The beautiful city of Vancouver, was rated as the most ‘liveable’ city on earth followed by two other Australian cities and finally a city in Switzerland. I should be really happy (hippip hurahh!!) I live in the best city of the world!! Actually, I do not question the criteria and standards followed by those who choose the most ‘liveable’ city on earth, but I wonder if everyone in this city agrees with it. I have met several fellow Iranians here that are really happy about it and do consider the city as the best. There’s no doubt, the northern part of the city (North Vancouver) is just amazingly beautiful, a natural beauty that cannot be described. You have a wonderful view of the foggy and during winter, snowy mountains and also the view of the beautiful and peaceful Pacific ocean. This part of the city, is quite, there’s no major stress and well, sometimes if you’re lucky you may even get to see a black bear or deers around. There’s a huge Persian community here and no matter where you go, you’ll hear Persian and will encounter Iranians. So far so good, however, one thing that you’ll notice in Vancouver, is the visible segregation in areas. in Richmond you will find the asian and Chinese communities, in Surrey you’ll see the Indian and Sikh large population and in North Vancouver you’ll see us, the Persian. Downtown is the common area for everyone. Having lived in 4 different cities in different countries, I have to admit I had never seen an ethnic segregation so visible anywhere else. This is not a complaint or anything like it, neither is negative, it’s just not natural, that’s it. The melting pot feature of other North American cities, such as New York, LA, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, is not to be found in this town. The city, offers a lot to those who like skiing, sailing and overall adventure and nature related activities, however if you’re a big fan of museums, cultural activities, etc… you got the wrong town. I guess the very mild and rainy weather has to do a lot with it, last winter for instance, it rained 21 or 22 consecutive days (non-stop!)
On the other hand, there seems to be a big problem with drugs in this city as it’s a major entry port from the Far East and the crime rate is high. One other amazing aspect, is the very large population of homeless and drug adicts, specially in downtown, up to the point is worrying the authorities, although because of 2010 Winter Olympic games, chances of a fast track patch solution are high. Again, vancouver is beutiful in nature, peaceful for families with children and a good place for retirement, but if you’re still young, energetic, courious, if you enjoy history and traditions, there’re better towns for you. Those who rate cities around the world, were and are right on one thing, that they didn’t rate countries, but cities, as a city itself may have nothing to do with other areas of the same country. In reality there’s nothing like, the best country or city, this is a very personal and individual feeling. It’s like being in the best house of the world, a palace, but if isn’t yours, if you feel yourself confined to specific areas of it, then maybe you’ll be much better in your own little apartment. My favourite city? well, amazingly, Tehran. It’s the city in which I wouldn’t get bored (or so I believe) you’ve got beautiful mountains around the city, wonderful skiing areas, two hours from the green region of the Caspian sea. Close to very old Bazars and neighbourhoods as well as green parks in the middle of the city. There’re museums, movie theaters, all sort of restaurants, and yes! I’m not forgetting the traffic jams, the polluted air…but again, for ‘me’ Tehran is a my town, full of cozy places, and above all the place where I really feel at home. You need to feel at home in the best city of the world.