Every now and again it's comforting to sit back and reflect on how magnificently lucky we are. For the majority of people, this is pretty easy - you just think of all the horrible places, the disasters and deaths, bombings and bastards and remind yourself that you are not affiliated with any of these happenings, and are significantly happier and better off because of that.
But the thing is, whilst I was sat there planning adventures and scrolling through information and statistics, I discovered a much more efficient, and hell of a nerdier way to do it.
Over the years that have amalgamated to form my lifetime, I have, for want of a better phrase, been around the world once or twice. I've been to a couple of different places, and as it happens, it's the responsibility of the authorities of these places to publish statistics pertaining to how dangerous being in these places is. They want everyone who is on their way there to know how likely they are to be stabbed, raped, shot, scammed, or blown up.
However, in retrospect, these statistics make for a good measure of how lucky you are. So I took it upon myself, in a sort of self-fulfilling and ever so slightly bragging manner, to look at the different places I've been, and see how dangerous they are/were. During this almost hedonistic bout of research, I discovered some worryingly compelling figures (Some relevant, some completely irrelevant but still damn interesting). I have published some of my favourites right here.
For instance, in South Africa, 50 people are murdered every day - it has also earned the dubious title of 'Rape Capital of the World' due to you being more likely to be raped there than anywhere else in the world. I am still alive, and my bumhole is still intact, thus lucky points go to me. True story - my friend and travelling partner Mischa (Who is in fact South African himself) was once staying in Johannesburg when he was held at gunpoint by a mugger. Mischa, who didn't have any money on him, said a little prayer in his head when he had to tell this guy 'Look buddy, I'm broke'. A moment later, the gun clicked an awkward click, and the mugger turned and ran.
People wonder why Mischa is so faithful to God.
Another morbidly interesting fact about South Africa is that since Mandela was voted in in 1994, over 3000 commercial white farmers have been killed on their farms - including one incident in which a man was stabbed 151 times with several instruments - including a brick. Now I don't know about you, but I never really thought of bricks as 'stabby' implements...
Meanwhile, in London, lots of people were being stabbed and robbed every day. I go to London quite a bit, so just to up my lucky points I scrolled through various numbers and statistics, and came up with a true fact that has not been yet published - did you know that in London, you are more likely to be mugged, than you are to win the lottery?
In other news, a teenage blogger today orchestrated a drop in sales of lottery tickets...
There is a wealth of worrying words and startling statistics out there, and just so you can feel lucky I recommend that you go out there and find out just how lucky you are. Go to Nation Master, find an interesting statistic (Relative or not) and post it in the comments - if you feel lucky that is.
Well, do ya, punk?