I'm convinced that what actually qualifies a first world country as such despite the inevitably arbitrary (and simultaneously calculated) nature of such a category- is not in reality how much poverty or dust or filth you have- but how convincing your "uppity" parts of town are. Sure there's some dirt in Paris (Ok, I'm pushing it but I saw some ugly mounds of cigarette butts I swear) but what matters is that the clean parts, the pretty parts, the rosy picture in convincingly rosy and you cant say shit about regardless of how well your critical minds deconstructs such "illusions". It's gorgeous, even with the passed out alcoholic and the crazy lady talking to the pigeons.
Of course, there are other indicators of quality of life other than the height of trash piles in the pretty streets in Maadi and Zamalek, such as
- how many prisoners the police take to electrocuting each day ?
- thethe ratio of covered : uncovered skin a woman can get away with without risking gang rape.
- Decibels of noise drilling into your brain at given moment
- Proportion of population wearing ALL STAR shoes (I never said the indicators were a good or bad thing)
- Quality and overall pleasantness of music streaming in the street at given moment
- Do people insist on decorating Mosques/Churches with florescent green lights to distract from the more attractive architecture?- the answer to the question "Does McDonalds even TRY to accommodate your culture?" (Did you know that Mcdonalds serve shisha in Turkey? Outdoors)