Quit your whingeing! Australia’s bloody great
Australia is a bloody great place to live, although it seems you’d be hard pressed getting some Aussies to admit it.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Liveability Index has ranked four of Australia’s capital cities amongst the top 10 in the world to live, with Melbourne number one overall.
This sort of report triggers the obvious Melbourne v Sydney ding dong about which is the better city to live in, while those of us in Adelaide and Perth content ourselves with crowing about our minuscule commute times.
But it also brings out the whingers in the their droves, complaining about Melbourne’s “terrible’’ public transport, Sydney’s traffic and everyone’s lengthy public hospital waiting lists.
To all of the whingers out there, I’ll give you a tip. The waiting times for medical help in Dhaka the worst city on the list can be terminal.
Bangladesh’s more than 160 million people have to put up with about one tenth the amount of doctors we have per capita, 0.295 physicians per 1000 people compared to our our nearly three.
And you don’t find the people in the slums of Nairobi complaining about the price of electricity for the most part there is none although they do get a bit uppity when fires caused by leaking fuel pipelines kill scores of people.
I’ve spent time in half a dozen of the 20 bottom ranked cities, as well as the East Timorese capital, Dili, which wasn’t included in the Economist’s list.
Lusaka, in Zambia seemed a nice enough place, although the nationwide unemployment rate, at 14 per cent, is still pretty high better than the 50 per cent in 2000 though.
One of the government buildings I’d visited in Algiers a few years ago had the misfortune to be bombed a few weeks after I left the country, and we were warned off leaving our hotel in Dili at night as there had apparently been a beheading on the beach shortly before we arrived.
For people living in these capital cities, and for the vast majority of people outside the western world, many of our complaints can be summed up succinctly by the sharply insightful hashtag #firstworldproblems.
The tag is used self-consciously by people who are about to complain on social media about something so deeply trivial that they should probably just shut up and keep it to themselves.
A couple of today’s choice selections:
“Whenever i’m at the mall and have money i never find anything i want but when i don’t have money i find everything. #firstworldproblems’‘
“My Smartphone locked itself because i didn’t touch it for a minute, now i have to enter my password again. #FirstWorldProblems’‘
“I hate cutting my fingernails too short because then I can’t open a soda for like 3 days! #firstworldproblems’‘
First world problems indeed.
And many of the complaints you’ll see filling the comment boards of news.com’s websites around the nation are also trivial, if not quite as profoundly so. Australia’s health, education and transport systems are not perfect, but they are undoubtedly amongst the best in the world.
Our standard of living is excellent by some measures we are the richest people in the world and there’s not a city in Australia where you have to be concerned for your safety when walking the streets.
All of these factors place us in an enviable position in the world. It’s time for the whingers to admit that in many ways we are the lucky country.
And if your bus, train or tram is 20 minutes late tomorrow, try using your smartphone to distract yourself for that modest increment of time, rather than jumping on the Net and having a spray about it.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…