22
   

Which is the best country to live in?

 
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 05:58 pm
@Foofie,
Guess I'm biased 'cause I'd say we've got that going on as well.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 06:01 pm
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

Guess I'm biased 'cause I'd say we've got that going on as well.


Well, if all things being equal for brown or Muslim people between Canada and the U.S.A., then the U.S.A. wins for having better tourist locations. Let us not try to compare Toronto to NYC or LA.

If one wants a country where part of the country speaks a different language, and some people would like to secede, then Canada wins.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 06:09 pm
@Setanta,
why so quick to mock me? so you're saying that the larger the population of a country the more problems it will have?? no, exactly.. look at Somalia etc

MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 06:11 pm
@Ceili,
Exactly, England welcomes everyone
0 Replies
 
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 06:15 pm
@Lash,
you have never been on holiday abroad or anything?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 07:31 pm
@Lash,
Lash wrote:

I've been reading that brown people and/or Muslims are really being treated badly in the UK. I'm not making a judgment about it - but it pops up in news snippets and dialogue from people across the pond.


Could be.

I've been to the UK on business twice this year (I'm usually there two to four times a year) and didn't see any evidence of it, but then I only visited London and wasn't there for more than a week at a time. As you might imagine, I was also focused more on work than the daily lives of Muslims.

While I'm there though I am lucky enough to be involved in a fair bit of socializing some of which is directly related to business but about half the time is spent in pubs or restaurants with current or past colleagues and business is generally left at the door of the last conference room we shared.

The topics of politics and religion are generally avoided during business centered social events, but I'm fortunate that most, if not all, of my UK colleagues are interested, when we can leave business aside, in discussing politics and world affairs and so our conversations can be lively. I also have opportunities to spend time with them in the States and elsewhere so our discussions are not limited to my visits to the UK.

Unfortunately, while I have colleagues who have Indian origins, none of them are Muslims and so I haven't had direct access to that perspective in the more causal settings. The group with which I can enjoy discussions beyond business matters run the spectrum of political viewpoints. Most tend to be conservative, but I have good relationships with a few Left-wing fire eaters as well.

This year, as in the past, when we had a chance to speak of such things, the people with whom I spent time didn't suggest discrimination was a large problem but acknowledged that it existed. With one notable exception, just about all of the people with whom I associate are proud of the levels of tolerance for "other cultures" exhibited in the UK and believe they are much more of a multi-cultural society than we are here in the US.

At the same time, it seems clear to me that there has been a growing concern over the potential for ethnic or religious conflict among "other" groups in UK society. Economic factors are often cited as an irritant to smooth relationships within segments of society which is of course to be expected and likely quite accurate. It also appears to me that some of the folks I know are becoming more frustrated with what they perceive to be increasing demands by Muslims on non-Muslim society and a trend for self-imposed cultural isolation. There seems to be a common concern that as problems cannot be addressed without communication, a reduction in communication can't be a good thing.

They clearly don't live in fear of terrorist attacks but the usual sort of jokes about backpacks in tube stations are not uncommon.

For good or ill we tend to have a sort of friendly competitive relationship when it comes to the US and the UK or even the US and Europe, and so I'm not sure just how candid these folks would be about their concerns or prejudices.

The one notable exception is the one previously referenced who I have known for over twenty years. He has been to the right of Margaret Thatcher for as long as I've known him and I met him when I was to the left of Tip O'Neill. For one reason or another we became very good friends right from the start which either proves opposites attract or predicted my future political conversion. He has very strong opinions about what he believes is an existing, serious cultural clash in the UK, and which he expects will turn increasingly violent within the next one to two years. Although he has a rather dark view of mankind in general, he is not, by any means, a kook.

So, who knows?

It's hard enough to get a solid handle on what's happening in the country in which I live let alone one I visit for a couple of weeks every year.

0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 08:06 pm
@Foofie,
That is the stupidest thing ever...

Tourist spots? Aren't they for tourists? What does that have to do with day-to-day living in a country? Do you go to Disneyland everyday?
Let's compare standard of living, health-care, education, crime and the like. As for cities... T.O. has it's advantages but it's not Vancouver, which is constantly and consistantly rated as the best city in the world. It's not a crime ridden hell hole that a big sections of LA are, it's not decaying like NY. Everywhere has it's good and bad, but seriously, who compares tourist spots as great places to live? Do you live in Yellowstone, or Niagara Falls? Dumb, dumb, dumb...
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 09:40 pm
@MatthewB7621,
Not yet, darling. I'm quite serious about rectifying that as soon as possible.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 03:18 am
@MatthewB7621,
No, bright boy, i'm saying that in two countries so similar, the country which is ten times larger is likely to have ten times as many examples of the same problems which crop up in both countries. Canada has street gangs, organized crime, drug labs and grow-ops, the illegal immigration of women for purposes of prostitution, the exploitation of migrant farm workers, poluting industries, corporate induced-corruption--in short, the same problems which occur in the United States. They are on a larger scale in the United States because in terms of population, the United States is on a larger scale.

I've lived in both countries. I read the news in and from both countries. The differences between the two are slight, and the similarities are striking. Canadians see Americans as obsessively patriotic--but the Americans can't hold a candle to the Canadians, who have CANADA plastered on t-shirts, shorts, jackets, even their goddamned shoes. Many Canadians are obsessive about "buy Canadian," insisting on buying from "Canadian" companies (which may be partly or wholely owned by Americans) rather than "American" companies (which may be partly or wholely owned by Canadians). The principle difference i've seen between the two is that, because Canada has the Westminster style of government, and the provinces don't exercise the same independent authority that the states do in many matters, Canada is a more successfully plutocratic nation than the United States is. Of course, Canada is not burdened with a military and a military budget on even nearly a proportionate scale with the United States.

I'd say, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 03:47 am
I've lived in both England and the US, and I have loved living in both.
And I can only speak and am only speaking as a white, middle-class person.
That's the only identity I've ever had.
And as a white, middle-class person- I think life can be and, in fact is, very similar in both the US and the UK.
In both places, peoples' main concern is their family, friends and loved ones.

I would also say that I detect almost the same degree of tendency to be insular in some areas of the UK as in the US.
It's just expressed differently.
In general, my observation has been that middle-class people in the UK tend to be more polite and less vocal about their thoughts than middle-class people in the US tend to be.
That's why you may think that the attitudes are measureably different, when in fact, they're not.
I think this is because the freedom of speech thing is writ much larger in the US than it is in the UK.
There is a code of conduct and manners and good breeding that is exercised in the UK much moreso than in the US, where people say what they think and that's their ******* right and no one's gonna take that from them, by god.

Which mode of expression do I prefer? The one in the US - you always know where you stand. Here, you often have to guess, because most middle-class people ARE 'veddy, veddy polite' outwardly- it's been bred into them, but you'd be surpised at some of the things that come out of their mouths when they think they're with someone's who's like-minded.

One person I work with, the product of public boarding school who teaches in a prison with me said to me, 'It's not black people I don't like - it's their behavior.'
I was like, 'Huh? Oh, okay...'

What I like about the US is the individualism, the lack of pretension (for the most part everyone believes that one can make of oneself what one decides to make of oneself, regardless of birth - no titles there), the vibrancy of life and expression, and I have to admit, everything is much more convenient.
Here, if you want something, you might have to drive or walk for miles and you still won't find it- so you learn to make do.
I think both of those situations offer positives and negatives - and the manifestations in behavior are reflected in the attitudes of the people toward life in both countries.

What I like about the UK is the larger sense of community with the world that I perceive and the stunning scenery.

The place I'd next most want to live in is Mexico - here:

http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k46/aidan_010/ylapa.jpg

This is the one place I've been on vacation that I thought I'd never want to leave, even to go home. It's a small, fishing village on the west coast of Mexico. A friend of mine has a house there. The village is beautiful and the community is cooperative and self-sustaining.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 05:12 am
Which is the best country to live in? I guess where your heart is - family, friends, work and home.
Then comes which part of your country would you like to live in? I live in south of Sweden and I would never move up to Lapland. Taking the same distance I would end up in Naples. I would not live there either. In between are Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Austria depeding how I travel.
I would choose Denmark for their sence of humour and their cold buffets.
I like Germany too for their openness, but I don´t like that Germans interrupt all conversations.
I like Switzerland for their introverted behavior, which fit my Swedish upbringing.
I like England of the same reason Aidan likes it. It fits me. The politeness is more like Sweden´s, the humour like the Dane´s and the food is soo much better than in Germany.
Then comes other things like school system, health, doctors, ability to speak the language, chance to make friends.....the list is long.
0 Replies
 
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 05:15 am
@aidan,
I agree with you completely. Notwholey about the whole of the UK having a sense on community. Asian people especially tend to stick together, not saying that is a bad thing. They just do, they start famiy run businesses and small shops and they stick within their families. To be honest in the area where I live in, I have no idea how all the shops stay in business, I mean half of them are selling the same stuff. Mainly cheaply produced plastic products.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 11:14 am
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

That is the stupidest thing ever...

Tourist spots? Aren't they for tourists? What does that have to do with day-to-day living in a country? Do you go to Disneyland everyday?
Let's compare standard of living, health-care, education, crime and the like. As for cities... T.O. has it's advantages but it's not Vancouver, which is constantly and consistantly rated as the best city in the world. It's not a crime ridden hell hole that a big sections of LA are, it's not decaying like NY. Everywhere has it's good and bad, but seriously, who compares tourist spots as great places to live? Do you live in Yellowstone, or Niagara Falls? Dumb, dumb, dumb...



You are standing in judgement of my personal criteria which is obviously subjective. I do not think there are objective criteria, since one person values a specific criterion, another not so much.

I have another criterion that I did not say for purposes of politeness. But, there is, let us call it, the "hick factor." When one lives in NYC long enough, to feel that one is a New Yorker (not a native New Yorker, just a New Yorker), then one has become somewhat different than many other city's denizens. For example, when tourists look up at the NYC tall buildings (not just one or two) the New Yorker realizes how jaded he/she has become to that which tourists find exciting/interesting.

As a native New Yorker, I would not like living in any other big city, in the U.S. or elsewhere, since the people are different in all cities. For example, in NYC people routinely say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas," since no one knows who is either Jewish, or is married to a Jewish person. So, one does not say Happy Chanukah, one just says, "Happy Holidays." In other cities, I believe, "Merry Christmas" is the standard December Greeting. But, let us not kid ourselves, each city has its own unique demographic history that has left its mark on the city's customs. So, the Irish, Jews, Italians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, African-Americans that predominated in NYC, in the not so distant past, has left a unique footprint that other cities did not experience. So, I am saying that each city, and the respective demographics, makes each person more or less comfortable, based on who that person is. (I could not be comfortable in Quebec, even if I spoke French.) So, digressing about cities is an exercise in futility, in my opinion. For that matter, I believe, it probably can be extrapolated to countries also. I can only feel comfortable in the U.S.A., and most comfortable in NYC. Call me parochial!
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 12:36 pm
I have to admit that I've either loved or hated where I've lived based on something as simple as whether or not there was someplace to take day trips.

I loved living in Maine because you could drive an hour from where I lived and be down by the ocean, drive half an hour and be at a beautiful lake, drive an hour and a half and climb Mr. Katahdin -or go to Portland.

On a weekend - I like to be outside and in nature.
When I moved to Chapel Hill, NC when my kids were little - even though I went to school there- after a year - I hated it. There was nowhere to take walks, there was nowhere to go to be in the woods. I liked the people, our house, our neighborhood - but every Saturday morning I'd wake up and be like, 'What are we gonna do today?' After you've mowed the lawn and weeded the garden - unless you wanted to spend money on a movie or a bar or dinner - there was no place to go for a day trip.
That was one of my deciding factors in terms of us deciding to move.
Not that I needed a touristy area - I just needed somewhere to walk and something to see that was different than what I saw every single day.

That's why I like living in England ( me personally). There's always something that I haven't seen yet. And England being England - many fascinating things to see and do are within an hour of wherever you are.

NYC is also good for that - first of all you have this incredible city on your doorstep and on top of that you only have to drive an hour in any direction to be amid beauty(except maybe south - you'd have to drive an hour and a half to two hours to hit the Jersey shore).
And whatever anyone wants to say about New Jersey - there are some BEAUTIFUL beaches in New Jersey.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 01:47 pm
@Foofie,
So you heart NY, that's awesome. I loved it when I visited too. I don't think I could live there though, maybe if I had a big bank roll. lol
However, your politeness level kinda tanked when you brought up separation...
All I'm saying is, while Haiti has lovely beaches for tourists, I wouldn't want to live there. We might not have all that NY offers in one city, but and it's a big BUT... if you haven't travelled and seen what all the other places in the world have to offer, then I don't think stacking touristy places up is what makes a country great, at least on a day to day basis.

As an aside, whilst walking around NY, I was stopped several times by the locals who asked if I needed directions, because I was looking up. So much for the rude new yorker myth. I found the people of NY to be extremely friendly and funny, in a good way. I would go back in a heart beat.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Nov, 2012 05:07 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I can say that I think it is ridiculous to be intimidated by people speaking different languages.


That's definitely not how a lot of Americans feel.
0 Replies
 
PolarBearBob
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 02:17 am
@MatthewB7621,
Come to Alaska Matthew it's God's country.
Uncontaminated by the toilet bugs from the rest of the world.
I've lived here my entire life and it has been a New Day everyday.
I've seen places and things that others can only dream about.

A Taste; Look this place up, I was living in Cold Bay Alaska in 1980,the building I was staying in was next to Applegate estuary which is on the coast of the Bering Sea. It was about midnight when I went outside to have a smoke.

When I opened the door the sound that assaulted my ears from the water was deafening, it sounded as if I were standing in a giant sports stadium with 70,000 people talking all at once.

At daybreak the following morning the deafening sound was punctuated by the sight of over a million sea birds and water fowl covering the lagoon for as far as the eye could see, flocks of birds more than a hundred each in the air at every five degrees of the compass. It was as if the sea had been swallowed up, where water once stood was replaced by the singing of millions of ducks, geese, puffins and cormorants.

That event occurs every spring and fall in Cold Bay since time began and its just one of a thousand such encounters I've been blessed to have witnessed during my life in this wonderful place.

Alaska, truly the "Last Frontier"
0 Replies
 
 

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