I owe PA readers and the fine citizens of Malaysia a sincere apology. In the above piece I mentioned the city of "Kunming". Kunming happens to be my favourite city in southwest China, but of course I am speaking here about KUCHING in Sarawak, which coincidentally happens to be my favourite city in this region. Whether it be the heat, the Jameson or just stupidity I leave over to you, but I would say if you are ever heading to Malaysia (or Singapore), do yourself a favour and take a few days in Kuching. (Kunming in China is much longer haul to get to).
BY strange coincidence we were in JOrdan around the same time you were and as you say Petra is breathtaking I found Jerash even more so, largely because I could kind of "see" what that city must have like rather better than Petra where so much was leveled by 'quakes.
Interesting too what you say about internet services/mobile coverage: when we go to the Dead Sea my wife got a "welcome to Palestine" message!
Excellent Simon, thank you so much for contextualizing this for us.
Many years ago at PA I wrote something bemoaning the lack of coverage in the NZ media about one of those earlier flashpoints you mentioned in this country with which we have a long relationship (holidays, partners, friends, even the local Thai takeaway). I regret to say the local media coverage has been even worse than woeful (you'd wait for a veryveryvery long time to get anything on TVOne or TV3, and the Herald seems to prefer Kiev for its protest/burning tyres stories . . . even though Bangkok is just that little bit closer . . . and people have said to me in the past few days, "Do you think it's safe?"
Many people her care on behalf of family and/or friends but are just not getting the information, let alone the background.
Again, thanks. G
RE: "I also don’t need you to issue general baggings to the PAS community" . . .
You are absolutely right and I am wrong. I withdraw and unreservedly apologise. Seriously.
One of the more personally amusing benefits of writing a piece like this (and yes, I was That Guy) is I get to sit back and watch. As Russell noted in his earlier piece about satire and how my columns had been received by Herald readers, some people Just Don't Get It.
I had credited PA readers with more humour/sense/wit etc.
But look back at this thread: humourless prats; willfully divisive agenda-advancing commentators; people who cannot spell; digression writers out for their own purpose; human canines who can't let an old bone go . . .
Jeez, I gotta (sp?) do this more often.
You guys are so much funnier than I was, or those mad-whacker callers to talkback.
Back at ya (sp?) soon. Maybe. (Fish/barrel, interesting though?)
BUT . . . this "Labour Party" we have . . . hmmm . . . ho ho ho
I did go to the Apra event and aside from some fine interpretations, a high point was Don McGlashan's uplifting but also politically barbed speech. An important message at this time. With his permission I have put it up at Elsewhere: http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/othervoicesotherrooms/
Relax Russell, it wasn't you. I didn't hear your similar comment, the one I heard was delivered with a sniff of derision by some woman. Context is all.
And I agree Tom: I constantly remind people who dump on Britney etc that I really have no opinion because she doesn't make music for me. Nor do the feelers -- but I don't want them to cease to exist. They are there for the pleasure of others.
As long as no one puts a gun to my head and says "you should listen to this" (as the alt.people are wont to do) or makes out some kind of music is morally superior to another (and don't classical folks just presume that?!) then we should just let a thousand styles and artists flourish.
Young Master Bieber will not trouble me. But I love to see people --- of whatever age -- enjoy whatever their music is.
Wilco were terrific by the way!
Good news! About two weeks ago I filled out a lot of paperwork to become a vendor to Whitcoulls and never heard any more about it. I gave up. It had been hard enough to get to that point.
But this very day I have heard back from a woman there wanting to know some small detail (was it the e-mail I sent the other day, or the PA posting I wonder?) and so maybe we could get copies there sometime soon.
I guess I now have to get into that whole sale-or-return thing -- although if I can find the right person there I might mention that my previous book also won their Whitcoulls Travel Book of the Year so maybe we could give this baby a bit of a push -- and maybe even a window display? (ho ho ho)
Lee Childs doesn't need to sell many more books, does he?
Book sellers . . . I am available for in-stores and have a nice line of jokes. And I can read my own words with expression and clarity.
It is a struggle getting interest (let alone the damn thing reviewed). I have approached some book shops directly and they simply don't get back in touch.
Andrew at Dymock's on Ponsonby Rd is noble exception.
I commend him and his store to you. He is an absolute gentleman and has been very supportive.
Apropos of this discussion, some of you may like to see what i wrote for the Herald a decade ago when decriminalisation was the issue.
I've posted it at www.elsewhere.co.nz/culturalelsewhere.
There are some oddball internal links too -- and the music track I've posted is kinda cool.
You really are reading my book Sofie! Cool.
Yes, I agree it does depend on when you go to a place. For the benefit of the rest of you who don't know what we are talking about, I went to Brunei . . . during Ramadan. Different vibe -- but any place where you can't get a drink and sit and chat with people is kinda tough.
And the movie that Sofie mentions?
I went to a film to fill in time because I was bored witless and was the only person in the 500 seat cinema. Weird.
And keep reading Sofie -- that long title story at the end might throw some perspective on what is happening in Australia right now with Mary MacKillop being hailed as a native saint.
Happier new year everyone.