Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mr. Happy

Today's papers all carry stories on a report by the UK's New Economic Foundation. I love this snippet from 7Days:

"Out of 178 countries, the UAE came a satisfyingly crap 156. Of course, we were never going to beat Russia for sheer discontent (a truly dismal 172), but we are indeed a bunch of miserable gits."

Miserable gits indeed. Even the UK beat us, at 108th! And the UAE blogosphere is apparently no different. I frequently come across posts in other blogs that throw a blanket across all other blogs and blindly accuse them of being whingey and negative. I don't know, and don't much care, whether those kind of sweeping statements are ever supposed to include this blog. I hope not. On the odd occasion when I do write something negative (and frankly how can you not when we have the likes of Etisalat and our cute local banks to write about?), I try to balance it with something positive. I don't want a depressed readership!

Back to the report - it measures three indicators: the amount of the Earth’s resources a country uses, the life-expectancy of the population, and the happiness of their lives. So the UAE would certainly score a big fat zero for resource-use. As far as general happiness is concerned, the report is based on interviews - I have no idea how many interviews and what the demographic profile was, but I imagine the demographics could skew (or screw) the results quite dramatically in the UAE.

And the thing you're dying to know: is Keefieboy a happy camel? Well, on the whole, yes he is. He has a wonderful wife, a genius child, a nice apartment, good health and a successful business that keeps the wolf from the door. He also has an 'escape the UAE' plan that makes him very happy indeed. So whatever you may read here about the daily trials and tribulations of Britpat life in the UAE, do not be deceived. There are many much worse places to live, and frankly, I don't think I could be happy living on Vanuatu, apparently the world's happiest country.