Welcome to Rock Bottom…
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.
“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.
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