I wouldn’t be too upset If I had to move to Seattle, I must say. I also have a soft spot for Salt Lake City, but for the fact it’s not very pedestrian friendly. Crossing those sodding wide streets in the downtown area is a bloody nightmare. Montreal? No real hardship, apart from the winter months.

But here are some places I really don’t want to live.

Bangkok

I like the place, but then again I don’t have to actually live there. I don’t want to either

Beijing

I was there back in the late 80s and even then it was so polluted it made Kuala Lumpur look like the Eden Project. Interesting place to visit

Cairo

Another place I liked a lot but couldn’t live in. Dusty, grubby, noisy, chaotic, terrible traffic, and nowadays not a good place to be

Columbo

Sri Lanka is a lovely country. Its capital isn’t. Lots of bookshops

George Town (Malaysia)

Plastic Bag Central, and like all tropical places when it rains it means it. There’s a grave of an Englishman who was killed by pirates. Also a funicular railway up Penang Hill

Hong Kong

Fun for a couple of days, but no longer than that

Kuala Lumpur

Incredibly filthy, incredibly polluted, fun for a few days. If you make your way to the Perdana Botanical Gardens (and you should) ignore the maps in there that say, ‘You are HERE.’ You’re not. Great food

Male

Capital of the Maldives, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and hideous. There’s an airport, and docks, so a rapid escape is easy

Nairobi

Just another big city. Head for Uhuru Park, but don’t get panhandled by the glue sniffers. The city itself has a bit of a reputation as a thieves’ kitchen

New York

I spent two weeks there on my first trip outside the UK, and I loved every single minute. Too frenetic for me to live there though

Shanghai

I disliked the place when I was there, and since then it’s grown and grown and grown

Stonetown

Main town on Zanzibar. Very attractive, lovely people (if you ignore the pickpockets, who are numerous but heroically inept). I still don’t want to live there.

 

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