Educating Mao ※

august 2010

Educating Mao

6 Aug

Subject: photos arrived

Dear Lloyd,
The photos are here. They arrived by courier post at my door half an hour ago. I have an appointment with Dr Smith at 11.10am tomorrow.
When signed I will fast-post them to Internal affairs with the certificate.
Let's hope things will start moving

Subject: thrilled to hear that∼train to Hangzhou

Dear Dad
I am thrilled to hear that. Now remember to remind Doctor Smith that he writes MY name Lloyd Geoffrey Gretton and that day's date at the back of one photograph. Put them in an envelope addressed to Internal Affairs. Their address is as below.

Department of Internal Affairs
Passport Office
P.O.Box 10526
Wellington 6143

Then having finished with the doctor, post fast-post at the village post office in the fast-post box. Don't forget to write Sender at the back of the envelope.

Maybe you could ring Internal Affairs and check that is the best address to send to. Ask to speak to Mr Brown. If he is not there, get someone else.

I will email Mr Brown that he should be receiving the envelope on Thursday.

I have booked a train ticket to Hangzhou concerning my foreign expert certificate. So for a while I may not be able to send you emails.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: documents witnessed∼all in order at Internal Affairs

Dear Lloyd
I did not reply to your yesterday's e mail as you said you would be on a train going to collect an important document from a former school.

However, at about 11am the courier was at my door and before 11am next day Dr Smith had completed all that he was required to do and by 2pm the documents and photos were on their way to Wellington.

Next morning I phoned Jim Brown and he told me they were on his desk in front of him. He said they were all in order and he would send the passport to you by registered courier mail as you had instructed him to do in a previous e mail. Sending to Gisborne first would just increase the delay. We have a credit balance at the passport office, you should receive them within a few days. (There is a three day delay in the processing of new passports.)

In future please leave passports and other precious documents locked up in your apartment.
Love from Dad

Subject: my old town Hangzhou

Dear Dad
I am so happy to receive this email. I am at present in my old town Hangzhou chasing up my lost documents. I am afraid I was on a wild goose chase. When I got to my old school, it was closed down, it seems permanently. So I had a bit of a wander.

The district was more developed.
My old coffee haunt was still there.
The ticket office gave me the wrong train ticket despite my showing them the correct town in English.

I was heading to Canton where I formerly taught near Hong Kong. I had to make a detour.
I had forgotten never trust booking offices in Asia.

I proposed toChenggong Collegethat I go to Vietnam and return on an invitation letter. It seems that is the only way I can work in China. I will wait for a few days for the new passport.

This is, I am afraid, going to be rather expensive. I haven't yet dipped into your funds. Many schools are offering me positions.

I will keep my old passport for identification purposes. The other will stay in my suitcase under lock and key.
Love from Lloyd

8 Aug

Subject: message from Jessie∼Mum's dream

Dear Dad
I just got a message from Jessie that I can go to Hong Kong and collect a letter of invitation there. That means I don't need to have an expert certificate. Jessie has been wonderful. There is just the issue about the passport. They don't know about that.

I had been looking out the window of my apartment and really wanting to live here. It would be just Mum's dream.
Hong Kong is a bit on the expensive side but I know the cheap hotels.

I will forward you Jessie's email and my reply.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Who is Jessica?∼Glenys, Becky, Paul and Dawn, Sue

Dear Lloyd,
What a train journey and all for nothing. Who is this Jessica? Your today's e mail consisted of 9 pages most of which I had already read. You yourself must decide whether you will abandon overseas working.

I am coping quite well alone here. I have Glenys every Monday morning, Becky has lunch with me Wednesday, and I lunch with Paul and Dawn on Saturday. During the week I had a visit from Sue Nicholas who is always good cheerful company.

Best of luck with your foreign expert certificate.
Love from Dad

Subject: train journeys

Dear Dad
Jessie – not Jessica – is the liaison officer for Chenggong College. She has been very nice about my situation. But I cannot take this for granted.

I am glad you are taking a relaxed situation about this. I have brought you into the decision making because your money is unfortunately involved. I would do anything to avoid this. From now on no business colleges. I think sometimes they get the impression I am not all there. It is very hard for me to be all there when I am not all there. Universities and High Schools – at least in China – have been more forgiving about this. It is acerbated by my poor hearing. At staff meetings I only hear about half and have great difficulty sometimes picking up on the contorted and distorted English in the classroom. My old head injury and ear imbalance continues to give me diziness. Reading that it is amazing I am employed at all! 

I rather enjoyed my time in my old town in Hangzhou. It is always interesting to come back to a place five years later. I was delighted the old coffee place was still thriving. I had suspected it would be gone as it was so high class. That is a good indication that quality products even though expensive often last beyond the five year trade date. I was not surprised my old College had gone. It was always shoddy like most of China commerce.

The money killer is hotel accommodation in expensive hotels. I want to return to New Zealand at the end of one year with sufficient money to be able to revise my new book Why Johnny Chan Can't Speak English in comfortable surroundings.

Judging by your letters you will be as fit as a fiddle. Maybe I could stay with you for a few weeks and get the book completed. I don't want to go on the dole. WINZ has been very good to me but might get nasy.

The train journeys are interesting. I take the hard back trains.railway
However I must note China is not a place to take inexpensive short trips. Gongyi has over 700,000 people and is too small to be classed as a city government!

There is really nothing to do in China. It has the atmosphere of a retirement village. It is run by the sort of people who run banks and insurance companies. So I will focus on my new book when I have the peace of mind of an income.

Do you take the car to Paul and Dawn on Saturday? I hope the car issue has now settled down. As you recall I had a similar battle and never had an accident. It is the bold, usually young, drivers who have most of the accidents. But just remember never take the road for granted. It is enormously advantageous for you and for your back up team that you are driving. So they will let it go once they have confidence in you. But no trips to Taupo!

I think you misunderstand the email system. This email for example is listed under the date at the top of it above Dear Dad. The others are old emails that you are able to refer back to. This sytem can be kept going indefinitely and maintains an archive.
Love from Lloyd

10 August

Subject: back in Gongyi∼interest from Universities

Dear Dad
I am now back in Gongyi. It was quite overwhelming. I won't go on quick trips to China cities again. The return on a slow hard seat train took me twelve hours through the night.

I continue to receive interest from Universities and high schools. If you want me to return to New Zealand, you will have to send me an airticket. I am of course now in southern China. There is a curious advantage that I can live on slow trains for about twenty dollars a night. Provided I can avoid four-star hotel acommodation in China, I can live very cheaply. My visa runs out in the middle of September.

I still haven't dipped into your deposit. So I suggest I hang in in China.

I will confine any position to Universities and high schools and no probation period. I am still signed up to the contract at Chenggong College and have their free accomodation.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: plenty of job offers∼cannot use internet cafes

Dear Dad
I had to relinquish my former email. So I will continue now. I have got plenty of job offers even an unsolicited one from Turkey. If I could have kept the one at Top College, I would have done so. It is very cruel that I can be summarily dismissed. I will not in future sign contracts that have probationary periods. It makes me such an easy target. All those that have targeted me will be reported about in my new book.

So long as I can have free accommodation, costs are very low. Unfortunately China has a set of laws that are irrational and make it very difficult for foreigners. I am actually forbidden in China to stay in other than a four-star hotel. I can find hotels that ignore that but they are very difficult to find. Also I cannot use internet cafes – only printing or photography shops. I would not choose to live in China. I have reached breaking point!

Anyway I hope these problems can be overcome and I will keep costs as low as possible.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: cut your losses∼I can book your seat in Gisborne

Dear Lloyd,
What a run-around you have had.

I suggest you cut your losses before it wrecks your health. You are not getting fed properly on a train or sleeping well. If you became ill you would really be in trouble so come home before this happens.

I expect I can book your seat from Air N.Z. in Gisborne.

Send me all particulars
Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: visa in hong kong

Dear Dad
You misunderstand. I am now back at the apartment. My health is no better or no worse than normal. If I return to New Zealand I will return penniless and unemployed to a backpackers.
I am just now in a spacious – almost luxury – apartment waiting for the process of getting my new visa.

After my long trips, I went back to my apartment and had some beautiful sleeps. Just keep your fingers crossed. It is the biggest career break I have had.

I will do a twenty four hour slow train trip to Hong Kong for the new visa for perhaps sixty dollars. The people on the train are very nice and helpful. I can sleep on the train and ample food and liquid is provided. Your deposit remains untouched.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: I have no passport∼My rule when overseas

Dear Dad
I should add. I can't come back anyway. I have no passport. Internal Affairs has acknowledged a new address. It is now at the Gongji post office. But they give the impression I will have to go through the full waiting period before I receive it.

I recall years ago, they made a balls-up and promptly got the new passport processed and posted to me within a day. So they really are assholes. Small minded in a big way. I wanted to rub it in their noses, that they invalidated it. But I was terrified they might retaliate by demanding I post to them the recovered one before they courier to me the new one.

My rule now is when overseas, do not go near New Zealand officialdom unless you are actually locked up. The British embassies are good. But they too may be bound to the rule of invalidating lost passports. It is all this phony war on terrorism…
Love from Lloyd

Email to Internal Affairs – Subject: new passport

Dear Mr Brown
Almost a month ago I posted to Internal Affairs photographs and a witness statement to receive the new passport. As you recall these documents were lost in the system.

Therefore I am entitled to receive the new passport after immediate dispatch to China by your office.

I recall several years ago Internal Affairs made an error and lost my passport photographs I had posted to them. After I rang up Internal Affairs about this, I received my new passport in the New Zealand mail within a day or two. So I am not in the least fooled a time delay is required before dispatch of the new passport to a China Post address.

I am writing a book about my ten years experience as a world traveller English teacher. If no book publisher will publish it, I will post it on my internet site:

Be assured this passport issue will figure prominently in the book or internet posting. I always try to be fair and find the human heart everywhere beneath the system. If published, I believe this book will be a best seller. If posted instead, it will be read everywhere in the world and give many cause to reflect.

Please feel free to log on to my site. It is cross linked to many sites.
Lloyd Gretton

11 August

Passports Uruwhenua writes:

Dear Mr Gretton
This is to advise that your New Zealand passport will be sent out to you today to:
Lloyd Gretton, China Post, № 55 Xinxing Road, Gongyi City, 451200, Henan, People's Republic Of China
Courier Bag № DHL 16999 64501,
Yours sincerely,
Pauline Bendall

Passport Officer Passports Uruwhenua
Identity Services Te Ratonga Tuakiri
The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
Direct Dial +64 4 382 3432
Fax: +64 4 382 3410
120 Victoria Street
New Zealand

Subject: new passport has been couriered

Dear Dad
I have just now received word from Internal Affairs that the new passport has been couriered. They got it wrong with the name of the city. They called it Gougyi not Gongyi. I have emailed DHL concerning this. I can track it and it should arrive at the Post Office Saturday or Monday. The Post Office has been informed of its arrival.

I am having quite a relaxed time there. You should be giving a huge sigh of relief I have the apartment. If I had had to stay in hotels, you would be having kittens. It would have been a cost of about fifty dollars a night because I am not allowed to stay in hotels below four star.

No further contact from Jessie. So I am just waiting until arrangements are made for the health tests. I will use the old passport if I have to. I don't think that will cause problems. The visa stamp will come later.

When I was afraid I might lose the apartment, I contacted other employment agencies. One had jacked me up for an interview for a position at another university in Henan. He was quite annoyed when I turned it down. I remain technically at least employed by this College. The apartment is completely free. Not even electricity costs.

The time at Hong Kong should be completed in a day. I will try to avoid any hotel costs in Hong Kong and use the slow train as a hotel. The ridiculous laws for foreigners do not apply in Hong Kong So I will if necessary stay a night at a slum. In a way I prefer them even putting aside the expense. Expensive hotels can be a real bother to live in. I am sure you know the feeling. All these costs are covered by the College. However I said I would pay for the travel costs to and from Hong Kong. The travel cost from Harbin is in the contract paid by the College. I have kept the train ticket.

I think I do best at Universities. It's the fun and games English I have trouble with. Business Colleges at least at Top College are exclusively that. Even if I don't complete the one year contract, I will have accumulated enough to pay for the ticket back to New Zealand and other capital. If I succeed, the College will pay for my ticket to New Zealand. Then I will in New Zealand revise my new book, Why Johnny Chan Can't Speak English. All those who frustrated my teaching career will be cheerfully attacked

I will send you my recent correspondence with Internal Affairs. It seemed to have the appropriate effect.

The River War I have been reading Fullbooks online the history book ‘The River War’ by Winston Churchill. It is about the Sudan war with Generals Gordon and Kitchener. Churchill was a great picturesque writer and really quite sympathetic to the enemies of the Empire. He had many trenchant things to say about the dangers of military rule. They seem very pertinent to America today. He looked upon the black man and Arab as inferior to the upper-class Englishman but still his fellow man. Quite right too!

How is your reading getting on? Do read ‘The River War’. It brings up Darfur and the issue of Jihad.

I am also reading ‘Right Ho Jeeves’. Amusing but a bit light-weight.
Love from Lloyd

12 August

Subject: all the best on your trip

Dear Lloyd,
My computer is acting very strangely this afternoon. I better make this short before it packs up all together

I am glad you are finding life in China less stressful and I wish you all the best on your trip to Hong Kong.

I will look forward to your mail after the weekend when you finally collect the passport.

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: Chinese food

Dear Dad
I have just gone shopping. I make it a rule to go into town every second day. I am forced to eat western food because Chinese food is nauseating. Very different from Chinese food outside China.

I am hoping to pick up the new passport on Saturday. Still no word about the hospital tests. I hope that doesn't happen until next week. The new passport will only be taken out of the apartment for documentation. I will use the old one for identification. That may be technically illegal but it is my reply!

Your computer like mine may be severely contaminated by viruses. They can be got rid of by a technician.

I continue to enjoy River War. Like you I lament it when the white man was displaced. The whole world has gone to pot ever since they gave…
Love from Lloyd

16 August

Subject: Minister of Customs deserves a letter of complaint

Dear Lloyd,
I have been expecting an e mail from you throughout the weekend but expect you have been to Hong Kong and have difficulty accessing a computer. However the letter will be most acceptable when it does arrive.

Fancy the Passport people getting the address wrong! The Minister of Customs deserves a letter of complaint. Here's hoping everything turns out alright.

Love and best wishes.

Subject: waiting for the passport

Dear Dad
I am still in Gongyi and waiting for the passport. The tracking service reports it is in Gongyi. The message was ambigious. I have made two trips to China Post and have directed them to receive and sign for it. China Post does not normally do this for courier services outside their own business.

You might say my feelings towards Internal Affairs have reached pure hatred. China is a shit of a place for any personal mail. I am going to report it all in my book. I am not going near NZ bureaucracy if I can help it.

Once I am in Hong Kong there will be no problems with computers. I think you owed me a letter. If my passport had arrived, I would have immediately informed you.

I am still in my apartment. No further contact with Jessie. Once my passport arrives, I will immediately inform her I am waiting for the health tests.

Just done some more shopping.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: passport is at Zhengzhou

Dear Dad
You can read by the below email what I am up against in China. They don't use English. They use pijun. If a teacher tries to teach them English, the teacher is fired because the teacher is boring!

The passport is now at Zhengzhou City which is a few hours from Gongyi. I should have it tomorrow.

Dear lloyd gretton
The shpt fwd to our agent, it will del by our agent
Gong yi agent tel was:###–######

Pls noted tks
Thanks & Best regards

North Area Customer Service Agent
DHL–Sinotrans International Air Courier Ltd.
Phone: ### ### ext. ##
or ### ###
Fax: ### ###

The shpt arrived zheng zhou city today , the shpt will fwd third part today, it can arrived agent hand tonight , agent tel was:###–######

Agent said she will contected with you after they got the shpt

If you can speak Chinese? tks
Thanks & Best regards

North Area Customer Service Agent
DHL–Sinotrans International Air Courier Ltd.
Phone: ### ### ext. ##
or ### ###
Fax: ### ###

Subject: China Post do not have the passport

Dear Athena
The DHL tracking notice read DELIVERY ARRANGED NO DETAILS EXPECTED. That message was recorded at 8.30 this morning Monday.

I have been to China Post. They do not have it yet, I directed them to receive and sign for it.

If you think there are any problems, could you ring the courier. I would not be able to communicate with this person over the phone.

Please communicate with me asap.
Regards Lloyd

17 August

Subject: fingers crossed for success tomorrow

Dear Lloyd,
I am so sad that I can do so little to help you out of this mess.

Do you still have a copy of the passport application form with your correct Gongyi address? Perhaps you sent the Passport people an e mail. Keep a copy for they should take responsibility for the misslaid document.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for success tomorrow morning

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: document is not mislaid

Dear Dad
It is not really a mess just a headache. The document is not mislaid. It is in the hands of the agent in Gongyi.

Tomorrow afternoon the courier will bring it to the College. A teacher at the College rang up the courier and gave the College Adress. The courier does not know English. The courier will deliver it to the teacher at the College via his mobile number. He will sign for it and then ring me to deliver it. I will be at the College from tomorrow afternoon to receive it.

Twenty years ago Internal Affairs would not have been able to commit their disgusting vandalism. This is a good example of what I call technology racing ahead of culture. As they can by a click of a button destroy my passport, I should at the click of a button be allowed to retrieve it. Instead I have gone through this nasty business. The war on t…or is a jack-up to avoid the people demanding these rights. I don't email such words because Echelon dredges them up and reads our emails.

Everything is ok. I still can't believe my luck – I am living in a luxuous apartment in grounds that resemble Cambridge. I still shudder at the alternative!
I am now off to do some shopping.

I was reading online Time Magazine cover stories from the beginning of American involvement in Vietnam in 1954. It makes sombre reading. I got up to 1965 when Time made Westmoreland their man of the year. All that history is now being recycled in Afghanistan.

Madame DiemI recall you talking about Madam Diem in America when her brother-in-law President Diem and her husband–his brother–got executed. She warned America of the consequences of their meddling in Vietnam politics.

Five years later the two Kennedy brothers were dead from executions.
Love from Lloyd

19 August

Subject: passport received∼will NOT inform Internal Affairs

Dear Dad
I have just received, from the University liaison officer Jackson, my new passport.

Jackson informed me yesterday the College Administration had alerted him about the arrival of a couriered parcel for me. When I came down for lunch he called me over. I live in a fenced foreign teacher compound. There are two buildings with apartments equal size to mine. Jackson lives in a flat next to the gate.

There was an alarming moment when I saw the parcel had no English address. The University was concerned it was not mine. I felt it and said it felt right. When Jackson asked what is it. I said vaguely something or other.

I opened it and the New Zealand package was inside. It is a lovely passport. It extends two years from my old passport to 2015. In its last two years I will devote to a world trip to spite Internal Affairs on the proceeds of my best seller book. There is a lot more Maori in it. The Maori words are underneath. Next time, if we become more ‘educated’ they will be above.

Jackson incidently is Chinese. That is the name he goes by. I haven't adopted the Cambridge language.

There was also your second personal cheque for 150 dollars. I have ripped it up. As it is a personal cheque, it will not affect your bank records.

I for the first time met another occidental teacher yesterday. There is a cafe by the gate that for about three dollars a day provides three meals. However it would not be healthy to eat there every day.

I have put the new passport in a special plastic bag. Only if absolutely necessary, will it come out of my apartment. I will use the other passport for identification.

I will NOT inform Internal Affairs that it has arrived.
Love from Lloyd.

19 August

Subject: Oh Happy Day!

Dear Lloyd,
How wonderful the passport saga has turned out right. It is very sensible to keep it in a safe place in your apartment.

I am very interested in your apartment. Could you some time describe it to me. Number of rooms, furniture etc. I am sure it must be very comfortable to get such a good set up. I am very proud of you.

I must away as I have to go into town this morning.

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: Apartment at Chenggong College

Dear Dad
The apartment is about ten metres by fifteen metres. It has free internet service, free electricity, a washing machine, cupboards, chairs, tables, western toilet, shower, pots, cutlery, and TV (only chinese programs).

Apartment at Chenggong College
Apartment at Chenggong College

It has two bedrooms, one a double bedroom with a thick blanket and sheets, a bathroom, kitchen, living room, porch.

I was having nightmares I would never get the passport. When I first went to Korea, the Korean New Zealand embassy issued my new passport. That service in Asia has now gone and Wellington was the closest place to issue a passport. Real services keep on being diminished while the image and spin is paramount. However I have to admit it is a fantasticly splendid passport. You would be very proud of it.
Love from Lloyd

21 August

Subject: beautiful set up∼Barlow freed

Dear Lloyd,
Thank you for your e mail. It is a beautiful set up! In Auckland today you would pay $400 per week for an apartment as good as that.

All you need now is an intelligent woman to share it with you. It can be a bit lonely at times living alone.

Thimgs are OK with me as the family have been very helpful. Becky went to Air N.Z. for me and managed to to get a seat booked to Christchurch for me on 23 Dec. and return 3rd January. Air N.Z. don't usually allow this but Becky has a silken tongue and knows a lot of people.

N.Z. news: John Barlow has been freed on 5 years parole. You will recall he faced two jury trials for the Thomas father and son murders but in both cases the juries failed to agree on a verdict so he then had to face another. This time the police brought in a balistic expert who introduced some new evidence which was later discredited by the U.S. Supreme Court in a U.S. Court case. This wasn't enough for the police, they wanted a conviction and poor Barlow spent 15 years in jail. I have always believed he was innocent.

Here I am ranting on but I thought you might be interested.

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: contract starts today∼news about John Gretton?

Dear Dad
I just got an email from Jessie that she will arrange for me to go to the Lab for the med. tests on Monday. My contract starts today. It is a nice thought that it should mean I am now receiving salary!

I had toothache yesterday. I have had it on and off since I was in Auckland. So I found a no-frills dental surgery that gave initial treatment. You would think a dentist here would have some English. But he had none at all. I continue the surgery today. He wrote about twenty NZ dollar charge initially. But I am not sure if that is the total cost. These are the pitfalls one encounters without language communication.

I agree with you about the intelligent woman. The trouble is my work record has been too irregular to make that possible. Also I am sure Jackson would look upon it with an eagle eye!

If any family members want to use the apartment for holiday time, let me know and I will check up if that is allowed. We are not allowed to have students here overnight. But that seems to be the only restriction. Remember there is an extra bedroom and also I can provide them with my own thick blanket.

Clearly Becky et al are convinced you will be still actively around into next year. That must be a boost!

I have been reading the life of David Crockett online. Very interesting. He wrote an autobiography that I feel Mark Twain used to write Huckleberry Finn.

It is tragic how that great country USA became first taken over by the Pentagon and now by a foreign power. Another example what happened when the white man was displaced.

I would be a bit cautious with John Barlow. He admitted that he supplied the gun and bullets to the Thomases that shot them.

The big news in Gisborne is about the lost boy. Do you have any inside information?

Any news about John Gretton? Is he out of hospital?

Quite a number of internet sites have linked to my Sargon Press. Sometimes they ask, sometimes they just do it. Oddly they are all non-literary sites. One is an astrological site. The others are commercial businesses, mostly furniture!

It is still a good climate here, with a little bit of rain.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: lunch at Paul's∼no fun in growing old∼lost boy

Dear Lloyd
I have just returned from Paul's place where I have enjoyed very tasty lunch – pancakes and fresh fruit salad. Paul had a letter to the editor Dominion Post August 8 publication. I would like you to read it. It is a classic!

Thanks for Becky's ‘boost’ but I am not very enthusiastic. There is no fun in growing old. I have for the last ten years lived only for Mum and now I haven't got her there is not much to live for.

David Crocket's biography and its association is very interesting I should like to read it too.

From Paul's balcony overlooking the river we could see the police team searching for the lost boy. Poor little chap I think he is a gonner.

John Gretton can get around with two sticks and one leg that works but he is very limited in movement.

It is cold wet and miserable here today.
Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: started dental treatment

Dear Dad
I tried to access online Paul's letter to the Dominion Post. However it goes too far back. What is it about?

I am sorry you are feeling sad. Still our family seem very supportive.

Now that I have started on dental treatment. I am told I have to have four visits. They are doing a good job. I understand it will cost me altogether about forty NZ dollars.

How is your reading method? Do you belong to any special libraries? It really is a mystery about Lucas Ward. They should have found him by now if it was an ordinary accident. A four year old is relatively big.

I am so sorry to hear about John. Does he have full strength in his arms? Is he out of hospital? Is he collecting a disability benefit or working? Can he get accident compensation?
Love from Lloyd

22 August

Subject: musical gathering∼John is out of hospital

Dear Lloyd
I have just finished my morning tea and reading your e mail in the sunshine inside the double doors. While I was sitting there, Beverly from opposite on Hall St appeared to invite me to a musical gathering at St Andrews Church this afternoon.

She thinks I have a musical bent because I sometimes accompanied Mum to musicals in Gisborne. She and Tony will pick me up at 1p.m. It is very kind of them to think of me. You will recall I knew Beverly at Lytton. She is the 13 year old who stepped into the breach when our music teacher collapsed with nerves at the beginning of the 1963 prize giving which was attended by the Govenor General Sir Bernard Fergusson. I always admired her for her courage and skill on the piano. She played faultlessly throughout the ceremony.

John is out of hospital and hopes to start work again at ECoglo though he will be entitled to A.C.C. of 90% of his old wages for the rest of his life. Ecoglo has been doing quite well since Trevor's return from Europe.

23 August

Subject: Hone Harewera∼Pauls letter

Dear Lloyd
Sad you could not access Paul's letter. It will be in his computer so I will ask him to retrieve it and send it to you. The theme of the letter was a reply to Hone Harewera's rudeness and racist remarks to the media a few weeks ago. Even his own tribe disassociated themselves from him over it. He stated how disappointed he would be if one of his children brought home a pakeha fiance.

Hone Harawira

Pauls letter stated quite clearly that if one of his children brought home a Maori fiance he would liken it to winning lotto and then proceeded to list all the advantages such a union would bring to the family. These were listed in such a hilarious manner. It was all a great laugh.

Beverly from over the road took me to a musical concert in St Andrews church. It was run for musical teenagers and helped to restore my faith in the future generation They are not all binge-drinking wasters.

Best of luck with the medical today
Love from Dad

Subject: decadent intellectuals

Dear Dad
I will be going at 8:30am tomorrow for my medical. I met Jessie at the admin office this morning. She remains very nice. She actually apologised for the difficulties I was having.

Foreign teachers are now arriving. More will arrive tomorrow. The teachers I have met give the appearance of decadent intellectuals. That suits me fine. We are the new type of university teacher. Beholden to annual contracts but not to probationary periods!

I will be taking in both new and old passports. I also still have from all my exertions for the new passport, two extra passport photographs. That seems to mean I won't have to purchase new photographs. The loss of the passport was a calamity. I would have gone straight to a school camp job and then to this College. Once the camp found out I had no passport, they immediately refused to employ me.

Chenggong College still don't know anything about this. I had informed them in Harbin I had lost the passport. Jessie was shocked. I was convinced then I had lost the College job. She said you can't enter the College without it. Then I got it back.

No one unless informed can imagine the dastardly act in Wellington. So they innocently think the passport photograph in their records is valid. I am not going to say anything unless they notice it. I had a horrible dream about it that Internal Affairs had misunderstood an email and made this one invalid. I felt a good warning. Don't contact NZ Government offices while you are overseas. They destroy passports to save them.

It is the same as don't go to the police if you find a murder or information of a missing child. Lucas Ward appeared to have been sighted but no one dared to investigate until he was reported missing. When small children disappear in America there are always rumours the child – usually a boy – was abducted for satanic rituals. I did take note the family live in inner Kaiti.

I read in the Herald that there are demonstrations in Auckland against probationary periods in employment contracts. I would never argue this with family members. But while it might be sometimes ok for kids just out of school being tested for employment discipline, for middle-aged fellows like myself it is quite demoralising.

Also in the pecking order, the one class so easy to make a whipping boy is the single white middle-aged, accident prone male from an obscure country. We used to rule the world once. They are perfectly happy to live the western lifestyle we built while kicking their old masters.

When I publish my book I am going to say all these things. I will say it light heartedly so people will think I am joking.

I am looking forward to reading Paul's letter. I like the reference to winning lotto.

I was looking at Time magazine covers yesterday. The online message on a 1930s cover said this cover woman photograph was the first woman to be on a Time cover. It failed to say what for! I didn't bother to find out.

But I have to be honest and say while Paul grumbles he was totally discouraging – really damaging – to my early endeavours. We are the authors of our own misfortune. If we have the merest public grumble and start sounding like ethnics, they immediately call us neo-nazis.

A black Nigerian said to me in the Auckland Public Library – while a brassy London Jewish woman on B.B.C. television was justifying murder – that Hiter was right. But I am glad you fought and defeated him. Utopias are not nice places to live in.

I am sure the concert was lovely. There is not so much binge-drinking at that age. It really kicks in when they leave home and get lonely and alienated in the big city. To be ignorant is no longer cool incidently.

Glad to see the President of Iran has checkmated the neo-clowns.

Nutty Yahoo

Love from Lloyd

24 August

Subject: medical tests

Dear Dad
I had my medical tests today with another teacher, Daniel. It all went without a hitch. My name was checked on the computer. So I am very glad I had my new passport. It and the old one are safely returned to the apartment.

Quite a number of teachers have now arrived. We picked up one from the airport. There will be a couple of days until the med. results come in and then the next process will start.

I got tonight an email from a travel agency requesting a cross link of Sargon Press with them. I have sent them the required information.

I am now reading Somerset Maugham's Moon and Sixpence online.

I am so sorry the little boy has not been found. Are there any rumours?
Love from Lloyd

25 August

Subject: Lloyd writes to Professor Moon, AUT

Hi Paul
I am now back in China at a University College.

I read in the New Zealand Herald site this morning Wednesday a piece about Ngati Whatua history in Auckland in the 1840s. It was in a special section on Auckland history.

It said Ngati Whatua had no idea that their land sales permanently displaced them from their land. That is very surprising as land sales had been going on in New Zealand for more than a generation.

One reference particularly caught my eye. It was written that Ngati Whatua in the 1840s in Auckland were required to wear on their right arm a scarlet identity cloth. Do you know anything about that? I have never heard that before.

Star of David
Reference was then made in the article to the Jews' identity patch during World War Two.

As you wrote in your book ‘Kosovo War’, the Albanians shifted western – particularly American – public opinion, in their favour by constant fraudulent or distorted identification of the Serbs with the Hollywood Nazis. I wonder if this scarlet patch is the same strategy.

I am very interested in your thoughts on the scarlet patch. I can't imagine it being implemented myself. I was thinking more of the practical grounds. However if it is not immediately squelched, it will be framed into an atrocity story and we would hear about it every day and every night! No doubt eventually a Bob Marley type song. Would love to hear from you.

Gongji, China
Lloyd Gretton

Subject: Professor Moon replies to Lloyd

Dear Lloyd,
Many thanks for this email – it's great to hear from you again. I read with disbelief the statement about the armbands. It seems to be that if anyone says that something happened in the past, then it is deemed to be true. Fighting against this is like trying to hold back the tide. I have even witnessed people making up evidence for a Treaty claim. I could not believe what I was hearing. My approach has always been to rely on documentary evidence wherever possible.

Anyway, hopefully informed people will see through these fanciful tales.

All the best,

26 August

Subject: work visa∼first salary∼working for a plutocrat

Dear Dad
I saw the administration today. They have arranged that I go to Hong Kong a few days before thirteenth September and get my work visa. My first teachers meeting is on the 2 September and classes start on 6 September. Unless it was a mistaken communique – always easy in non-English speaking countries – I will receive my first salary on the fifth or sixth of September. Jackson said he will take me this afternoon to open up a new account for direct payment.

I now see the positive side of working for a plutocrat. If you can tap into their money, you are very advantaged as small sums mean nothing to them. It explains our Tory relations in England. The Taiwanese owner of the College owns about half a dozen Colleges in China this size. It is adorned with statues of famous European and Chinese scholars. No images of Mao Tse Tung. His Chinese enemies cannot bear to even see his face.

I have just heard Lucas has been found. I hope that is the end of it for public interest.
Love from Lloyd

Dear Lloyd,
The only method of reply to indivduals such as Hone is through humour or satire. Any other method is racist in this p.c. society we have somehow developed.

I am looking forward to an account of your first day at the university college.

Best wishes and love from Dad

30 August

Subject: A Frightful Experience

Dear Lloyd
It all happened yesterday afternoon. Paul had just said goodbye when the curtain in our lounge window burst into flames. It seemed there was a short-circuit in the wall plug and the spark set the curtain alight and it was flaming up to the ceiling within seconds of igniting. The flames had licked across the ceiling before I could get into the wash house for a bucket of water.

However I was pretty accurate in direction and had the bulk of the flames out in no time. I was the only one at home, for Paul was hardly out of the back gate and he knew nothing had happened!

Tina and her boyfriend were here in no time and Rod was able to help me get the smouldering curtains down and taken outside. The fire alarm had sounded automatically in both places and both crews were soon here.

Since then the family and friends have been very supportive. The insurance man is here today and the whole lounge will have to be redecorated which will be quite a big job. I now have a very healthy regard as to how quickly fire spreads once it is ignited. Beware of an electric blanket!

I hope this isn't too great a shock. I have survived quite well but do seem rather exhausted but I'll get over it. Don't worry

Good luck with your first day at the university
Love from Dad

Subject: a shocker!∼need $100 until payday∼Bank of China

Dear Dad
That was a shocker! I recall my own fire at the Moana road house. How brave you are and alert to intervene so quickly and effectively. The fire seems quite freaky. I would not have imagined that happening. Suppose no one was in the house…

My first teachers meeting is on the 2 August. The first classes are on the sixth. This is not a good time to tell you, but I will need one hundred dollars to get me through until payday. Then I am hoping that will be the end of it. If you like, send me your bank account numbers and when I receive my first full month salary I will wire the money I have received from your estate since I have been to China.

It is all because of that beastly loss of passport. I had it all arranged to spend the time before the College at a Summer camp near Beijing. Everything was arranged. Then once they heard I had – as was then the case – no passport, my position was cancelled. The taxi driver, although he returned it, need not have done that.

I actually have some extra money but the Bank of China has refused to give it to me because the sum is too low! In China they just trample over you. Then, would you believe, the University computer system went offline and I have only now been able to use a shop internet. I am now living off a teachers card at the College and was on something like a twenty hour fast. I don't know whether you have been on one, after the first hunger pains you settle down into a lethargy. At least that happens once you reach middle age.

The hundred dollars will pay for my internet site for the next two months and give me money until my first wage packet next week. I hate having to ask this but the alternative is to ask the College. That is never a good look and I am always desperate not to add to my negative dossier.

No word about my medical tests. So I assume everything is in order.
Love from Lloyd

31 August

Subject: deposited a cheque∼a little groggy on my feet

I deposited a $100 cheque into your account and then realised that a cheque wouldn't be cleared for 4 days and that would be a problem, so I asked Paul to deposit another $100 to cover the delay.

I have been a little groggy on my feet these last few days. Truly I have not been well since the fire. It could be delayed shock.
Love from Dad

Subject: money received∼pc not working∼ruthless employment

Dear Dad
I received the money today. Incidentally, a cheque delay these days is only two days. So of course I am deeply appreciative. If you like I can find in my computer records your bank numbers and send the money back when it is possible.

A kind professor of computer science let me use his meal card and yesterday came to my apartment and lent me one hundred RMB. He will be paid back today.

The pc in my apartment is still not working, although they have fixed the computers in the other building.

The fire must have been a Nightmare in Elm Street movie. I honestly did not think that could ever happen. It's one of those events out of nowhere. I wonder if the Gisborne Herald might make an article about it. It was almost internal combustion.

You are experiencing normal delayed shock, exacerbated by your longtevity. I am afraid we are both little old men these days. I never completely recovered from my facial attack and have since seen life through a glass darkly. But with me that is hard to quantify as I have always been a bit like that. As I said to Roger, while it diminished my enjoyment of life it has improved my writing skills.

The first teachers meeting is supposed to be tomorrow. But I have had no further contact with administration since the lab tests. The situation here is so perfect for me that if don't cut it here, I will have to end my overseas teaching career.

Maybe they would let me have a sickness benefit and I could come back to Gisborne and be a companion and helper. It is not that I am really ill. It is just that employment structures are so ruthless now, and as a white single male I am the easiest target. Teachers these days are a commodity and at the complete mercy of their students and their employers.
Love from Lloyd

31 August

Subject: Lloyd Writes To Brian Rudman, NZ Herald Columnist

Muldoon actually said:

He wanted to leave New Zealand as good as it was before he became Prime Minister.

Sir Robert Muldoon

I remember seeing him on television saying it.

It was a slogan of the English nineteenth century Tories in referring to England. So I assume he got it from there.

Subject: Brian Rudman, NZ Herald Columnist replies to lloyd

Brian Rudman

Hi Lloyd,
I've never heard anyone challenge the Muldoon quote on taking office that he "hoped to leave NZ no worse off than he found it".

I haven't a copy of the Gustafson biography to check, but a quick Google search has long-time political reporter, Colin James and many others, including Wikipedia, repeating it.

If you're referring to the ‘do no harm’ headline, I'm afraid that came from the imagination of the headline writing sub editor…


Subject: Lloyd replies To Brian Rudman, NZ Herald Columnist

I couldn't find it. Maybe you could idly glance at the Gustafson book next time you see it. I can't, as I am in China.

I always think that the actual deeds and words of the past should be literally conserved. I realise that is old fashioned – even actually dangerous – in the way the world is shaping. It is no longer Thucydides but f…k you that shapes the perceptions of the past.

Are you aware of an article in the Auckland section in the Herald concerning the headline The Laments of Ngati Whatua? It appeared several days ago. It quoted Ngati Whatua chiefs' laments in the 1840s, concerning that they did not realise their land sales permanently cast them out from the land usage.

That is surprising as Ngati Whatua had been involved or aware of land sales for a generation. One statement in the article caught my eye. It stated that Auckland Maori in Auckland or passing through Auckland in the 1840s were required to wear, on their right arm, a scarlet identity patch. That was completely new to me and did not fit at all my reading of that period.

So I emailed Professor Paul Moon. He wrote he is astonished at the lies that are being told at the Waitangi Tribunal. He gave it no credence at all. As they have lied about that, what else are they lying about? Raising the Nazi spook is always the perfect cudgel.

I can't read letters to the editor online. So I am interested if there has been any public feedback about this made up history – I think for very sinister purposes. Any thoughts on the matter?
Regards Lloyd