Want to live a long time? You need to travel
The US isn’t in the top five countries with the longest life spans; it isn’t even in the top ten, or the top thirty. The ophthalmology is excellent, though, if you are in the right hands.
The rest, my grandmother said, was a coin toss.
But you have decided to stay on this planet. What’s to be done? It’s possible, in your twilight years, to move to a place with a record number of centenarians, or wherever the average statistics are good, but to where exactly? Soviet authorities told tales of Kavkaz long-lifers, but I have yet to go to these fairytale places.
At the same time, everyone knows about Okinawa. Although Japan’s average is among the best in the world, it is in Okinawa where 400 people have lived past 100. What’s going on there?
They say it’s the food: lots of tofu, sweet potatoes, and a little fish. Sounds miserable. The key word, I think, is a “little”. It seems to me that if you eat only a little, it’s possible to live anywhere for a long time, even in Los Angeles, but we haven’t considered “why?”
Tofu still doesn’t appeal to me. A friend told me that they recently discovered Okinawans’ true source of longevity – the bitter, pimply goya. Doesn’t sound very appetizing.
Also, in Okinawa the elderly are socially-active and have a sense of community (maybe samurai spirit?). If you want to live, join the community. But to join, you need to chat in the local dialect. “The quality of life in Japan is unusually high, but only if you overcome the language barrier – otherwise, you will not understand the local mentality, which differs from the western one much more than you can imagine,” says one of the brand-new arrivals.
Unless you are Borges, who started to study Icelandic and Old English at almost 80 years old, then your Okinawan project is under question.
MAYBE SINGAPORE, THEN?
Everyone says the medicine there is amazing. My friend, who was poisoned in Cambodia, was rescued in Singapore, and for free – which is interesting.
A lot of parks, fitness/shmitness, anti-stress, and the price of cigarettes and alcohol is so much that you’d smoke and drink once every ten years. Singapore is also one of the cleanest countries. The fine for littering is $2000. Eat a pretzel on the train – $500. They say it’s the same for gum. And for medicinal marijuana, you can be (…). Nope, that’s not for me.
In Switzerland, the men live longer than anywhere else, at an average of 81 years. But… it’s somehow coldish there in a figurative sense.
If they implement a law guaranteeing a minimal $2000/mo income, though, I’ll think about it. In addition, there’s high-quality healthcare, a high level of personal safety, and a sense of well-being. For that, I might go, and there’s excellent cheese. Not our local “camembert”.
For the sake of one siesta, it’s worth it, but that’s not all. They write that Spanish cuisine has now surpassed French. In addition, there are many who live in Spain that don’t speak much Spanish, and I’m not talking about the Russian mafia… I just flipped through a detective story about the Englishmen there.
And although Spanish lifespan numbers are inferior to the Japanese, what about the Mediterranean diet with olive oil (also not from Trader Joe’s), the vegetables, and the wine? And yes, the seafood. What’s good about that? Well, you don’t need to choke down almost-spoiled leftovers on your lunch break, hastily warmed up in the community microwave after waiting in a line as long as the DMV, as is customary in American corporations. Rather, you can calmly dine at home or in a restaurant.
Personally, I’d go to Spain. Sardinia as a last resort. Where would you go?