Sunday, October 18, 2009

Are They Really that Happy?

As I mentioned a while ago, Barcelona was ranked recently as the third happiest city in the world by Forbes magazine. Is it true?  Well, it depends.

I don't know if it's similar in other major cities in Spain, having only lived in Cadiz for a bit, but there really does seem to be two Barcelonas. The one of foreigners and the one of locals. 

Ask an expat, and in general they'll say they love the place for all these reasons. After all they came to Barcelona for a reason, usually the weather. If they're one of the chosen few, they'll be working from home for a European company or for themselves, often in technology or as a small business owner, earning a decent salary.  Even English teachers generally earn enough working twenty hours a week to live and travel.

Ask a local, and they'll say it's the best and complain how expensive it's gotten over time. Each year their salaries are stretched a little bit more, barely keeping up with inflation. Meanwhile, they're expected to work harder and put in longer hours. The cost of housing has sky-rocketed, but the only new buildings are half a million each with a view of the sea or a hotel.

No comments:

Post a Comment