The Economist recently published its annual “World’s Most Liveable Cities” ranking. First of all, let’s all take a moment to applause the fact that I finally learned how to link to things in my blog.

Second of all, let’s take a moment to ponder The Economist’s ranking. Vancouver is #1. Vancouver? Really? While this is my current place of residence, and I do appreciate its temperate climate, laid-back atmosphere, and pancakes, there are other Canadian cities worthy of mention. In fact, there are dozens of cities that I was shocked to see did not make The Economist’s cut. There is only one reason for this – they don’t want people flocking to these hot spots. Greedy, greedy is all I have to say.

But don’t worry. Today I’ll share with you the ultimate ranking of the World’s Most Awesome Cities.

10) Vulcan, Alberta. A town that exists to pay tribute to Star Trek? Amazing. What’s more is that my Great Uncle lives there and whenever a newcomer comes to town, he welcomes them by blasting his trumpet in their driveway. You don’t find that kind of hospitality in Vancouver.

9)  Come by Chance, Newfoundland. Ok, I don’t really know anything about this place, but COME ON. That name is gold. I bet you can only get there if you’re wandering aimlessly. If you look for it, you’ll never find it.

8) Thought I was getting a little Canada-centric? Well I am, but Canada has a limited population/number of cities. So on to number 8, Mateszalka, Hungary. Mateszalka is great. The city spontaneously breaks out into traditional Hungarian folk dance and is only 15 minutes from the Romanian border. So you can folk dance on the Hungarian/Romanian border. What, this isn’t what you’ve always wanted?

7) Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. If only for this reason:

“They have a statue in the middle of the city of the former president that rotates to face the sun during the daylight hours. This statue is made of pure gold. The president […] banned beards, ballets and even lip synching to music. He renamed January after himself and closed the hospitals outside the city.”

Also, I’m over my hyperlinking phase. You can look the next cities up on Wikipedia OR FOREVER LIVE IN IGNORANCE. Moving along.

6) Verkhoyansk, Russia. Population of 1400 and temperatures that get down to -60 degrees celsius? Yes please.

5) Hyderabad, India. Because two of the nicest people I’ve met in my life live there and because I spent every day wondering if I would be hit by a rickshaw, asphyxiate from rickshaw fumes, be attacked by a rabid dog, or die of a parasite infection, and still loved it.

4) Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan. This city has it all. Founded on a bog, this vacation hot spot lies directly on top of the AB/SK border. Not only can you be in two places at once, but you also enjoy -45 degree winters, +45 degree summers, and drive in a straight line for 94 hours without running into anything. If you aren’t convinced then you have head problems. Go get that checked.

3) Cape Town, South Africa. The Vancouver of South Africa minus the yoga obsession.

2) Clonmel, Ireland. I think the name is fun to say. Clonmel. Cllllonmel. ClonmelClonmelClonmel.

And the most liveable city IN THE WORLD?!

1) Bienfait, Saskatchewan. No, it’s not French. Well maybe it is, but Saskatchewaners pronounce it “Bean-fate” (because they are kings). Anyway, there are no words. Only this picture: http://www.verlo.ca/gallery/image/256-bienfait-saskatchewan/

So there you have it kids! You can listen to The Economist (no) or you can listen to me (yes). See you in Verkhoyansk!

EDIT: After numerous death threats, I would like to point out that, while some of these are sarcastic, some aren’t, so please don’t take offence. For example, I really would love to live in Cape Town. And Come by Chance. Sure.

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