Tim Walker’s Inflation IV

According to Government the New Zealand economy was never in trouble; just wish someone had warned us that inflation was about to go out of control.

Oh, wait, someone did; inflation/inflation-ii/inflation-iii

Hate to be that guy but I feel as though, I mean, if I knew that giving handouts to the people was going to achieve no long-term gains other than increased inflation, then surely our official finance guy should have had some clue.

Grant Robertson should have had the financial acumen to know that giving out regular minimum wage increases is not conducive to a country’s long-term prosperity; as asserted in one of the above ‘Inflations’, a better way to increase public cashflow/decease public living costs is to start at the other end – rather than effectively increasing wages across the nation with a minimum wage increase, what if Government subsidised the cost of basic goods?

We have struggling families in New Zealand who cannot afford to feed or clothe their children; this concept of subsidising the staples would provide relief to low-income families without having a dramatic effect on the dreaded inflation.

If our government removed, for example, GST from bread, meat, milk, fruit and vegetables, also children’s basic clothing items, it would cost no more than a minimum wage increase (oh, wait, raising the minimum wage does cost the Government nothing, anyway); rather, it would cost the Government no more than a benefit increase and, for those lower socio-economic groups, instead of receiving a sudden increase in cash to do with as they please which may well result in the purchase of desirables rather than necessities, these people will discover the products they most need are now more affordable.

The reason this concept works where constant minimum wage increases does not, relates to a truth which Socialism likes to believe is an economic injustice; the truth that the so-called wage-gap must exist.

If not for the high-income bracket (currently paying over 30% in taxes), who would pay the benefits of the lower income bracket (paying under 18% in tax) – unemployment benefits, social welfare, DPB, ACC?

Additionally, it is the monetary differential which makes the system of currency work; if all working classes enjoyed a similar income, every person would have basically the same amount of money thus no one would have any more buying power than anybody else – if nobody is creating buying power there is no commercial competition and if there is no competition there is no way to gauge value or to determine price and/or regulate the setting of prices.

This phenomenon was/is experienced in nations operating with communist governments; with a negligible wage-gap thus minimal commercial competition a country’s currency will soon lose value causing prices to rise with continued inflation, and in relation to the rest of the world, amid a land run by Communism, that country’s currency will soon become undervalued.

Example given, I am soon to return to a business venture in – formally communist – Vietnam where a high weekly income is the equivalent of NZD500 and a lower income is under NZD100 a week; same thing, different scale, but Vietnam are rebuilding their economy from the disrepair left by years of Communism and, as seen above, have reinstated a healthy wagegap which will encourage commercial competition in their land of aspiring Socialism/Capitalism.

Vietnam’s currency is the greatest example of the damaging effects of unrestrained inflation; Vietnamese currency has more zeros than any other monetary unit in the world – 1 New Zealand Dollar being comparable to approximately 15,000 Vietnam Dong.

New Zealand’s current economic despair, it seems, can be easily reversed; Grant Robertson, pay attention – the solution is not giving the people more cash, it is about making essential products affordable.

Good luck with that.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Gavin Ut Cash

Photography by Anne Phlation

Tim Walker’s Warfare III

From a legal standpoint, how is ‘a declaration of war’ any different to ‘conspiracy to commit mass murder’?

Six days ago, when Russia waged war on Ukraine, Vladimir Putin became immediately famous for, if nothing else, being the most unsupported warmonger in history; seemingly no one wants the war against Ukraine, most people around the world have no idea what Putin is hoping to achieve and few in Russia even understand the war’s meaning.

Vladimir Putin seems to be away in his own pugnacious little world holding a pissing contest with himself.

At the height of D Trump’s US presidency, when many people were fearful that the US President’s riling of Kim Jong Un might begin a war with North Korea, I recall uttering the words ‘There is no way, in the 21st century, that the world would be sufficiently ignorant to allow itself to descend into another World War’; I stand by that statement and, given that wars between two nations are effectively that – pissing contests between ignoramuses to see who is the most ignorant – in this age of intelligence and logic, there is no reason for anyone to resort to violence to accomplish their quests.

NATO are now talking about Putin standing trial for ‘war crimes’; please refer to my opening paragraph.

One thing about Russia’s war with Ukraine, from New Zealand’s perspective, we finally have something to shift focus from COVID; yesterday New Zealand had 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 of which there were 9 in ICU – less illness than a wintertime cold and flu season but, due to months of feverish scaremongering by the New Zealand Government, people are terrified.

Task at hand; pull your head in and get your hand off it, Putin, stop being an antiquated shithead and realise that declarations of war are no longer the way to achieve your goals.

The people of Ukraine don’t want your war and, likely, nor do your own countrymen.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Pont Les War

Photography by Warren Co Vid

Tim Walker’s Omicron II

Hm, I must be the only person struggling to comprehend New Zealand’s continued battle with COVID-19.

Coronavirus had a novelty factor, COVID-19 was cool because it was an acronym with numbers, the Delta variant was out to kill so was less likable, and now Omicron is clearly the dissipation stage of viral evolution – far more cases but with far less severity per case.

Despite this, Government scaremongering continues unabated.

In New Zealand, we were implored to ‘get vaccinated’ because once we ‘reached 90%’ life could return to normal; as a nation we reached 90% but, not unexpectedly, we experienced little improvement in quality of life.

Omicron appeared, the ‘highly transmissible’ variant (also far less deadly than Delta but media were discouraged from saying anything that could reduce people’s fear of COVID so ‘highly transmissible’ was it) although, funnily enough, despite numerous ‘potential spreaders’ – irresponsible British DJs, belated test positives coming out of MIQ etc – in Christchurch over past weeks Omicron could just not manage to latch on so, you may have noticed, on account of its inability to spread, media had to stop referring to it as ‘the highly transmissible variant’ because that was becoming comical, until recently when it finally did take around New Zealand, and now ‘highly transmissible’ is back.

Wonderful; I just don’t think anyone cares anymore.

June 2020, when I did my stint in (Government funded) quarantine, it was 14 days of relative isolation; more recently, quarantine was reduced to 10 days, even to 7 but, because so many people have been belatedly testing positive for Omicron, it is again being stretched out to 14 days.

Such a gut-wrenching waste of time, such a gargantuan waste of resources, such a gigantic waste of Government funds; such a further wasting of New Zealand’s economy, at a time where the value of our dollar has dropped to its lowest point in years.

Must come as a crippling blow, Jacinda, to find that most of the rest of the world is doing better than us.

Here is the reality; while New Zealand is doing all it can to avoid a virus which epidemiologists recently conceded ‘will now be impossible to avoid’, the rest of the world already has Omicron.

For most, this recent strain of the virus will, at worst, lay up a patient in bed for a week; that is one week you might be out of action – by New Zealand’s MIQ plan, you will be out of action for two weeks, then you still won’t have had Omicron which will potentially lay you up for another week.

This debacle is why our economy is currently suffering, and why it is set to suffer a whole lot more when Omicron does take hold and finds a country of sheltered government minions who, although highly vaccinated and fresh from two-week stints in isolation, in fact have yet to be touched by the Omicron virus, thus are ripe for a further week of bedrest.

Seriously, regarding Government scaremongering, the state of New Zealand’s economy is what everybody should be fearing, not this highly transmissible but decidedly watered-down version of COVID-19.

Does this country even have a finance minister anymore?

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Witter Down

Photography by O Mi Crumb

Tim Walker’s Electric IV

New Zealand’s resident anti-EV motorists seem to share a similar mentality to our group of anti-vax malcontents.

Unlikely they are the same group but, bunch of erroneously informed, rumour perpetuating, Facebook gleaning, baselessly negative, painfully ignorant, illogical complainants they are.

Admittedly, there are people in New Zealand who are unwilling to undergo COVID vaccination for legitimate reasons and, make no mistake, there is nothing wrong with that choice, it’s the COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, that minority of the anti-vax population who believe that COVID is a hoax and/or the Government just wants to control them (yet still they voted Labour), who give the term ‘anti-vaxer’ a bad name.

For the record, there is nothing in a Facebook ‘Newsfeed’ that is obligated to represent even an iota of truthfulness; this is where conspiracies begin, any person can post any item about any thing – edited photo, doctored video, misrepresented writing – then pass it off as fact (Facebook’s Newsfeed is the home of ‘fake news’ and it is dangerous, and yes, I am aware of the irony).

Regarding New Zealand’s anti-EV group, just the other day I was hit with the terribly hackneyed, “Oh, they’re just too bloody expensive…”

This was only days after hearing, “Yeah, but what happens when the batteries need replacing – aren’t they expensive?”

Did we all hear about New Zealand’s top-selling vehicle in 2021 – yeah, what about number two in that list?

Hmm, expensive, right.

Expensive is going out and spending $50 grand on a bloody Ford Ranger, like so many Kiwis seem to have done this past year; the others, yeah, they went with a classic, Toyota Hilux, but at a similar price.

Here is a fun fact: over 80% of these 4WD vehicles were purchased by city folk who will likely never take their offroad vehicles off a sealed surface.

Still, apparently an EV is too expensive, even though the upfront cost is potentially half that of your big 4WD vehicle, just without the street-cred you believe your Ranger Wildtrak or Raptor will afford you, all pimped out with your chrome bull-bars, roll-cage among other accessories, maybe even lowered a little bit on massive feet still running the factory mud-grips for optimum inner-city noise so you can really turn heads when you cruise past farm factory or building supply outlets just dreaming about how one day you might have the opportunity to take off that tonneau cover, stop being a blow-hard and actually use your ute for its intended purpose.

A city-dweller who argues that ‘EVs are too expensive’ then purchases a Ranger or Hilux, will spend around $50,000 initially, along with a fuel bill of at least $100 per week, or over $5000 a year.

At that, they could have bought two EVs, then costing around $20 a week, or $1000 a year, in maintenance.

Rather than spending $50,000 on a vehicle that is going to have an increasing fuel-cost of over $5000 per year, they could have saved themselves $25,000 initially, then been recuperating the remainder of the cost at around $4000 per year.

Most EV batteries will last at least 15 years before they require attention; buy a five-year-old EV for $25,000 and recuperate that cost in around six years, then in maybe another six years, with $25,000 now in your pocket (seriously, if you are not spending all that money on fuel, you will be flooded with expendable cash), take one year’s fuel cost from your bloody Ford Ranger and yeah, maybe recondition some batteries to last you another 15 years – along with further fuel savings of around $60,000 (seriously, that’s how it works, there is that much money to be made in not buying fuel).

So, who has so much money they can afford to be so precious about their image when they drive?

Chinese manufacturer LDV does an EV commercial van for $50 grand – Ranger, anyone? – and with savings as just mentioned; plumbers, carpenters, plasters, anyone, how can one be so senseless as to want to keep driving their internal combustion vehicles?

Fuel prices are ever-increasing while future Government taxes will additionally target drivers of off-road vehicles; currently there is zero road tax on EVs and comparatively, electricity is cheap.

In the 21st century, buying an EV makes sense; pull your heads in and stop taking your news updates from Facebook.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by E V Sense

Photography by F B Bollocks

Tim Walker’s Omicron

New Zealand appears terrified by the latest variant of COVID-19.

Omicron has been shown to be highly transmissible although, sounding like one of the original Transformers, it is potentially less harmful than Delta and is still ultimately COVID.

Indeed, Omicron is effectively the same Coronavirus infection you have been fighting for the past two years, just weaker.

The problem, as always, is the way our officials pervade fear through all media outlets.

Sounds awful; more transmissible, may not be able to be controlled by the vaccine and – although preliminary research has found Omicron is ‘less likely to cause severe symptoms, including death, than Delta’ – COVID Omicron sounds essentially like a watered-down, vaccinated version of COVID Delta.

‘Omicron is spreading throughout the world much faster than Delta…’

Let it; the world is eventually going to succumb to COVID-19 and if Omicron does not plan to kill as many as Delta would have, I say let Omicron take control.

Message to National Media: Please, quit scaring folk with your sombre daily talk of ‘New Cases of COVID’ and ‘National Spread of COVID’, ‘COVID … COVID … COVID…’; it is unnecessary, we are now officially 90% vaxed thus COVID numbers are irrelevant and do nothing but unsettle people – talk about COVID Hospital Admissions, talk about how ill COVID is making the unlucky few, talk about how tired healthy people are of hearing about COVID because seriously, nobody cares anymore for your sensational scaremongering.

Omicron, the less-harmful Transformer, you deserve about as much regard as the piece of shit I just flushed down the toilet.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Moran Meets

Photography by Dee Eye

 

Tim Walker’s Nonsensical II

New Zealand’s struggle with COVID-19 continues to make increasingly less sense.

While the rest of the world has been ravaged by the COVID pandemic, accepting this new virus as part of life, in New Zealand, we are still feverish in our denial that we have lost the Coronavirus battle.

The New Zealand Government months ago assured the people that, once we reached the fabled ‘90% vaccinated’ mark, COVID would lose its hold over us and life in Godzone could return to normal.

Yeah, that was never going to happen.

According to some sources, the nation’s eligible population – this number keeps changing, mind you, as a broader populous is continually being included in the stat – reached 90% double-vaccinated last week; according to other sources, New Zealand’s double-vaxed populous has been at around 89% for over a week now.

The point is, Jacinda and her elected government of political losers tim-walkers-election17-ii/  are so focused right now on public perception, how they appear in the eyes of the rest of the world that, although it’s not official, nothing short of COVID elimination is going to suffice for our beloved Cindy.

The reason this is such a ridiculous – nonsensical – strategy is this: PM Ardern, for how long do you need to be able to show the world that you achieved ‘COVID-negative’ status before you reopen your borders to the world and allow your prized Dictatorship to become again COVID-positive?

There is no sense in fighting a virus that, within years, will have been through 90% of the world’s population.

We’ve done as you asked, Jacinda, now how about keeping one of your promises and allowing us to get on with our lives?

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Labour Intensive

Photography by Percy P Shinn

Tim Walker’s Anti-Vax IV

Presumably an effort to appease New Zealand’s anti-vax malcontents, Government is now considering offering incentive to the remaining unvaccinated.

In New Zealand the COVID vaccine is cost-free thus has no disincentive and surely, the incentive, in which the vaccinated 80-or-so percent have been revelling now for months, is increased likelihood of continued good health.

Uncertainty surrounding the stability, credibility, also efficacy, of the vaccine is preventing a minority from accepting it; odd, given that anyone who is not dead must be aware that, since the COVID-19 vaccine was pervaded throughout the world (admittedly, causing harm to an unfortunate few), people have basically given up on ‘suppression’ of the virus.

New Zealand Government’s most overused idiom, new ‘cases of COVID’ have never been higher than they are now so, yeah, we are relaxing restrictions because, that’s right, most people don’t care because they are vaccinated.

Most people did not waste time holding out to be tangibly rewarded for simply being looked after because, well, most people are not dicks.

A common anti-vax protester slogan – ‘Keep Your Hands Off Our Kids!’

Great, but we’re not worried so much about your kids, it’s you, the negligent parent, who needs vaccination, not your kids; hell, leave your kids at home, well away from Government hands, for all we care, it is you who is threatening our country’s prosperity.

Regarding prospective incentive, piquing interest was $100 in further cash pay-outs, also electronics because, you know, can’t put a price on life and all that.

Realistically, most of these people are dickheads; I know their kind, too, contrary for the sake of being different, causing a problem just so they can feel important.

I am done with this; these shitheads don’t want to get onboard with the rest of their nation, they’re willing to die for their cause, whatever – Government, fabricate a legal document, supplanting all that Hypocritic Oath bullshit, have these idiots sign it, fine, if they contract COVID-19, they can deal with the virus’s full extent, they can do it devoid of hospital care, so New Zealand can go forward – preferably without its populous of malcontents.

Over 18 months now, I have been estranged from the life I was building for myself in Asia; seriously, by year’s end, if we have not progressed as a nation, if we are not past this pointless talk of ‘lockdowns’ and imaginary ‘border control’ with some impending ‘traffic-light’ system, you better believe, I’m going to come out whooping some anti-vax butt.

Look at the bigger picture; see the world, not just yourself.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Pass Toff

Photography by Gut Tin Cranky

 

 

Tim Walker’s Inflation III

Here’s a worrying trend: the only thing keeping up with inflation in New Zealand right now, is the property market.

Gosh, that’s like taking two boots to the face in one kick.

Which do we consider is the more devastating blow; money in New Zealand becoming worth progressively less, or the fact that buying a house in New Zealand now requires more worth-less money than ever?

This issue began with a misunderstood, undervalued and underappreciated, minimum wage; for whatever reason, many young Kiwis leave school with few qualifications thus, often while they get their life sorted or begin the process of working their way up to bigger things, they will take a menial job at a lower wage.

Minimum wage.

Here is the misunderstood part: there is nothing unfair about the minimum wage, it is simply a low wage intended for inexperienced workers reflecting their lack of formal education and/or qualifications.

Minimum wage is not supposed to be a lot of money and, certainly, it is not supposed to result in financial freedom; it is supposed to be a safety-net for those folk who are still young enough to have minimal expenses and who are unable or just unwilling to dedicate themselves to the forging of a career through years of study and/or training.

Problem with the Government right now, in fact, problem with every bloody Labour Government in memory, presumably an effort to elicit that ‘younger-working-class’ vote, they seem forever to be raising the minimum wage.

As somebody I know once pointed out, all that is achieved by raising the minimum wage is the increasing of inflation; it sure as hell doesn’t making living easier, anyway – all it effectively does is increase the cost of living.

How can successive Governments not understand this?

They have Economists, Finance Ministers, and other currency-savvy people on their team; how can they not comprehend an aspect of currency which I managed to glean in Fifth Form Economics class (which was, incidentally, the one School Cert subject I did fail)?

Seemingly, in New Zealand, we like to compare ourselves to big sister in the west, Australia; problem there is that she has over five times the population that we do, thus she has over five times the commerce, five times the cashflow, five times the everything, so how the hell can this whinging piss-ant of a younger sibling ever be expected to live up to big sister?

We can’t, we need to stop trying; need to stop thinking we need to.

Here it is, guys, a basic formula that, even as a snotty-nosed fifteen-year-old on the way to failing School Cert Economics, I could understand; bigger wages lead to bigger consumer demand which leads to bigger living costs which lead to bigger housing market which leads to bigger requirement for money which leads to bigger demand for increased wages…

Bigger, Bigger, BIGGER, BIGGER!

…Cool it, minimum wagers, either do the work and secure a higher paying job or simply, learn to live within your means, stop demanding; stop complaining and be happy.

Easy.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by D Marn Ding

Photography by Fie Nance-Sez

 

Tim Walker’s Nonsensical

You are free but still under strict regulation, you can do whatever you need but only if it complies; you are not infected with whatever it is that has the rest of the rest of the nation in mortal fear, yet you are being forced to play by the same silly rules as they are.

It is basically what I’ve been preaching all along; in New Zealand, Government control, for a while now, has been out of control.

Supermarket staff who refuse to bag your goods ‘due to COVID’, after handling them all throughout the checkout process and after supermarket shelf-stackers have handled them while doing God knows what else to them; extra packaging of products – for what?

The old ‘always wash your hands after touching the tap after washing your hands’ mentality.

Maintaining a sizeable gap between you and the next person in the queue, unless you know that next person or you are outdoors, because it is only people you don’t know who can transmit COVID and only indoors; we must always keep the kissing of strangers to outdoor situations.

Maintaining a ‘lockdown’ situation where, nobody really cares anymore thus just like NSW months ago the only difference it makes is to penalise those well-behaved people who do follow the rules and therefore who don’t have COVID-19; while the shithead gang members, meth dealers and prostitutes, who never cared for the rules, continue to spread this virus without concern.

Canterbury Anniversary Day, today, no COVID in the South but, like so many other southern events, our Auckland-focused government does not hesitate to further crush us with cancellation.

Government propaganda, scaremongering, has led most people into a mortal fear of COVID-19 – if it’s in the air you’re going to catch it and if you catch it, you’re going to die from it.

Realistically, statistically, worldwide, COVID hospitalises around one in a hundred people, killing one in a thousand; few months ago, New Zealand had barely 100 cases of COVID-19 and hospitals were already full.

This mortal fear of the virus, in New Zealand, has meant that, when COVID shows up in somebody’s circulatory system, although generally asymptomatic they will be, they panic; with panic comes increased breathing and with unnecessarily increased breathing comes restricted airways – causing further panic hence pointless hospital care.

Our socialist cum communist government is keeping otherwise jobless folk employed by having them fulfil meaningless tasks such as loitering around and ‘monitoring’ testing stations as others furiously fill test tubes with wastewater to test for COVID-19 while others stand guard at entrances of buildings to ensure nobody is standing too close to anybody else, then using a positive wastewater test to further scaremonger low-vaccination areas into the ‘double-shot’ culture that most Kiwis are embracing.

Health officials are complaining that people ‘positive for COVID-19 are staying home and not being tested’ but, shit man, is that not the ideal scenario – contract a virus, keep to yourself, deal with it like you would any other virus – as though the health sector are encouraging people to bring to A&E their breathing difficulties…?

So much of what is happening at the moment makes no sense and the rational thinkers among us are growing increasingly frustrated.

We need to embrace this double-shot mentality because this shit is ridiculous; most of us know it is ridiculous, too.

Worldwide, this COVID game has become more about politics than about personal health; public perception and agendas have taken priority.

Double vaccinate and let’s get this shit done.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Tu Qwik

Photography by Noah Thyme

 

Tim Walker’s Vietnam Return

December 26th, 2019; flying in the direction of Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat Airport, Vietnam.

June 1st, 2020; checking into Auckland’s Pullman Hotel, in what were the comparatively early stages of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Quarantine facility.

A disproportionately large number of occurrences took place between those two dates; additionally, that five-month stint in Southeast Asia showed me, a 36-year-old man hitherto in danger of abject stagnation, that, irrespective of one’s past or current predicament in life, with dedication and desire to seize opportunities when they arise, fresh starts are always available.

I arrived in Saigon, undertook a course, gave it everything and weeks later, emerged a TESOL graduate; I then shot up-country to the idyllic Buon Ma Thuot where, late January 2020, for the coming months I plied my newest trade to masterful effect.

COVID had arrived, seemingly focused on the larger cities, leaving our peaceful inland paradise unaffected; nevertheless, as the end of March loomed, along with my scheduled flight home, I began to experience a great sadness at leaving behind this adoptive homeland – also a girlfriend, also about a hundred townsfolk-friends, and multiple adoptive families-friends.

Via online New Zealand radio broadcasts, I was able to keep abreast of most happenings in my native land; at the time, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand did not appear any better positioned than Vietnam.

COVID had arrived, like a guardian viral angel, cancelling many international flights, including my own; I was dismayed while, at the same time, overjoyed at having more time to spend in this transcendent land with these glorious people.

Vietnamese Immigration started sending me emails politely requesting, due to my recently expired Visa, that I please vacate their country.

COVID had arrived, threatening Buon Ma Thuot, forcing a lockdown and trapping me all day in the cool of indoors with my gorgeous Vietnamese girlfriend and wonderful adoptive family.

Vietnamese Immigration became less polite and, over the coming weeks, presented to me several viable flights out of Vietnam but never completely into New Zealand which, while I did accept and even pay for a few Australian-stopover flights, were always cancelled in the days before departure.

With the last of my funds now tied up with various airlines, I finally lost hope of getting home and settled in for another 12 months in Vietnam being harassed by Vietnamese Immigration.

Vietnamese Immigration then sent me another ‘urgent’ email; this one claimed there was a Vietnam Airlines plane flying right into Auckland Airport leaving Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat the coming weekend.

This latest flight plan sounded perfect; alas I now had insufficient funds to fly anywhere.

My girlfriend later listened as I explained my predicament, then without a word she disappeared up the stairs and into her mother’s room.

A few minutes later she returned, clasping a thick wad of 500 dong bills which she handed me; my wonderful Vietnamese family paid that exorbitant fare back to New Zealand so that I could be reunited with my genuine family.

(For the record, months later, I would be reimbursed around half of the money I had spent on cancelled airfares – ‘Act of God’ meant travel insurance jumped through a loophole on all losses incurred – and, months after that, through international transfer, I did pay back that family, with interest.)

 

The next year in New Zealand passed in a blur of hazy recollections and growing frustrations.

I had been discharged from Auckland’s quarantine facility on 1st June 2020, and while I did communicate with Vietnam most days, I longed for my life in Vietnam, the most prosperous existence I had experienced in 20 years.

I tried everything I could to get back to Vietnam as an English teacher; according to what I was reading, even throughout COVID Vietnam was bringing in ‘highly skilled workers’ – I was aware this included native English teachers – yet the sponsorship I required continually eluded me.

Finally, October 2021, the COVID vaccine having been the source of great debate for months, I have a potential offer of employment thus hopefully the sponsorship to head back to Vietnam to resume my life of prosperity.

Early days, admittedly, and I am not typically one to go in for premature excitement but, come on; Kiwis are currently being dictated by a political party insistent on maintaining favourable public perception thus feeding their people only the sweetly embellished variety of propaganda they need to hear to maintain their own agenda while forcing parts of the country into knee-jerk overreaction every time wastewater testing turns up a snifter of COVID-19 because although at this point a health system collapse is unlikely this incumbent government political party is terrified of the national bedlam which may ensue if they are seen to be anything but the robust New Zealand Socialist Government Dictatorship they are endeavouring to embody and now Christchurch is back on the hackneyed bandwagon with its ‘cases of COVID’…

Seriously, allow me this one shred of hope, it’s all I have.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by M Buddy Mint

Photography by Dick Tater