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2421Blantyre...World's Top City

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  • susan_clasby@amsinc.com
    Jul 30, 2001
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      Hi All,

      I hope everyone's well, thought you'd like to read about the latest praises of
      World's Top City - Blantyre!! Who'd've thunk!?!?

      balakasue

      From The Guardian Weekly (U.K.)
      >
      >The world's top city? Blantyre, of course
      >by
      >Amelia Hill, Observer
      >
      >Sunday July 15, 2001
      >
      >It's official: the best city in the world to live is cheaper than New York,
      more peaceful than Paris and cleaner than London.
      >
      >Tomorrow, Blantyre, the cosmopolitan centre of Malawi in eastern Africa, will
      be officially crowned the city where the highest quality of life for housing,
      food, clothing, household goods and entertainment can be purchased at the
      cheapest price in a poll of the most popular business centres in the world.
      >
      >'We gritted our teeth when we made the decision to move here,' said Bridget
      McLeod, who moved from Liverpool to Blantyre with her husband Robin in 1999 to
      work at the newly-built Wellcome Trust Research Laboratories. 'We expected
      poverty, ugliness and danger.'
      >
      >Instead McLeod landed a job at an internationally acclaimed laboratory in a
      city nicknamed the 'Warm Heart of Africa'.
      >
      >'Although there's poverty - Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa -
      the levels of personal misery are less extreme than the stuff you see every day
      in central London or Liverpool,' she added. 'And there's a camaraderie here that
      stops people walking by beggars like they do in Britain. I've never lived any
      where more friendly, homely or relaxing. It's heaven.'
      >
      >There is, of course, the scourge of Aids which has swept through Africa, but
      the Malawi Government has been dedicated in its attempts to counter the problem,
      building six new hospitals in the last five years, the largest of which is in
      Blantyre.
      >
      >'You can be swimming in Lake Malawi, climbing in the mountains or driving
      through one of five national parks within an hour of leaving Blantyre,' said
      Madson Mulikha, owner of Blantyre's oldest hotel, the Ryall. 'Our secret is
      finally spreading.'
      >
      >While a night at an upmarket hotel can cost up to £120, renting a four-bedroom
      palatial mansion with swimming pool, grounds and staff costs less than £285 a
      month, leaving visitors with plenty of cash for six-pence pints of local beer
      and six-course dinners of top international fare, which rarely cost more than
      around £28.
      >
      >While erudite visitors beat a path to the nineteenth-century St Michael's
      Church, the internationally respected Museum of Malawi and the arts-and-crafts
      centres dotted throughout the city, those with more frivolous minds can live it
      up at one of the many bars, clubs and gaming centres open day and night.
      >
      >According to the latest cost of living survey by consultants William M Mercer,
      to be released tomorrow, while Blantyre has become the world's most desirable
      habitation, London has slipped out of the top ten rankings of the most expensive
      cities in the world for the first time.
      >
      >However, it still leads the list of the most expensive EU cities by a long way.
      After London, Copenhagen is the most expensive, followed by Paris, Milan and
      Vienna.
      >
      >Of the cities surveyed, Lisbon had the cheapest living costs in the EU.
      >
      >The world's most expensive cities are now Tokyo, Moscow and Hong Kong,
      respectively.