy Quaid in Los Angeles = in star-whacker town
Randy Quaid in Krasnoyarsk = star in Whackytown
Randy Qauid in Vancouver = whacky star in town

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Cheer up, BG. If you want to come to a real happy US town, next door to Frisco is Plano, TX, ranked #10. (Sorry but Baltimore and DC were ranked 52 and 81 respectively.)

http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/frow n-towns

Posted by FriscoJohn | Report as abusive

@Frisco: Plano ranks right up there with Ottawa. Having lived in Richardson for ten years, I speak with some knowledge. Then again, my man Lance Armstrong is originally from Plano, so that brings the place up a few notches.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Well, the town I was born in and the town that I live in didn’t make either list. That’s ok, as I am wondering now if I really was born or just dropped off by aliens…

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Is Rock Bottom anything like Foggy Bottom? Only you get off the metro and have to climb rocks instead of an escalator?

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Yay! Dublin made the list too – but speaking as someone who lives in Dublin…# 26 I think is a little high!

Glad to see Calgary and Montreal made the list! Sping, that Ottawa thing must be a typo!



Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

Baghdad is worse than Kandahar???? Worse than Mogadishu? Really? These people’s credibility is shot.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

@Dave, I’m going to guess here. If you look at who conducted the survey and why, it’s about cities to which a company might send an employee. Not a lot of companies are sending their employees to Kandahar or Mogadishu, but it is possible that companies might send employees to Baghdad. The cities they chose to rank is a bit skewed for that reason.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Spin, Dave might disagree.. but then again, I am disappointed NOT to see Edinburgh in the list.

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Hmmmmm, Spin, that’s skating very close to getting zapped! :)

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

America is still the best. In europe, everything is old, laws keep it that way, and the cost to survive is way too high for most. There’s a difference between being a good place to live and a good place to visit…

Posted by mydogisblue | Report as abusive