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"I heard a rumour that Monica Lewinsky was coming, too, but I can't imagine that it's true.."
- Peter Walker

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NZ

The APEC meeting
by Peter Walker, 36, Christchurch, New Zealand
Sep 9, 1999

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There are two major events happening in New Zealand soon. One is the America's Cup, a hugely expensive and completely over-rated yachting race. The other is the APEC meeting. The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation. As you can tell, both of these events have captured my imagination. NOT. The America's Cup bores me to tears, and the most exciting part of the whole APEC exercise is that Bill Clinton will be coming to my hometown, Christchurch. Which is good because there's a couple of things I want to ask him. Air Force One will be landing at Christchurch International Airport, where I work, and I'm thinking of catching up with Bill there. I've got some mates in Security, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to talk to him. I want to ask him about that Roswell thing. I'm still not convinced. And, of course, Marilyn Monroe. I still want to know about that one.

Anyway, Bill and Chelsea will be in town. I heard a rumour that Monica Lewinsky was coming, too, but I can't imagine that it's true. Although, there was another rumour that she had purchased half of Australia and was thinking of setting up a presidential escort service there.

Apparently Chelsea will be escorted (not in the Monica Lewinsky sense above) around Christchurch by our Prime Ministers' daughter, whose name I can't recall. In New Zealand the First Daughter is completely anonymous, mostly because her mother, Jenny Shipley, New Zealands' Prime Minister (think Margaret Thatcher - same set-up) has not been in any scandals lately. At least sexual ones, which seem to be the only type of political scandal anybody cares about. Here or anywhere, apparently. Plenty of actual political scandals lately though - Government Departments spending obscene amounts of taxpayers' money on personal expenses; unemployment burgeoning as a result of capitalistic policy; crime rate skyrocketing while the police are fighting IBM instead of criminals (according to one survey, NZ is second only to South Africa in crime. Now there's a scary thought) - but political scandals only occupy us overnight. By the morning papers we're looking for a different one. And we're usually not disappointed.

Actually, New Zealand has very little sexual scandal. Rachel Hunter's (ex Mrs. Rod Stewart) exploits lately are the closest to anything like a scandal. She's from New Zealand, you know. Auckland. I used to live there. It's a cool place, actually. Its the biggest city in New Zealand. Over a million people in the whole area. And busy. Lots of cars and not enough roads. But some awesome things to do. The library's excellent. And there's plenty of Op Shops (thats Opportunity Shops, second hand clothing stores that smell of poverty and moth balls). And normally you could check out our animated version of Skid Row, but because of APEC, Auckland's homeless people are being put up in new apartments in Mount Roskell or somewhere so as not to offend international sensibilities. After APEC they'll be dumped back on the streets, though, so the cycle of poverty will be able to continue unabated.

Bill Clinton and drag queens??

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