How I ended up in Victoria

I had a contract in Uzbekistan and learned about people in a country whose state lines were drawn to purposely cut through tribal lines (Soviet divide and conquer strategy), and was the destination of exile for people spanning and bordering Soviet control. Long-settled tribes (such as Pashtun, Uzbek, Kirghiz, and Afghans) can be differentiated by colouful little hats men wear, folded up neatly and placed in pockets when praying in mosques.  Koreans sell kimchi in the open-air markets.  Russians serve perogies and dominate the political scene.  Persians remain settled in magical old cities on key stops of the silk road, where donkeys still transport spices to the market.  Chinese conduct business trips to complete gold and oil deals in hotel saunas.  Italians, Germans, Americans with Good Intentions do their best to infiltrate just a tiny bit, and then one by one get booted out when they succeed in knowing evil or shifting goodness too much in one of the few places in the world with steady decline in quality of life. One faction in the country is repulsive (worse than the drug lords who drive fancy cars with Afghan plates ): the government. Fear threads through all souls , as the government will zap any that point to its slime.

I learned (or decided) that when in a desert land where fear is the main tool of a dirty government, the best (or, er…the easiest) option (which most don’t have) is to run (RUN!) to its opposite — the Best Place On Earth.  Otherwise, just eat kimchi, wear your hat proudly, and who knows…maybe Twitter will bleach out the slime…

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