Educating Mao ※


1 Jan

Subject: jack's bitten the unesco apple

Hi Lloyd,
With the limited space (600 words) the point needs to be quickly developed. That's hard to do on such an indepth subject. What I generally try to do is give a few concrete examples, ask some questions, and present my point so that people will think about it.

Poor young Jack, he's bitten the UNESCO apple. He's several topics behind, and is having a hard time catching up.

I'm not that interested in responding. I'd get mired in circular logic and get nowhere. History has been subjectivly altered or edited. With the advent of the internet, lots of information is coming to light. The next casualty in freedom is going to be information.

Regulation of this media is already in the works. I'll keep at it while I still can.

Mahia was very nice, we've got it so good here, it's not fully appreciated.

R & V has been a retail success, although sad to see Gizzy getting the reputation as a party town.

Subject: government permits subversive material

Hi John
You raise some interesting points. Sometimes a Government will permit circulation of subversive material to stir up the masses against its own enemies. In the eighteenth century the Whigs permitted the publication and distribution of books by Paine and Wilkes to incite opposition against its Tory enemies who controlled the Church and education. They thought the masses would only pick up on distorted reports because the books would be too expensive to purchase. Instead, the artisans purchased chap books, (chapters) and traded them with each other to read the whole books. Artisans could do their work manually for full days with their chap book propped up before them. I don't know if a modern builder can to some extent do that also. There used to be in New Zealand a strong popular movement of Social Creditors. You may not endorse them but they were from the artisan class.

I recall the Gisborne Parliamentary Social Credit candidate in the 1960s was a builder. Like that time of Paine, the genie is out of the bottle. Whole populations can become submerged by the opium of religion or drugs for centuries and then suddenly resurface in of course not exactly old modes.

Since 9/11, the western media in its surface format has overnight become doctinaire and Marxist. But commentary online is permitted. The msm are secretly on our side. They are hookers who are trapped but deep down are looking for love.

Looking forward to your next article. You are right. It is best not to reply directly to 'young Jack'. That would just bog you down.

On unexpected issues. I have just found out the BP oil Gulf disaster happened last year on April 20.

April 20 and April 19 are the dates of all the worst single events in America in the last fifteen years. In each one of these disasters, something doesn't seem quite real. I know enough about the world to know the BP disaster is fishy.

The Gulf fishing community, made up of traditional American communities, is now being displaced by the Gulf oil industry. April 20 was in the mid-twentieth century a secular religious holiday in Germany and celebrated all over the world, as it still secretly is.

Is this another form of mind control?

Subject: deception, disinformation, and uninformation

Hi Lloyd,
I like the cards on the table, truth will stand on its own. What I don't like is the deception, disinformation, and uninformation. We'll see how much 'they' will tolerate the proliferation of information. There are already moves to ban our modern chaps.

The dialectic is still useful, my enemies' enemy is my friend kind of thing. The enviros don't realise, they'll get thrown out like rubbish. Wear each other down. The Bible says "steele sharpens steele", so I guess it'll actually help, shhh, don't tell 'em, and they'll never look in the Bible, the secret will be safe.

The guy writting the letter at the bottom of the page (only letter yesterday, I think) was a classmate from HS. He's an atheist, so they're lining up on the LEFT.

Social Justice, Individualism vs Collectivism, Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis (Hegelian Dialectic), not sure where yet.

I'll need to carry on in education, and education's vested agenda. Failure in performance, but that's to critical. It needs to be provoking of thought, not tearing down. Edifying.

Interesting about April 20th, Patriots Day is April 19, "Shot Heard Round the World".

You might be on to something.

Subject: at Dawn & Paul's

Dear Lloyd,
I am now at Dawn & Paul's and have had a very nice lunch. It was very nice to meet Julia and Steve there also. Julia is taking her teaching certificate next year, she already had her BSc. She seems to be very pleased to be taking up the teaching profession.

I had a good week's holiday in Christchurch. For the first few days the weather was beautifully fine, clear skies and not a cloud to be seen. We all sat on the sun deck where I got my face very badly sunburned even though I was wearing my hat. Paul had to put some medication on the burnt area. I hope it will be better soon.

I have had Ben and Megan living with me these last two days. Yesterday they left home about 7pm to attend the Rhythm & Vines festival. I woke up at midnight, feeling very uncomfortable and expected them to be home after the 12 o'clock chimes but they did not come in till after 4am. What they find to do out there I do not know. Anyway Ben is taking his responsibilities very seriously and Megan is a nice girl.

Paul turned up at 10am to take me to his place. I find using the computer very difficult as my eyes are not good. I am a bit of a mess actually. My legs don't do what they should do, I am as deaf as a post and cannot read without my glasses.

I am happy to say that John looked really well. At Christmas dinner we had combined with the Michael Dimond family, he was there. He gets around quite well in his wheelchair and drives his car and is making the best of a bad thing. He should be congratulated.

I hope you had a good Christmas at the English school. We are all very interested in what you are doing over there and love to hear from you.

Best of luck for the new year and love from us all.

PS: as dictated to Dawn

Subject: re: at Dawn & Paul's

Dear Dad
I am pleased to read you had a good time in Christchurch. I am sorry you had the unpleasant experience of waiting for people through the twilight hours. They should have told you when they expected to be back. That is the normal time for return of new year revellers.

I am pleased to see that John is playing a part as a part of the family. These days people in wheelchairs are part of the social scene. This is not what any of us anticipated. It has now happened and we all have to make the best of it.

Today I communicated with John Stroup as regards his new article. From what I can understand America is going to start melt down by next month. I suspect there will be a dictatorship by some kind of public safety committee. It is likely to be led by a man with the name of Mabus. This will prompt a rebellion by Republican States.

I sent you last week an email with attached photographs of the Christmas college party. You didn't mention them. I will send them again.

I spent the day reading in bed my book about revolutionary America. Then in the evening I went down the road to have dinner and a few beers.
Love from Lloyd

2 Jan

Subject: bitterly cold today

Dear Dad
It has been bitterly cold today. I did my washing and housework. Then I went to bed and read my American history book. In the evening, I went down the road for dinner and a few beers. When I returned I bought oranges and bananas from the mini-market outside the College. Now off to bed and my book.
Love from Lloyd

3 Jan

Subject: a public holiday

Dear Dad
It has been another bitterly cold day. There are no carpets in my apartment and the windows are leaky. The cold is the worst aspect of the College. I have my heaters running and hot water. But it remains cold. I use the wall heater to warm my clothes.

Today as it was a new year season it was a public holiday. I only ventured outside once to have lunch at the cafe. I returned with a corn cob and had it with yogurt for dinner. This Friday I am going to have a really good dinner at the Good Coffee restaurant. I am due for one.

I spent the morning editing an article in the wikipedia online encyclopedia. It concerns how a Maori iwi and the Conservation Department have made two small islands refuges for the Maori rat, the kiore. I sent an email to the Herald reporter Yvonne Tahana, whose article I had drawn from, that this reflected the modern Maori's identification with the rat lifestyle.

I spent the rest of the day reading my fascinating book on American history. I am approaching the civil war. America was such a vigorous and enterprising society. How the mighty have fallen.
It would be a great day if it wasn't for the cold.

Now back to bed with my book.
Love from Lloyd

4 Jan

Subject: the cold weather

Dear Lloyd,
I am so sorry to learn about the bitterly cold weather. You must buy two sets of winter long johns. NZers are usually reluctant to wear these but in European cold countries they are considered standard wear. I recall on the draft to Canada early in the war we were all issued with 2 full sets. I never went to Canada but I recall how all those who didn't wear them scoffed at those who did but changed their tune as soon as the cold set in. Long johns are a must when it gets really cold.

I have been far from well since my return from Christchurch. Except for Ben my family seem to have deserted Gisborne. I am quite safe but at this stage of life one likes one's family to be around. Paul goes off to Cuba next week and Becky and Bruce return home from Great Barrier Island on Thursday. I wish I had Mum here. She would understand.

All the best for the new year Love from

Subject: re: the cold weather

Dear Dad,
I will do as you advise and will buy two sets of long johns on Friday. That is the day I go into town at midday.

I have not been feeling entirely well. I have an upset stomach and runs. But I don't have a fever. Like you I came back from my holiday unwell.

I take it Paul departs to Burma next week. We will be close. The week after his arrival I plan to fly into Phnom Penh in Cambodia. I plan to spend the following month taking the trains back to Gongyi.

I had one morning class. We watched the Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday. They seemed to greatly enjoy it. Then I came home and read my book.

I have improved the making of my bed and am feeling a bit warmer.

Now back to bed and my book after preparing tomorrow's lessons.
Love from Lloyd

5 Jan

Subject: email from the BNZ

Dear Dad
I got this morning an email from iServe. They are working on fixing my upload glitch on my site Sargon Press. I also got an email from the BNZ. In reply I have authorised them to send my bank statements to your address. When they come could you open them and inform me in your next email my credit rating.

I had two freshmen classes today in the morning and afternoon, I completed my oral exam marking for those classes.

In the afternoon I went to a rehearsal for the College celebration of the New Lunar Year spring festival on January eighteen. The foreign teachers will be singing two 1970s pop songs.

Now back to bed with my book. I am feeling much better but am still cold.
Love from Lloyd

6 Jan

Subject: flying to Vientiane

Dear Dad
I seem to have recovered from my upset stomach. I think I got it in Hong Kong. I am going to buy the woollen underclothes on Friday. Rather amazingly, the College will gift me on January 18 Spring festival a thick eiderdown. I had a choice of presents I could choose from and I chose that.

You should be able to see the staff photographs at Paul's place on Saturday. You will be able to identify the people I have written about.

Is Paul still going to Burma? Why is he abandoning a New Zealand summer for the northern hemisphere winter. Why Cuba?

Cambodia requires a visit to a consulate to get the visa. So I plan now to fly from Zhengzhou to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. A Laos visa can be picked up at their international airport. Once in Indochina other visas can be much more easily got. My lovely friend Sotsy has agreed to meet me in Laos. We had been together before in Laos. I plan to take the trains down to Cambodia then back up to Vietnam. I hope to fly on the nineteenth. I will borrow a book from the College library to take with me. I will take my coat and one pair of long-johns with me. I will leave my suitcase at the College.

The Internet is freely available in Indochina without the ridiculous restrictions of China. So most of the time I will be able to send you daily bulletins.

Today I completed the examinations for the three real-estate sophomore classes. That was a grind. In my last class the last half-dozen boy students had not attended class for a month. I gave them a good telling off. They will pay for that indirectly and directly in lost marks. There is always a latent fear they might complain about me. But they are very docile. Their saving grace. The most stupid students do regularly attend, but are inattentive, to put it mildly. Some seem retarded. These are all males. They are all in the real-estate classes. Most real-estate students are just unmotivated.

In a few years time as the American poison pervades China, they will make those classes for me intolerable.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: photographs of staff at the college

Hi Paul and Dawn
I have sent you photographs of staff at the College for the Christmas party.
I have sent them twice to Dad but he never mentions them.

Deputy Principal Jerry  

Daniel as Santa Claus Doctor Xu

Hassan with Lloyd The Teachers

Lloyd Group Photo

Could you show them to him the next time you are with him? Also, I thought you might like to read an insertion I put in Wikipedia at the bottom of their article Hen and Chicken Islands. Just google hen and chicken islands. It concerns a Polynesian rat sanctuary on two native Crown reserves. I think the irony is splendid.

Political correctness now legally enforced has meant the truth cannot be told about ethnic power groups who are now running amok. There is an old joke the Jews apparently tell against themselves;

A rabbi went to a Jew and told him to return a mug he had borrowed.
The Jew said I will give you three reasons why I cannot do this.
I did not borrow it, the jar was broken, I returned it a long time ago.

2011 is shaping up to be the year of the fall of the United States. Even CBS if read carefully admits this. The State and County Governments' treasuries are, at least the multicultural ones, rapidly turning into junk bonds. The Feds have no more money to give them. Twenty years ago exactly that is what happened to the USSR. The difference is the USSR was still socially and culturally solvent. I predict a race war in the US and a fragmentation into perhaps a Clinton and a Bush dynastic regimes. Obama will disappear.

Also watch for the name Mabus. He has emergency control over the Gulf area and it can easily be extended to the whole of the USA. The name Mabus appears not encrypted in Nostradamus. The only exact name in his quatrains although Hister comes close.

The Gisborne Herald appears to be using John Stroup to keep its readers in some cognisance of these events. So look out for his columns.

I plan on the nineteenth this month to fly from China to Phnom Penh the Cambodian capital. Then I will make my way by land transport via Laos and north Vietnam back to my College over the next month. You and I will be quite close to each other. But I am not going on a bicycle!

An old girlfriend in Laos has contacted me. Like Assange I have contacted two in Laos. One has contacted me. Laos is a lovely cultured well-run place as it is a Communist State. Cambodia will be a shitty place as it is a democracy. There was recently in the capital in Cambodia a stampede during a festival that killed hundreds.

Subject: re: photographs of staff at the College

Hi Lloyd
Thanks for the photos. Will show them to Frank when he comes here for his normal Saturday lunch.

I have read your article at the bottom of wikipedia, also read it to Dawn. We both chuckled at the irony.

You will enjoy your time in Laos. We really liked the country when we were there in 1997.


8 Jan

Subject: Had a pleasant time shopping today

Dear Dad,
I spent time with Sotsy in Laos some years ago. I visited her home and we had a chaste night at the neighbouring Buddhist temple. I will send you a photograph of the two of us with a young friend of hers at the temple.

I found out from the Cambodian Consulate I can collect a visa at their international airport. So I plan to fly directly from China to Phnom Penh on the nineteenth. Then I will follow the Ho Chi Minh trail to north Vietnam and take the train from Hanoi back to China. This will be a month's travel.

I had my two freshmen classes today and completed the examinations. All classes are finished now for the next six weeks.

I had a good lunch and Free Cuba wines at the Good Coffee restaurant. I then went shopping and returned by taxi. I later had dinner with Daniel, wife Dawn and two Chinese students of Daniel. I brought over to their apartment two Harbin beer cans.

Now off to bed.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: happy when I have a letter

Dear Lloyd,
Thank you very much for the prompt replies to my emails.I always feel in a good sense of happiness when I have a letter to read with my morning coffee. I had two this morning so felt twice blessed. The other was from Scott who says he will be here to stay for a week on Feb 14. That week be lovely for me.

In my last letter I put you wrong about Paul and Burma. He is going next Tuesday and to Cuba in March. have no idea why he chooses these remote places.

What good luck regarding the eiderdown from the college. Now you should be much much warmer at night.

I am very interested in the 'lovely' Sotsy.

You will know South East Asia better when you have finished your wanderings.
I remember the railway line from Phnom Penh stretching southeastwards towards Thailand and away from Tonelap Sap lake as I flew my passengers in that area.

Paul and Dawn will be away next week as will Becky and Bruce. I will feel very alone with no family near me.

Love and best wishes from

Subject: re: photographs of Sotsy 8 August 2007

Dear Lloyd,
I have the photos sent on Saturday. You are not very happy sitting Asian fashion. You look decidedly uncomfortable. You sat more comfortably when you were two years old in Tarawa. The girls are really charming. I wish you the best of luck on your holiday.

I have just returned from Paul and Dawn where I had lunch and viewed the staff photos.

Paul leaves for Burma on Tuesday. I felt it could be the last time I would see him and felt sentimental but he he suddenly announced he and Dawn would come for afternoon tea Monday afternoon with Dawn's cake as she has baked every Xmas for the last 10 years.

I read in the paper today of a local farmer aged 88 who stated he hoped to die with his boots on and surrounded by his dogs and this he nearly did but was rescued by his grandchildren. But I would like to die with my family around. So you see how I feel sentimental with Paul's going overseas. I feel very old.

Best wishes and love from Dad

Subject: a very uncomfortable night

Dear Dad
You are quite right. I was not terribly happy at the temple. That night was very uncomfortable. I like my creature habits. Sotsy had grown up with the temple a short walking distance from her family home. The priest was a very jolly fellow. We met a seminary of priests. There was one fellow, every time I looked he was European, then he was Laotian.
He turned out to be half-French/half-Laotian.

Sotsy's father is a faith healer. He blew smoke and chanted incantations at my sunburn. My sunburn did have an amazingly quick cure rate. Sotsy was delighted to hear that.

People who think their time is short invariably go on living for years.

This morning I went with Jerry, Daniel and wife Dawn to Zhengzhou by College van. We had lunch at McDonald's. Later Jerry and I had another lunch at Papa John's Pizza. Then I took the bus back to the College.

I purchased at Zhengzhou two pairs of woollen vests and long johns. I am wearing one pair now. Later I went to Jerry's apartment to receive instruction on the marking system. It is quite confusing as the instructions are in Chinese and want Chinese numbers. Jerry got quite shitty when I said I will see Hassan about it tomorrow. I tried to point out that we, as white males, are the softest targets to blame in snafus. We must never dare make mistakes. Hassan, unlike Jerry has had a previous year at the College.

The underwear makes me feel warmer. But I still can't quite resist a frigid feeling. Indochina will be much warmer.

Jerry at Zhengzhou told me to watch out for American unexploded ordinances in the countryside. Also there are plenty of bag snatches and to hold my bag tightly. I will use my old passport for identification and keep the real one locked away in my hotel room. No one else is allowed to enter it.

I am now enjoying a Harbin beer at my computer. The mystery about the denial of access to Internet barns might be solved. They may grant me access if I show them my College ID card. Jerry also suddenly found himself refused service when he only had his passport. There is a more convenient Internet barn down the road from the College. I have to use them for printing and accessing some attachments.

Love from Lloyd


30 Jul

Lloyd writes to Birgit

Hi Birgit,
I thought you might be interested in my sojourn in Vientiane as your work involves such countries.
I am spending a week there. It is Buddha's birthday, so there are public holidays.

I have been three weeks at the Bangkok school now. My predecessor had some kind of mental break down and was dismissed. Under my contract they have rights of summary dismissal after the first three months. I am cheesed off about that as it makes the contract so much toilet paper.
Actually less valuable.

Some of my classes are lovely. Other classes have over forty mostly male often obese adolescents. The word cattle stampede sometimes strikes my mind. The Thai teachers hit the boys with sticks and they bounce back exactly as I remember New Zealand dairy cattle.

Bangkok has a huge industry solely devoted to preying on male weakness. I took a stroll through their red-light district. I thought it was amusing but mostly sad.

Mum's mum – not much older – than me did a red-light tour of West Berlin in 1950. I think in both cases it is economic necessity that drives otherwise respectable family women to participate.

I have been two days now in Laos. So far I have been very favourably impressed. I have not yet encountered a beggar nor a rickshaw. On first impressions it seems to have a balance between the best of marxism and capitalism. I am staying at a very nice hotel for only about twenty five dollars a night including breakfast.

If I could arrange it I would take up a Laos school and settle down in Vientaine until I am sixty five and can draw the New Zealand pension. The nineteenth-century French word for such emigres in Laos was lotus eaters.

This evening I will go to a spa highly recommended in Lonely Planet.
Love from Lloyd

Lloyd writes to his parents

Dear Mum and Dad,
I have decided to tell a little white lie to my Bangkok school and spend the weekend in Vientiane. I have met some lovely Lao friends. Sitting beside me now is Sotsy. She is twenty five years old and a computer technician. Last night I went with her and her sister to a restaurant and then to a disco beside the Mekong river. Sotsy seems to me to be a very innocent girl. She lives with her family. I visited their country home and Sotsy, her sister, the neighbour girl and myself spent the night at the local Buddhist temple. The priest was a very jolly fellow and anxious for our chastity in the temple. The previous night Sotsy and I saw a satanic Thai movie at a mall.

Sotsy's father is a traditional healer. He appears to have healed my sun burnt feet by incantations and blowing smoke on them. Sotsy said her family are only allowed to live in Vientiane because her father was able to prove to the Government that they can support themselves. That's one explanation why Bangkok is hell and Vientiane is heaven.

Sotsy has a motorbike and wizzes me around. She even provides helmets. Not a road hoon in sight. Families take their small children tucked on their bikes very safely.

We have been to the museum of their great Pathet Lao leader. Sotsy however would not go inside it. That peculiar Lao aversion to their own history is exactly as Brett Dakin describes it in his book Another Quiet American. The owner-manager of my Vientiane hotel was re-educated in a Pathet Lao re-education camp. They seem to have done a great job. He would not serve me a Sunday English roast because it wasn't Sunday.

At the end of my last night with Sotsy, I said I would give her a ring. She said she wasn't ready for it.

When I return to New Zealand, I will wind you up by arguing that my Commie uncle was right.
Love from Lloyd

9 Jan

Subject: email is amazingly eficient

Dear Lloyd
This email system is amazingly eficient. Fancy reading the letter you wrote this morning in China before morning coffee in NZ the same day!

I am glad to hear of your purchase of warm underclothes. Where are they manufactured?
Even in N.Z. it is sometimes hard to buy woollen underclothes.

I slept under my eiderdown for the first time for a long while. We have morning promises to be a bit cooler, thank goodness

Beverley is back on duty after her holiday. She has a son working amidst the floods at Rockhampton and was going there for her holiday but backed off because of the flood.

Is Zhengzhou a big city close to your college? Tell me a bit about it.
It is good that you are getting around China especially with your Chinese friends.

Bye for now. Love and best wishes from

10 Jan

Subject: no more classes for six weeks

Dear Dad
I found in an office about half-a-dozen examination record sheets. By lunch time I had completed the marking for the two sophomore Monday classes. As I told you there are no more classes until the next semester six weeks away.

After that, I went and collected my clothes from the dry-cleaners in Business Street. I found, in Business Street, a western fast-food cafe. That makes me feel a lot better. There is nothing like finding something unexpectedly from home.

When I returned to the apartment, I went to bed in my heater-warmed pyjamas. It is the warmest and best place to be with my book. I skipped the American history from 1917 to 1967. That's old stuff. I am now in the Tricky Dick era. I came to the conclusion democracy is like picking up girls from a pub. You never know where they have come from.

I am now enjoying my canned Harbin beer after a plate of cold Chinese dinner and bananas.
Love from Lloyd

11 Jan

Subject: The missing letter

Dear Lloyd,
I am sorry my yesterday's letter did not arrive. My typing was the problem. My fingers wander over the keys in an uncontrolled fashion. My letter was about my experience in crossing India in 1945 by train as a guest of H.M's Government.

It is good to learn that you have completed the examination paper marking. That is the way to keep in with the college authorities. Have all records in on time. I am intrigued with the names of the streets in Zhengzhou according to what businesses are located there e.g. Business Street where the retail businesses are, very convenient.

Beverley and I have just returned from the supermarket as N.Z. retail seems to be drifting into supermarkets for one-stop retailing. This is not good for small time shopping.

An enormous warehouse has just opened in Gisborne. There is a very big car park and it is all one-stop shoping. Small businesses cannot compete

Your American book must be fascinating. I also am reading a very large book – N.Z. history through the eyes of Maurice Shadbolt from 1845 to 1920s. Another book by Maurice Shadbolt worth reading is 'The Lockwood Version'. An easy way to read history

Love and best wishes

Subject: trouble with the marking schedule

Dear Dad
Unfortunately I am having a lot of trouble with the marking schedule. I can understand it but I keep messing it up. Every time I mess it up, I have to use a new sheet. I got six more today and somehow will have to get another two.

I was only able to complete one class marking report today. I had to give up trying to complete a second as it was getting too dark. At least now I have trained myself on the two required systems. They are due in on Thursday. I will have to get up early tomorrow and continue to struggle through them. They require percentages. I have neither a pocket calculator nor do I understand computer spread-sheets. My only advantage is I am good at arithmetic. I am feeling pretty glum.

Business Street is a part of the campus. It provides all day-to-day services and you can buy them on the College ID card.

That is the charm of a well-run communist society. They actually think there is life beyond profit.

Now to my bed and my book. I have my pyjamas warming on the heater.
Love from Lloyd

12 Jan

Subject: The marking problem

Dear Lloyd,
Keep up the good work. You'll get it in in time. How about going into Business Street and seeing if you can buy a pocket calculator. These are very good for working out percentages. You cannot be expected to work in Chinese figures.

In my last letter I wrongly named a well worth reading book by Maurice Shadbolt. It recounts all the extraordinary happenings to his family members from 1858 to mid 1930s in a very readable manner. It is called 'The Lovelock Version'. Another of his 'The Season of the Jew' gives an unbiased story of Te Kooti's exploits in the Gisborne area,especially the Ngata pa battle and Te Kooti's escape to Te Kuiti. Very interesting.

Paul left yesterday for Thailand where he boards an aircraft for Burma. He will be away for about a fortnight. He leaves for Cuba in March.

Scott will be staying with me in February for a week. That will be nice.
Becky and Bruce will be home on Thursday.

Love and best wishes from

Subject: re: the marking problem

Dear Dad
I am going to get up early on Thursday and I should be completed by lunch time. Then I will take in the marked sheets to Susan at the Foreign Languages Department. I was able to complete three examination records today. I have three to complete tomorrow. I am able to go much faster. I did not need to look for more examination sheets as I completed old ones.

The College is almost empty. This evening Daniel invited me over for dinner and drinks. He and his wife are leaving tomorrow for Hainan Island off South China. All the other teachers and Jackson have vanished.
The cafe however is still open.

A Chinese pocket calculator would be in Chinese. I can add up quite quickly in my head. What was holding me back was technical errors. They kept forcing me to start again. I now have an ink remover and am no longer needing to start again.
Love from Lloyd

13 Jan

Subject: examination sheets completed by midday

Dear Dad
I got my examination sheets completed by midday and handed them into Susan at the Foreign Languages Department after two o'clock.

I hope they will get through the system. Marking records is not my forte.

After I had handed them in I went to the College Library and took out a book on Russian history. I had earlier in the day returned my American history book.

In the evening I helped Daniel and his wife Dawn take their luggage to the taxi. They were on their way to Hainan Island. I went in the taxi with them and got off at Good Coffee Restaurant where I had a western meal and some Free Cuba wines. Every now and then I need a western meal.

I then took the taxi back to the College. Now off to bed with my new book.

I leave on my plane flight not railway journey this Wednesday. I checked internet information about hotels in Phnom Penh. They can be as cheap as five dollars a night.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: your success with the examination sheets

Dear Lloyd
Your marking sheets experience must be like mine with the computer. As soon as I start making mistakes I make many more and spend much time correcting them. I should have told you about the useful 'twink' earlier. I use it often.

It must be a bit quiet with everyone away on holiday. When do you leave on your train journey? I expect I will miss your letter every morning. Becky and Bruce return home today so it won't be too lonely. Your daily letters have been a great boost to my morale.

I am well into Maurice Shadbolt's recounting of his experiences in Moscow where he attended a Youth Festival as a guest of the Writers'Union It was a bizarre experience.

All the old communists still declared for Stalin that is if they themselves were still in favour and those that were not were conspicuous by their absence. Shadbolt noticed how a writer could be in favour one day and out the next. He was amazed how quickly news of this disfavour got around those who were still in.

Boris Pasternak was in the process of being banished and when Maurice asked to see him it was always 'not convenient'.No wonder Uncle Harold wouldn't visit Moscow when he had the opportunity. Under the old Guard, Stalin was still as pure as the driven snow!

Love and best wishes from Dad

14 Jan

Subject: re: your column

Hi John
I now have time to read your column after the College marking. I enjoyed it although I had to struggle through its concepts.

Kant It was the German philosopher Kant in the nineteenth century who coined in German the term moral imperative. The ideal of international law apparently stems from him. Sometimes I wonder if philosophers are convenient labels for a collective thought process.

I recently sent a commentary to the Auckland Herald online newspaper that Assange the Wikileaks man applies Kant in practice. The actual German pronunciation of Kant makes it – I hope – a good joke. But the Herald did not post it.

SolomonI agree with what you said about education and general upbringing of children.
In the bible Solomon says:

"He who doth not chastise his son does not love him."
I am sure the meaning of chastisement had then the general meaning of showing the difference between right and wrong.

In my profession – being a literary one – the student and the parent wield tyrannical power. If I get off-side with them it is a lead-up to dismissal. Yet in history the greatest teachers were controversial and challenging, not good feelers for their pupils.

Years ago in New Zealand the justice system was transformed to a corrections system, the Corrections Department. Now the criminal holds sway and everything and everyone tiptoes around him. That is why I support a moderate form of Sharia.

Recently some Western teachers were actually beaten under Sharia law in Sudan for misbehaving in their public streets. They took a good natured approach to it but did not offend again.

In the Corrections Department, raise a hand to a prisoner – even in self defence – and it is automatic dismissal.

Subject: Gaia worship

Hi John
My classes start again in the middle of February. I have a month paid holiday in Indochina. I plan to fly to Phnom Penh and work my way back to China via railways. I will carry on me quite a lot of money as I don't trust their ATM machines. I have enough to get murdered for so I will have to make sure no-one knows I am carrying money.

My feeling is the Gaia worship is a great deal to do with the prominence of women and 'gay' people in these NGOs. Pagan Greece and Syria worshipped the fertility Gods and the human body form. Whenever in history these two groups take over the culture and government of a society you get this phenomenon.

Mick Jagger
You should read Euripides' Bacchae. It reads so like a rock concert with its bisexual performers, with its hysterical women groupies, and a ritualised murder at the end.
I think the last big open-air concert of the Rolling Stones in America ended that way.

The author William Golding – I think – coined the modern term Gaia for the environmental movement. The name means Mother Earth in pagan Greek culture. She suckled and secretly raised her child Zeus on the island of Crete.

Subject: depart to Phnom Penh this Wednesday

Dear Dad
I should make it clear I depart to Phnom Penh this Wednesday. At least I hope I do. South China Airlines has a daily flight from the Zhengzhou International Airport. There is a five hour stop-over wait on the Chinese Indo-Chinese border. The Cambodian new year is much later in the year. I was relieved to read that I will not be caught up in that. I will buy the ticket in Gongyi on Monday.

In the meantime I am waiting around. I got an email from iServe that they are still working on fixing my uploading problem. They have provided me with software that would do it. But I prefer to wait until they can fix it. It is complicated enough as it is. I sent them an email suggesting my site might be a victim of a cyber-attack.

I got three other personal emails today. I got a reply from the Maori affairs reporter regarding the rat analogy with the modern Maori lifestyle. She wrote she enjoys reading letters from bigots. I won't reply to her.

I also got two from John Stroup after his last column. I also got one from Professor Moon. He remains under attack for his cannibalism book. That's how it works these days. They win not by logic but by wearing down their enemies. Our big mistake is to assume they were ever ruled by logic.

You write that you were in Indochina in 1945. The area then was very unsettled. There was a sudden vacuum of military and political power after the surrender of Japan. They had occupied Vichy French Indo-china in 1941. Vichy French Indo-China had surrendered without a shot because its Government in Paris was a vassal of Germany. That precipitated an American blockade which would have destroyed the Japanese Empire. Japan retaliated with the Pearl Harbour attack. 9/11 was supposed to orchestrate the American triumph again. Generals that fight the last war mostly lose the next war.

Central Saigon is still officially Saigon. In Vietnam as in China you either revere the Communist victor or Bill Gates.

I found out some information about Cambodia. Everyone, even the Government, exclusively uses U.S. dollars.
Their money, the Riel, is only used for fractions – as in coinage. 5000 Riel make one U.S. dollar.
That makes the Riel double the value of the Vietnamese Dong (₫) and the Laotian Kip (₭).
The Khmer Rouge abolished money and when it was reintroduced Cambodia was awash with American aid money.

Cambodia is now a monarchist democracy. So I imagine the social conditions are pretty shitty. Carrying a bag with U.S. one dollar notes is recommended. I don't trust their ATMs and transferring money to New Zealand is a nightmare. So I am going to take extraordinary precautions and take my money with me. I will keep the central amount securely locked up and no-one will ever see I've got it. I still have the BNZ card. I will do the same with my passport and will use the invalid one for identification.

I spent the day writing emails and reading my very interesting Russian book in bed. Jackson gave me, as a present from the College, an English language 2011 calendar.

It is getting warmer in my apartment.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: All the best in Phnom Penh

Dear Lloyd,
Thank you for your e mail. Tomorrow I will be thinking about you in that mysterious city I viewed from the air in 1945. I had a load of passengers for Saigon as it was then called. The Japs were still in control of that airport and we were not too sure of our reception.No problem though. We had to get Japanese army protection from the Viet Cong who were getting very trigger happy as time went on!

Beverley is very busy in my kitchen. She is preparing vegetables for a slow cooker I am to put on later. My room is done and the washing is in the machine. Beverley is a very fast worker and a very good one too.

The weather last night was quite cold. The beginning of Winter I am afraid. Becky was here to see me yesterday, She was full of her Great Barrier Island holiday.

Love and best wishes for your holiday from

Subject: lloyd writes to paul moon

Dear Paul
Bernard Shaw once said that the truth is always the best joke. He was of course being humorous at the time.

There is a column in today's Gisborne Herald. I wanted to email it to you but that did not seem possible at least with my technical skills. It concerns your recent public comments on the carbon dating of Maori origin in New Zealand.

It is very obscurantist. I am sure the eyes of Gisborne readers will universally glaze over. There was recently a letter to the Gisborne Herald requesting that Treaty issues reporting be confined to the Gisborne Herald Maori edition. I wish the Herald had taken notice of it.

That columnist is fighting Ngati Porou over the ruling of the Waitangi Tribunal that his particular tribal grouping be subsumed in Ngati Porou. He sees it as political oppression. Now that such large sums of money are involved these are no longer moot points.

I finished my College marking yesterday. I am hoping it will get through the system. Next week I plan a month's holiday in Indochina. I plan first to go to Cambodia.

Cambodia is interesting to me because it was for a decade the world's only counter-culture state. They actually banned money and the Cambodian Riel to this day is only used as money fractions i.e. as coinage money. Everything – even Government – is in U.S. dollars. You travel around with a stash of one dollar U.S. bills.

They celebrate official days, the birthdays and coronation of their King, their King's father and King's mother, the liberation from ‘genocide’, and Independence Day from France. Also the new solar and lunar years, Buddha's birthday and their pre-Buddhist festivals.
Gongyi China

Subject: paul moon replies to lloyd

Dear Lloyd,
Many thanks for this. I have almost given up reading the newspapers. I was badly misrepresented by several papers in late December and attacked by a few academics (quite rightly) for what was in print. These academics have since apologised to me privately, but the damage is done.

Still, it ought not to be a reason to be silenced. There is one more major wave which I have to face and that will be in the Listener in February – a direct attack on my cannibalism book, based on a nasty researcher who has had a bee in his bonnet about it for a few years. Like all waves, though, I will have to just let it wash over me and then watch it disappear.

Anyway, it sounds like you have some great travel plans ahead. If you ever make it to NZ, it would be great to meet.

All the best,

Subject: article in Herald opinion section

Hi Paul
It certainly seems the cannibalism book is giving you problems. I have read it.

My personal feeling is the Maori were sleek and healthy because they were cannibals. It is quite clear it was a regular diet and they were to some extent addicted to it. That has never bothered me.

I have no doubt that a European culture under the same nutritional demand would make cannibalism into their culture. Indeed they have done so on a number of occasions.

You refer to the Eucharist substitute. That itself appears to have been a substitute for child sacrifice in Judaea.

It seems historians are in the hot seat (a pun) these days.

15 Jan

Subject: Cambodian saga

Dear Lloyd,
I love getting e mails like the one just received. I was always fascinated with the area. It was in the hands of Vichy France and except for the natives quite a pleasant place. As pilots we depended upon the Japanese for Met services. Maintenance and refuelling was done with hand pumps and from 44 gallon drums – possibly Jap fuel – as we had to beware of water in the drums and combated leaving the petrol alone for a while for the water to settle in our petrol tanks and then turn on the draining taps and hopefully, after a few minutes, all the water had drained off. Primative? No wonder Asian airstrips were lined with crashed aircraft. The Japanese prisoners of war were always very smiling and cheerful but the Viet Cong were a surly bunch and wouldn't help us at all.

I am interested in your correspondence with Prof. Moon. I listened to his interview with Kim Hill months ago when he was being pulled over the coals over the cannibalism issue. Fancy that it is still going on!
Maurice Shadbolt reported the same thing in Moscow when a writer put a foot out of step, but to get into disfavour was ruined as a writer if blacklisted by the writers union over there.

I am on my own here today. Usually I have lunch with Paul and Dawn on Saturday. Dawn is in Masterton with brother Gordon and his wife Shanta and Paul will be in Burma today.

I will go to my seat in the sun at the back door and have my morning coffee. My girls have the weekend off so I will have my coffee and read my letter from you. It is most interesting.

Love and best wishes and watch that money bag while travelling.

Subject: re: Cambodian saga

Dear Dad,
The smiling Japanese were because they wanted to go home, the surly Viet Cong were because they wanted you to go home. I think the term for them was Vietminh.

Ho Chi-Minh
16 July 1965

Later in that year or the next Ho Chi Minh travelled to France and negotiated a peace agreement that was very conciliatory to the former colonial power.

Tragically the French colonial army moved in and sabotaged the agreement.

With the departure of all the Western armies peace came to the entire Indochina.

It is universally agreed that the nicest country in Indochina is Laos which is the only one still under a centralised Communist control.

You are quite right comparing Paul Moon's problems with the Soviet Union. A Marxist cultural ideology took over western universities decades ago and are now the ideological rules of western societies. They are worse than the old Communists who were actually embarrassed by attacks on freedom of speech.

Today I had a quiet day. I went to Good Coffee restaurant and had a dinner and a few Free Cuba's. Otherwise I stayed in bed and read my Russian history book. I am up to the era of Peter the Great. It is very interesting. The Soviet Union history and the history before does so echo earlier Russian eras. The book does rather gloss the issue but it seems to me the history of Russia is really the history of the Viking settlers in East Europe. Previous to them Turkic conquerors, including the Skythians and the Khazars, established Kingdoms. The Slavic peasant is simply too thick and slow to invent anything substantial on their own. They always need a good kick up their assess. Putin appears to be running a society that Lenin originally envisaged.
Love from Lloyd

16 Jan

Subject: Vietminh

Dear Lloyd
Viet Cong didn't start being used until I returned home. I recall the battle between the French and the Vietminh and the subsequent withdrawal of the French. Then came the Americans and their instructors and the mess that followed.

I remember the Lytton staff room the morning Holyoake committed NZ troops and all the disruption that followed. I stood up in the staff assembly and asked for the flag to be raised on the school flag-pole to half-mast for all the NZ soldiers who were going to be killed in a fruitless war.

The flag was not raised but I was dubbed as a fellow traveller and continued to get communist propaganda mail through the post. This I ignored but I know I was viewed with suspicion for some time. There must have been a communist on the staff unbeknown to everybody. However it all soon faded as time passed.

The Customs stop over on the Cambodian border could be Batambang, another interesting city and where Pol Pot was hiding after his defeat by the Vietnamese invasion.

It's time for my morning coffee, so I will take your letter to the sunshine.

Love from

Subject: re: Vietminh

Dear Dad
Interesting what you wrote. Viet Cong means – in Vietnamese – Vietnamese Communist. The Vietminh were all Vietnamese opposed to foreign rule. The Communists took over them in the north and the Catholic elite took over in the South. Later there was negotiation for reunification.

Madam (Mrs) Diem
The CIA got wind of it and orchestrated the execution of the two Diem brothers.
Mrs Diem said at the time:
"This would come back to haunt the US".

I have read all the Time magazine lead stories of this era via their online files – possibly doctored. Time magazine was very cavalier about that. This was still the white man's world. Her curse turned out to be right as the two Kennedy brothers were also, in five years time, felled by assassin bullets.

I knew about the Communist mail. Jack Wilson was from the military. Maybe the SIS were testing you out. The name Gretton would have been and still is likely familiar to them. Holyoake stopped the implementation of the military draft which operated in Australia. Both Paul and I would otherwise have faced it.

I fear wars will only end when the male testerone level is eliminated.

I plan to fly into Phnom Penh International Airport on Wednesday. Then take the trains back to China. I did some Internet surfing last night. I was told for the cool rainy season to take long sleeved cotton clothes, a jacket, and an umbrella. Also don't walk about alone at night. I have written down the address and telephone of a Phnom Penh hotel, price about twenty dollars a night. It has a safety deposit box and a bar and bar girls from Vietnam and Morocco! I have also found a hotel with a live blues band, a traditional cultural theatre, a bus station that goes to Ankor Watt and the ferry terminal that runs evening water boats.

I found out there are only two ATM machines in Phnom Penh and only for local accounts. Cambodia seems much more basic than Laos.

It seems to me that once a Third World country gets democracy it then becomes a kleptocracy. I experienced that in Iraq. Mongolia was only better because it had a previous Russian Communist history.
This treatment of Third World countries is being exposed in the wikileaks. But the newspapers are still covering it up. I read it in the original wikileaks sources.

This morning, I did my washing and house cleaning. I took out the rubbish.

I went into town to the KFC. Then I went to the supermarket – they call it the hyper-market – and purchased yogurt, grape fruit, bananas, and Harbin beer cans. I am drinking a Harbin now after a luke-warm dinner at the College cafe. The Chinese never seem able to provide hot meals unless they serve them directly from a pot.

I continue with my Russian book. I am now up to Catherine the Great. She was a friend of Voltaire and transformed Russia into a benevolent despotism. She was a German woman of minor nobility. She got the Russian throne via her marriage to one of the mad Tsars. Russian literature is now beginning to emerge. Before that their writings were all scripture.
Love from Lloyd

17 Jan

Subject: Cambodian news

Dear Lloyd,
That was an interesting letter. Jack Wilson was very much a military man. And we did have on the staff a teacher from the U.S. who was supposed to be with us to learn all about rugby. He was a very mysterious figure and could easily have been a plant of the CIA. At that time everyone was loudly for the U.S and anyone who was not must be a fellow traveller of the Communist Party.

Also remember my brother-in-law was the Secretary of the Party in Auckland. Hugh McLeod was married to my sister. Maurice Shadbolt had a run in with him in Auckland over a communist gathering at the university. Being a young and enthusiastic party member he and a few of his mates thought they would curry favour with the Party but was was told in no uncertain terms to call the gathering off. And furthermore never to act without permission from the Party or McLeod again.

I expect this will be my last reply letter for some time. I will still write to your email address and I will look forward to receiving letters from you.

Just in case it is the last, remember Mum and I have always been very proud of you and think you have accomplished much. Keep up the good work.

Love and all the very best for the future from Dad

Subject: CIA is the secret WASP society

Dear Dad
I have heard the CIA is really the secret WASP society. If you come from an American family with an inter-generational background in the elite colleges and government you will, as a matter of course, be recruited by the CIA. Jack Kennedy, whose background was Irish Catholic, wanted to disband it. He came to a sticky end.

Murdered by the WASPS?

Today I went into town and planned my itinerary abroad.

I read my Russian book in the afternoon. In the evening I had dinner with the remaining teachers and administrators at a fancy restaurant courtesy of the College. The Dean of Foreign Languages said everyone had worked well at the College.

Now to bed. First I will have some yogurt.
Love from Lloyd

18 Jan

Subject: deposited $200 into your account

Dear Lloyd,
This has just arrived. I hastened into town and deposited $200 into your account so that immediate travel expenses will be met. I trust you have local currency in your pockets.

There was a grand total of $4.37 in your N.Z. bank.
Next time you tried a money machine the dreaded
NOT SUFFICIENT FUNDS would have greeted you on the screen! Remember you won't have me for much longer and you will get very little sympathy from the others. They are busy preparing for their children's inheritance. Work that one out.

Bye for now.
Love from Dad

Subject: re: deposited $200 into your account

Dear Dad
After I sent an enquiry I got an email from the BNZ today that the three hundred dollars I had transferred to them from China did not arrive. These are terribly difficult things to arrange.

I will be leaving to Phnom Penh tomorrow and arriving about 12:30 in the the morning New Zealand time. I will try to withdraw the three hundred dollars when I stop for a couple of hours in Guangzhou – in Chinese money of course.

Anyway the two hundred dollars will be much appreciated. You will get many fulsome emails in return. If you don't get an email even for a few days, that will be because I won't be in the vicinity of a PC.

This morning I swept and washed the floor. This afternoon I attended the break-up ceremony of the College. The founder of the College and his family were there. The founder is about your age. It was an interesting mixture of modern dance and music and traditional dance and music with fireworks. I won a raffle of some rice bowls. The eiderdown I should receive when I return.

I started packing tonight and will complete it and close my bag tomorrow.

Now to my bed and my book.
Love from Lloyd

19 Jan

Subject: re: Your email from BNZ

Dear Lloyd,
When I mentioned transferring money from China the girl at BNZ shook her head sadly and said it is very hard. There must be some way as our trade with China is very much two way. There is even a free trade agreement in the offing.

All the very best and Love from

Subject: I am now fully packed

Dear Dad
I am now fully packed and about to go out the door. The first internet cafe I see in Phnom Penh I will send you an email. If you don't get one for a few days, don't worry.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: next month I will be in Indochina

Hi Paul and Dawn
I hear that you Paul are now in Burma. We won't be so separate from each other as for the next month I will be in Indochina. I plan to fly on Wednesday and hope to purchase the ticket today. Phnom Penh seems to be a rather neat place but very basic.

As I hope to write to Dad every day I thought you might be interested to read the emails I send him while I am in Indochina. The daily emails from China are mostly dull stuff to do with earning a living. But you might find emails from Indochina interesting.

Maybe you in Burma could put me on your file for emails from Burma. I also hear you are going next month to Cuba.

Dad sent me a rather strange letter. I have forwarded it to you. Has there been a pessimistic diagnosis recently? Provided he is not struck down by cancer, he could go on in a reasonable mental state for many months even several years.

Subject: a great time in Burma

Hi Lloyd
I am having a great time in Burma, with a great bunch of people. I am very lucky to be able to do these things.
I will get Dawn to forward my last letter on to you.

Can not tell you any more about Frank, he is just feeling very old and lonely.

20 Jan

Subject: Burma

The first two nights were at the Kandawgi Hill Resort. Built by the British in 1914 with the help from Turkish prisoners of war. Complete with lake, huge botanical gardens with many interesting features.

I am travelling with a great crowd, four of them had met on a previous trip and planned this one together. They have all done much biking before and I was a little worried I would not be able to keep up. How ever all my hill work has come to the four and I am holding my own.

Yesterday we did 117K, and loved every minute of it. We did that big zig-zag that you see on google, nine K down and nine up. Some times I can not just believe I could be having so much fun.

We are actually on the main road to China, so the roads are full of trucks taking agriculture produce out and Chinese rubbish in.

We are here two nights, that is Thibaw. Have done washing and will be able to do internet again. Hiking tomorrow, give the bum a rest, having my own seat has made a big difference.

Accommodation so far has been good, but I believe it goes down hill a bit from here.


21 Jan

Subject: now in Phnom Penh

Dear Dad
I am now in Phnom Penh at a nice hotel in the city centre. It is midnight in Cambodia, six a.m. New Zealand time.Phnom Penh
I am using the hotel internet. There appear to be plenty of international ATM machines.
But I don't trust them.
My American dollars are in a sealed pocket in my bag inside an envelope.
I will not leave my bag in the hotel in the day time.

I had to spend one night in Zhangzhou because the plane was booked out. I had delayed the ticket as I had hoped –not entirely falsely – for a cheaper ticket.

I took a morning flight today to Guangzhou and then an evening flight to Phonm Penh. Cambodia is better than I thought. My first impressions are good. It is a well laid out city without sign of beggars and plenty of tree shade. It also seems clean. I took from the airport a motor bike trailer to the hotel. The driver says he will come tomorrow to take me to the bus station to go to Ankor Watt.

I got emails from Paul. I thought his adventures on a mountain bike a bit tactless. But I guess that is how he is dealing with his son's injuries.

I got a brief email from Birgit Groth. She said she will write a longer email about her last year's experiences later.
Love from Lloyd

21 Jan

Subject: Phnom Penh

Dear Lloyd,
Great to read of your adventures.I got a letter from Paul this morning too! How surprising if you both met somewhere on the Burma Road. He is almost into the back door of China. A place steeped with history of British Imperialism while you are exploring the ruins of thousands of years.

I had a letter from Scott a couple of days ago. On March 1 he takes over temporally his boss's (Barry Mathews') job for three months while Barry is on leave. He will have direct contact with the Minister, Judith Collins if any problems arise in the Corrections Dept.

Scott will arrive in Gisborne tonight and breakfast with me tomorrow morning. We will then take a trip to Hicks Bay. Becky and Bruce are in Hamilton. Becky for medical reasons. (The specialist is in Hamilton). She has had a persistent cough which is causing her some concern.

I spoke to a Chinese friend about the problem of getting money out of China. He says try Hong Kong, the H.K. banks are more understanding.

I do hope your trip goes well and that you manage to write again soon

Best of luck and love from

22 Jan

Subject: Siem Riep

Dear Dad
I sent you an email that didn't seem to get to you. So I have sent it again below.

I am in Siem Riep which is near Angkor Watt. I arrived on the bus from Phnom Penh. The journey took me seven hours. It is in the heart of Cambodia. I visited the temples. I find having got to these ancient ruins they are not imposing.

I am in the entertainment district and in half-an-hour's time will make my way to the bus station for the return journey to my hotel in Phnom Penh.
I will arrive in Phnom Penh at about six a.m.

My tuktuk driver will pick me up at the bus station there and return me to my hotel. The tuktuk drivers are very useful. They attach themselves to you and you can't really let them go. Tuktuk means motor cycle and trailer.

I find Cambodia much superior to China. The people are very enterprising. Their general skills in English is excellent. The place is generally clean.

Who is Judith Collins?
Birgit asked me to give to you her condolences for mother's passing.

23 Jan

Subject: I seem to have slept around the clock

Dear Dad
I came back to the hotel feeling ill. The next morning after breakfast, I went to bed and seem to have slept around the clock. Today I had breakfast and lunch at the Mekong River. I took a trip in the evening on a boat around the port.

Because of visa costs, I am going to skip Laos and will on Tuesday take a twelve hour bus journey to Hanoi, Vietnam.

I was able to watch CNN in my hotel room. It is dreadful, only a shadow of itself in the Ted Turner era.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: re: Siem Riep

Dear Lloyd,
I was away from home all day yesterday but your missing e mail is not in the computer this morning.

However this one has arrived safely and I will enjoy reading it at morning coffee.

Scott arrived here before breakfast yesterday and we took off for Hicks Bay shortly afterwards.

Judith Collins is the N.Z. Minister of Corrections and Barry Mathews was in the firing line of her venom over too lax bail conditions and the police being unwilling or afraid to stamp out boy-racers. Remember how she was going to crush their cars etc?

Scott will be taking over from Barry for 4 months on March 4. Barry will be on leave during that time. It will be a big job and I think he is looking forward to the responsibilities. If successful, it will look good on his C.V.

We had a great time up the Coast even though the weather was poor. I was able to show Scott all the places we have spoken about. We did not meet any of our old friends but we did visit the school. It now has two extra classrooms and is total immersion. Buses pick up pupils from all over the Te Araroa district and the Department has spent millions to make it a success.

I would have liked to have met a few of my old mates but most have moved out of the district or have died. We drove home and had dinner. After which Scott fell into a chair. He was exhausted for he had driven 750 Ks in 24 hours. He has lunch with me and then drives home to Taupo.

Becky and Bruce return home today, Becky having seen her specialist. I hope she has a good report.

Best of luck for the rest of your holiday.

love from

25 Jan

Subject: went to the Memphis Bar

Dear Dad
I have a bus picking me up at eight tomorrow morning to take me to Hanoi. The hotel has assured me they have my Vietnam visa and bus ticket.

Today I went to the national museum. At night I went to the Memphis Bar. Left soon after some dull old pop songs. I had been promised the blues.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Scott's visit

Dear Lloyd,
I have your letter written at Siem Riep. No doubt it came in earlier but I was away with Scott at Hicks Bay during the weekend. He drove over from Taupo on Friday night, had breakfast with me and then we set off up the coast Saturday morning, Scott to visit all those bays he and Bruce, Paul Ericson and Nigle Bell used to surf at in the days of their youth (fond memories). Likewise I wanted to see what has been done at the school, and the new bridge over the Wharekahika River.

The school is is full language immersion and has had thousands of dollars spent on buildings etc. A string of buses now roam the Te Aroroa district and surrounds picking up any primary kids that care to attend. The Maori Party is determined to make a success of this venture no matter what it costs.

In a few years time when they go to high school and start failing exams I suppose it will be because they don't understand the English language!

Scott left for home Sunday night in the rain and I have just received an e mail to say it was a terrible journey – flooding everywhere. On the Napier-Taupo road he got a flat tyre and had to change the tyre in the dark and pouring rain. He had neither coat nor torch and traveled the rest of the way sitting in a pool of water in soaking shorts and t-shirt. Very unpleasant. He plans to visit me again next month.

Bye for now. Love from all at Gisborne

Subject: the hotel makes a mistake

Dear Dad
I found out this morning that the hotel had made a mistake and booked my bus ticket to Ho Chi Minh. Interesting they give it that name. Such mistakes are so common in my travels.
The ticket was this evening switched to Vientiane, Laos. I now have my passport back with Vietnam and Laos visas. I depart to Laos tomorrow at about six a.m.

I had been surprised at being told I could go from Phnom Penh to Hanoi. I remembered the Ho Chi Minh trail ran from North Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia into South Vietnam. All these lands are now in peace. I think they are all accidents of history. Their Kingdoms were frozen into artificial states in the nineteenth century. There remain border disputes between Cambodia and Thailand.

Today I spent at the Mekong river bank. I ate Cambodian and French food. I watched and listened to YouTube videos in an internet cafe. YouTube is banned in China.

I have seen some of the sordid aspects of Cambodia. There is a real problem of children glue-sniffing. There is a constant hustle of beggars and quite a number of limbless people. But it is all quite low key.

Pol Pot Quite a lot is made of Pol Pot. I read in their newspaper that there is resistance to new history school books in a district where Pol Pot had a stronghold. America took over Cambodia after the Vietnamese invasion and I think is quite deliberately spooking the population with Khmer Rouge stories. Personally I think they should stick up a statue of the man in Phnom Penh square with a sign,

I agree with your thoughts about Maori language immersion. I think the plan is they continue with immersion at high school. The last time Maori turned their back on the western world they reverted to cannibalism and practised a black magic that seemed not their own culture. They apparently – before their battles – would bark like their pakeha dogs. It sounds rather like now. I have a short story I am thinking about writing about this.

Poor Scott, it was one of those dreadful unexpected events. I hope he learns from it to keep a torch and coat in the car. As a senior civil servant he is going to do much traveling.
Love from Lloyd


lloyd the new zealander visit to Laos

Sabaidee Sotsy
I met you on two visits to Laos four years ago. I would love to meet you again where ever you are in Laos. I will be in Laos in February this year. Please tell me if you want to meet me again. How is your health? What sort of things are you doing now?
I am now teaching in a College University in southern China and later this month will have a two month holiday.
The New Zealander.

Re: lloyd the new zealander visit to Laos

happy new yr, nice to hear from u again, how r u doing?
i'm not sure on feb, i still have time or not coz i might go back to work but i and my friend will try to meet u.
will u come with ur gf?
welcome to laos any time, i still want to say sorry to u by myself for the last time then i did bad things to u.
But how long will u stay laos?
Now i'm in vientiane, do u have any thing the Vientianeelp or not?
ok take good care

Re: lloyd the new zealander visit to Laos

Sabaidee Sots
I will be arriving by bus in Vientiane at about four o'clock in the evening on Wednesday tomorrow. I would be so happy to meet you.
Can it be just the two of us for a good time in Laos for a few days?
Love from Lloyd

Re: lloyd the new zealander visit to Laos

Sabaidee Sots
If you can tell me where you will be in Laos in the first weeks of February. Then I can travel to meet you. Who is your friend? Male or female? What sort of work do you do?

Re: lloyd the new zealander visit to Laos

i will tell u later where will i go on feb
take good care

27 Jan

I am now in Vientaine

Dear Sots
I am now in Vientaine and will be leaving to Hanoi on Friday at five P.M. I am at the Sihom guest house.


The hotel number is ###.
Would you like to meet me?
Please send a message for Lloyd of room B#.

i call to ur guest house and they say u go out

ok, so we meet there

the Sihom guest hotel

I will be at the Sihom guest hotel to meet you at 6:30 pm tonight.

re: the Sihom guest hotel

i will go to meet u with my friend at 6:30 or 7 pm

27 Jan

Subject: International travel hassles

Dear Lloyd,
Thank you for your e mail. International travel has all these hassles. Paul and Dawn's experience was even more frightening. When they arrived at the airport in Moscow they found it was the wrong airport and they were on their way to N Z. The correct airport was on the other side of the city. They had to take taxi, bus, and train but got there with minutes to spare! Their visas expired next day! They were pleased to be home in N.Z. With overseas travel it pays to check and double check.

I will think of you leaving for Laos about mid-day today N.Z. time.

Pol Pot was a murderer and was only in the position of President because the western powers wanted his vote in the UN. They were prepared to sacrifice all those lives for that vote. A vote for communism. It is nice to know that all is in peace now, though I did hear on the news that there is friction on the border with Thailand at the moment.

Pol Pot was not interested in keeping people alive. His theme was death and more death. He detested intellectuals. To be wearing glasses you were classed as one and lined up for the chop.

Primary teachers for Maori language teaching are recruited from the dozens of nannies from East Coast villages who are attracted to well-paid permanent jobs for the first time in their lives. It is be a different story with high schools.

The ‘barking like dogs’ is a nasty trait of present-day Maori hooligans in intergang warfare.

It's just about morning tea time so I will off to the back door in the sunshine.

Love and best wishes from

28 Jan

Subject: I am now in Vientiane

Dear Dad
My previous email to you was returned and so was delayed to you by a day. I completed a twenty hour bus trip and am now in Vientiane. I arrived here at about six in the morning.

Laos is more developed than Cambodia. It is more like a western country and decidedly cleaner. I depart tomorrow evening to Hanoi.

I underestimated the distances and am now quite worn out.

This evening I had dinner in a foursome with Sotsy, her boyfriend and another language teacher. I had met her boyfriend before. He is about her age. Sotsy kept saying she felt bad how our relationship ended. I keep saying lightly – ‘What is the problem?‘
That is my way of victory.

We picked up the teacher near my hotel. He turned up. He told me he lived an hour's drive away across the Mekong in Thailand. He lives in a Thai village. He says the local people are really Laotians and speak a variant of Lao.

Sotsy is working for an NGO as a development officer. Her last project is finished and she is waiting for the next project.

Why was Pol Pot's theme death? He brought the population into the countryside to plant the rice to feed them through the winter. I wish more third-world leaders would show that initiative instead of waiting on the West to feed them.

The people he ordered executed were spies or slackers. Maybe in the environment he also executed some innocent people.
Love from Lloyd

28 Jan

Subject: on my way to Hanoi

Dear Dad
I will be on my way in an hour's time to Hanoi. It will be another long journey. So you may not get an email the next morning.
The bus will be air-conditioned. I must go now.

I had a relaxing day. I went to a cafe and met my teacher friend from the day before. He said he felt Sotsy is not happy. I agreed. I watched CNN in my hotel room. The hotel is in a semi-rural area and is very quiet and spacious.
Love from Loyd

Subject: email from Colin McCully

Colin McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Attached pleased find a response to your recent correspondence.

Kind regards,

Acting Ministerial Secretary
Office of Hon Murray McCully

Subject: Re: Internet Service

Dear Mr McCully
Thank you for your letter to me. As you said these Internet restrictions are to do with national security. New Zealanders or any other nationals have not been singled out.

China has unfortunately a set of legal restrictions on all foreign residents which are both inequitable and especially for the unwary positively dangerous. It is an area that the Chinese Government and the people can be informed about without their feeling they have been got at.

It is good to hear my previous email was taken entirely seriously by New Zealand officials as it involved all New Zealanders in China.

Lloyd Gretton

30 Jan

Subject: a ten dollar a night hotel

Dear Dad
I am now in Hanoi after a very long journey through the night. We – at the bus – were met by a very nice lady who took me to a ten dollar a night hotel. Unfortunately I tried to make my way to a live music environment.


Instead I encountered a series of crooked taxi drivers who ripped me off shamelessly. Eventually two nice girls brought me back to my hotel on their motor bike. Hotel music has gone into this party-pill music. Good live bands are very difficult to find. I am now going to keep away from Hanoi night life at least.

While the hinterlands of north Vietnam are very basic, Hanoi has become quite developed and an attractive environment. Even though I have now met the ugly side.
When I was in Hanoi ten years ago I quickly encountered a real blues hotel band. I also found a quiet music bar called Apocalypse Now.
Neither appear to exist anymore. Unfortunately capitalism drives out good entertainment and replaces it with sleaze.

While the rural north Vietnamese are quite ugly the Hanoi people are generally very handsome and elegant.
Love from Lloyd

31 Jan

Subject: staying at the old Hanoi quarters

Dear Dad
I this morning booked a bus for Monday morning to take me across the border into China. After a ten hour journey I will be arriving in the Chinese border city of Nanning. This time I won't need to collect a visa as I already have a working visa.

After that I booked for another night at the ten dollar a night hotel. I have a really good continental breakfast at the hotel for one dollar. The hotel name is the Kangaroo Hotel.

Then I found my way to the lake. I am staying at the old Hanoi quarters. This is the Vietnamese New Year and so the city is very crowded and filled with merchandise. I had a nice lunch and ate my first snake dish. Snake doesn't really taste like anything other than something scaly.

Tonight I saw a water puppet show at the Puppet Theatre at the lake. It was nice but I was rather glad when it finished. The best part was some quite beautiful music with traditional instruments.

I have been trying to send you an old email that keeps coming back. I haven't heard from you for a few days. So I hope everything is OK.

It is quite warm in Hanoi but I am glad I brought warm clothing. It is night-time now and I have my jacket on. The internet is completely free at my hotel. I was able to watch YouTube. I must check Wikipedia on Vietnamese history. I am interested if it is censored.
Love from Lloyd