As usual, daydreaming, and I was wondering if somebody offered me a US$600,000 salary p.a., guarantee this, guarantee that... and a solid bonus/contract for 5 years... where would I most like to live & work if they said I could work anywhere???? What a wonderful daydreaming topic...
Of course it won't be an easy decision. I will have to take into account the distance to HK, KL & Sydney (my 3 most frequented places for holidays / friends / family). Then I have to take into account the weather patterns. How will I get around, public transport, taxis, chauffeur driven, drive on my own, etc... The cultural outlets and lifestyle. The crime rate and the people.
My final list of the places I most want to live & work (with the above package):
1) Sydney - The mildest 4 seasons you could ever come across, brilliant harbor city living, great food, great Chinese food, decent live gigs and theater, excellent coffee places, very good racing and sporting programmes, tons of weekend driving activity, 6 hour drive to the snowy mountains, close to Malaysia and HK. Will stay by the harbor@ McMahons Point or by the beach @ Coogee.
2) Tokyo - The summer's really bad, very hot and humid (worse than Malaysia if you can believe that) but can easily skip for short holidays to the Philippines, Korea, OZ or back to Malaysia. Will hire part time translator / language teacher or get a multi lingual gf. It is still relatively OK to get around knowing only English. Definitely stay @ Roppongi. Great to explore, great food, learn the language, regular visits to Kyoto and Sapporo. Very decent live jazz gigs. Hop to HK easily. Hope they have the full US/OZ cable channels.
3) Zurich - When I was there years back, this looked like heaven on earth. Its a great place to stroll, sit in a park and watch the world drifts past you. The best place to smoke a really nice cigar. Very picturesque and the weather's not too bad. Even the ducks, swans and dogs in public are very well behaved!!?? A good point to do short trips to other European cities. Trips back to Asia-Pacific would be a bitch.
4) HK - Despite the pollution levels, HK is still the most exciting Asian city (provided you are rich... its not so nice if you are not rich). The best racing available in the world. Cantonese food and culture at its best and most varied. Though HK people do speak in cantonese way too loud, I can get used to it. Probably stay in serviced apartment in Causway Bay, or if I am good at driving/have a chauffeur I would stay in Stanley. Great food, produce and choice in supermarts. Hop/skip to cities in China and KL/Sydney are not too far away too.
5) New York - Yea, even though it out there in nowhere land, its right up there as the place to be. If it was more central and close to Asia, NY would have been my #1. The best place for theater. Food is adventurous, great book shops, melting pot of cultures. Most vibrant financial center.
6) Bangkok - Yea baby, will hire part time translator / language teacher or get a multi lingual gf. Its a wonderful city to explore, and when you grasp the language, you get absorbed into their culture and way of life even more. Gentle people with flowers in their hair ... less stressful (as long as you don't get stuck in their traffic jams).
Paris - Too far, and too snooty
Melbourne - Weather is horrendous, people too sports crazy, great food and theater though
Vancouver - Too close to North Pole
Barcelona - Great to visit, not to stay too long
Singapore - Too structured
Auckland - Too windy, no life after 8pm
Amsterdam - Too small, you certainly cannot smoke pot every day
London - Too far, miserable weather, great theater, food is getting better
p/s Kelly Lin