When I had CNN on this morning, they had a report on about new rankings reported by Business Week magazine listing the world's worst places to live and do business. Guess what! Lagos, Nigeria topped the list! Hooray! We're number 1! (Repeat loudly, jumping up and down and pointing a finger up to the sky!) After several tries to get the live feed (hey, I'm amazed that they were able to do it at all....) they interviewed the head of the Coke bottling company here (I think he was Dutch...) saying that it wasn't that bad a place to live. Sure, there is crime and the infrastructure is bad and the traffic is horrible. But, if you look long enough, you can find housing that is nice. He admitted that he was in a much more privileged position than many people here and his life was pretty comfortable.
You know, I really don't mind my life here. Yes, there are risks and we must always be vigilant and there are things that we don't do because of security. Yes, the infrastructure is bad and sometimes we have inconveniences because of that. Yes, I get frustrated with the bad traffic -- but I sit in the back of the car listening to my ipod and the traffic stress is lessened (unless I'm late for something I should be on time for...). Yes, there's the stress and emotional turmoil caused by encountering scenes of great poverty and need whenever I leave my home. Of course, I don't have to face the job stress of trying to do business and make progress on a project in an environment that is not conducive to getting things done. I know that I have it much easier than Brent does here -- and the stress is wearing him down at times. But I've made some great friends, I'm involved in activities that I enjoy, and I have frequent opportunities to travel to places that I wouldn't be able to visit if we were living in the States. The best thing I like about this report? While the company is trying to find ways to cut their costs in this bad economy, they won't be able to justify cutting our expat premium (currently a bonus of 60% of our salary), because we are clearly still a hardship post!