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Wannabe happy?

I am shocked to read that of all the places expats like to decamp to, Mexico and Russia star in the top ten! The rest seem reasonable choices. But why those two at all? I mean really?

I confess to knowing a bit about Mexico from a family connection over 30-odd years; and my information includes stuff about corruption and feudal attitudes. And how come the Russian social life is so appealing? Any suggestions?

http://www.bbc.com/capital/sponsored/story/20150916-the-12-happiest-destinations-for-expats

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  1. October 8, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Mexicans are are warm, kind people who, if they like you, treat you as if you were part of their family. There are a lot of terrible people there, too, and there is a lot of real exploitation. On balance once you know the right people and where to go/what to do/how to do it it’s fine. Russians are often very cultured, intelligent people and the country has a wealth of treasures. Mexico has a lot of baggage from both their Indian past and Spain and Russia is Russia, but the media love to lie about some countries to smear them while white-washing others.

  2. October 8, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I cannot say, that I am shocked about that result, I rather tend to believe, that all human beings make from the perspective of some-one outside strange choices, including their own life-styles. If you want a really very good scientific explanation, I can only warmly recommend a book called deceit by Robert Trivers, which mainly explains why most decisions made by humans are not based on real reasons and therefore do not ‘come from inside’. We only whish to believe that we live our lives following our innermost dreams and convictions.
    Concerning my personal decision making, I could not imagine ‘going back’ to a country that is – and this is the truth – so much less developed as any other country in Europe ==> Russia still lives under a communistic dictatorship and you are thrown into prison, if you open your mouth. Regarding Mexico I go along with Christopher, I was there once and found, that they have still a lot of ‘racism’ towards indians, e.g. you do not see anybody of indian origin on TV, etc., but nevertheless would I have met ‘Mister Right’ who is Russian, I might live there now and of course would justify and defend my choice by only seeing the good side of the country and every country has strenghts and weaknesses like any human beings.

  3. October 8, 2015 at 10:43 am

    So beauty as ever is in the eye of the householder! You’re probably right. Both of the countries I can claim to know well – UK and DK – don’t qualify for happiness in this analysis but they suit me just fine. 😎

  4. October 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

    FoE: Russia is hardly Communist, but it is certainly a dictatorship. I might well spend some time working in Russia in the future. After I finish my time in China I will have work experience and will likely get a formal accreditation as an ESL teacher. There’s a lot more to Russia than is shown on the news. I quite like the people. Their cakes are also excellent!

  5. October 8, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Janus, I am happy anywhere 🙂

  6. October 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Gaz, I failed to be happy in Austria. Too close to the Balkans, as my Sudetanlander boss used to say.

  7. October 8, 2015 at 11:47 am

    There are certainly different histories to countries, which make up the specific value of the country from an outside and inside perspective and different values of the country attributed by its people – the ones living inside and the others not living there. The overall judgement or ‘ranking’ equates therefore from many different criteria and individual cases. yeppee, is this not interesting??, as it is about being alive pure?? But i can see, that Christopher and myself are making comments more from a serious and scientific viewpoint, whereas english people are more joyful, humorous and feeling.lol

  8. October 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    FoE: I’m an historian and read legal history extensively at the graduate level. As a result I tend to be drier and far more sober in my analysis than most. Presently I am reading law and business for (yet another) college certificate. Other than that I’m highly Anglicised. If I could, I’d divide my time between Dorset and New South Wales with a FeWo in the Chugoku Region of Japan.

  9. October 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I am highly anglicised too, and if I could I would divide my time between Spain and the South West Country, which I still adore.

  10. October 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    FoE: if it is quite all right, may I ask what you think about the idea of spending a few years in Spain as an ESL teacher? I would like to complete my certification in Madrid and gain more work experience.

  11. October 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    sounds great, but I don’t know a lot about working life in Spain, certainly the spanish culture, history and language are very worthwhile understanding, furthermore we have a lot of quite good friends in Madrid, very good life quality over there apart from the beaches, that I would miss….remind me, what does ESL teacher mean exactly?

  12. October 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    FoE: ESL — English as a second language. Supposedly because Spain is so reliant on tourism there is a strong market for experienced ESL teachers with accreditation. I like the culture, food and history of Spain as well. The language is also rich in literature. I avoid beaches but most other things about Spain interest me.

  13. October 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Well, Lionel Messi, an Argie by birth, has been based in Spain for a while but isn’t happy enough to pay his tax bill – 4 million euros. Maybe teaching ESL won’t offer such temptations. 😳

  14. October 8, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Janus: I’d make far too little money to get away with that!

  15. October 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    He’s going for trial but will probably get a suspended gaol sentence. Will he have to pay the tax? Will he also be fined? Loose change for the world’s highest paid sportsman……😁

  16. October 8, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Mr Messi can go back to Argentina, nothing lost there. I prefer our neighbours, who are hard working people and have left Argentina (including their eldest daughter) for good, because there are no opportunities to make a reasonable living for well educated people like them (or us I suppose), as the whole regime seems to be full of fraudsters (like Messi), according to them. I cannot judge in detail.

  17. October 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Janus: it really is only ego. They can easily afford to pay their taxes but they believe that they’re exempt. I could never get away with that — I can’t afford the best tax lawyers!

    FoE: Peron ruined Argentina. Since his time Argentina has had either military dictatorship or incompetent, inept governments only out for their personal enrichment. In the 1920s Argentina and Australia had a similar quality of life and economy. Today, Australia ranks far higher. The current lot have so mismanaged the country that people are simply giving up and seeking a new life in Spain, Chile or even Brazil.

  18. October 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Well of course Australia had a head start with consignments of the best Brit convicts, while the Argies hailed from the Latin lands, plus a few Welshmen and polo addicts. 😜

  19. O Zangado
    October 8, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I’m happy here in Portugal. The Cave is a nice place to be.

    OZ

  20. October 9, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Janus: you forget Argentina’s consignment of Huns! Especially the Nazi variety!

  21. October 9, 2015 at 4:15 am

    The soul of discretion, me! 😎

  22. christinaosborne
    October 9, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I have visited neither and (as usual) have no intention of doing so. Full of Mexicans and Russians!
    However, the boy went to Russia and was most impressed said he would have liked to both live and work there, he did speak basic Russian which helped. The reasons went thus-

    He always maintained that humanity was essentially tribal. The West now denies that with its PC claptrap. Russia admits it cheerfully. They gained muslim satellite states for a decade after the October revolution. and learnt very early on the need to step on their necks hard and fast with their promulgation of religion and violence. They have never allowed free movement of these people into White Russia, very sensibly.
    Immigrants are not allowed to bring families and have to live in barracks and are freely allowed to remit home their earnings. Net result ,White Russia is still white and a homogenous culture. (Just like Whatcom County WA) Some of us prefer it that way!
    Evidently white immigrants such as scientists are made very welcome in Russia.
    The boy maintained that the streets of Moscow were a damned sight safer than those of Brum!
    He liked the women,feisty and amusing but not manic feminists looking to ballbreak all the time.
    Good bars, reasonably priced.
    Very little low level crime , the police just shoot them, why waste public money?

    I can see the attraction of the place. Not everyone wants this current PC crap the west has foisted on us without a by your leave or plebiscite. Give me Putin any day at least he looks after Russia’s interests, not undermines the country like our politicians do to GB..

  23. October 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

    CO: Russians are great people once you get to know them. They’re far more honest — and realistic — than most in the West these days. Russians are grumpy but they don’t pretend to be wonderful, cuddly people. They are what they are. I doubt I could have survived hell on earth, I mean, San Francisco without the Russians and Chinese who, oddly enough, would rather eat their eyeballs than move back to China. Russia allows only those who can contribute something into the country. Even obtaining a visa with leave to remain for a one-month (!) holiday requires proving necessary finances, pre-arranged places to stay and having someone write a letter of invitation! No bogan tourists for them!

  24. October 10, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Look! Enough of this trying to understand foreigners! Today if you need me, I’ll be rooting for my Scottish kithnkin vs. Samoa (rugby) and my Welsh boyos vs. Bosnia (footie). No, I will not watch England makes even bigger prats of themselves or alternatively prove just how superior they think they are. It’s the only way to happiness. 😅

  25. O Zangado
    October 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    If Samoa win I will be happy on so many levels.

    OZ

  26. October 10, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Oops! They lost! 😄

  27. O Zangado
    October 10, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Oh bugrit!! Good game though and at least the supplies of FrizzEase are secured for the forseeable, at least until the Jocks meet the winners of Oz vs Wales.

    OZ

  28. October 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    It was a v good game. For some reason the Beeb insists the Scots were slow and lucky to win. That’s not the match I watched at all.

  29. O Zangado
    October 10, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    So, Oz vs Jocks and Wales vs Springboks. Memo to self – buy more beer and cancel all prior engagements.

    OZ

  30. October 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    A bit tasty, I must say. Enough to make one’s Celtic Fringe bristle. And if they lose – no harm done, eh? 😎

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