Glasgow's troubles

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Wednesday, February 8, 2006

I like Glasgow as a city. It's a real, living city with a practical existence and sense of purpose to it. The people here are as friendly as you'll find anywhere, and as an Englishman in Scotland there is no evidence of the antipathies you might expect from sterotypes.

Yet, recently, I suddenly find myself hearing bad news about Glasgow. Stories in the local media of an outbreak of rapidly increasing violent knife crime came first, and then those about the heart disease, lung cancer and obesity. Coupled to this came the stories of the inverse relationship between poverty and smoking rates and the consequent suffering in some of the poorest areas in Britain in this very city. This week, a taxi driver told me he'd had 17 windows broken on his cab because some city estates are turning into ghettos and hoodlums hurl stones at passing taxis and buses for fun. Running under everything is always the evil, vitriolic, religious rivalry between the cities two major football teams.

All this makes you think it's a sick city, a society you wouldn't want to be part of. The reality is that Glasgow is not alone respect of it's troubles.

My own personal reality is also that because I hate having to work here, and the way I'm treated, all the negative stuff seems to stick in my mind whereas I probably discounted it before. It's a shame because it tarnishes my impressions of a great city that everybody should try to visit and experience.
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