Nepali Times
Here And There
Leaving in droves


MIAMI - Amid the triumphant scenes on the right of American politics, liberal gloom and angst is as thick as London fog. These people thought that George W Bush might actually pay for what they saw as his incompetence, smugness and apparent inability to do more than one thing at a time. They were wrong, and now they're depressed.

So depressed actually, that many are thinking of moving. That's right. American liberals, some of whom give champagne socialism a whole new cachet, want out. In Canada, my native land, immigration websites are swamped with queries from Boston, Berkeley, Greenwich Village and Seattle. Some wag redraws the map of North America, rethinking the 'Red State-Blue State' divide and encompassing Canada.

Alas for my American friends, and I have many, it's not so easy. Canada doesn't need liberal-media-literary-academic-leftist types. The place is already awash with the native born variety. Those immigration websites advise that doctors, engineers, welders, plumbers and carpenters are most welcome to become beaver-loving denizens of the Dominion of Canada. Journalists can only visit.

So in a spirit of trans-continental charity, I offer some suggestions to the depressives left in the US, those too offended by the Bush victory to stay behind and fight for Hillary Clinton in 2008. There are other places you may be useful, other islands of sanity that will welcome you and your wine cellar.

Well, for a start, what about Nepal? I mean, come on. This country needs rich foreign investors, right? People with ready cash to build homes, employ people, start factories and generally push ideas of commonweal, development and peace. Mind you, perhaps not. For one thing, I'm sure that our existing expat population, some of them anyway, wouldn't be too welcoming. It's a limited patch and as I found to my surprise when I lived in this fair land, outsiders are welcome in Nepali homes, not so among the hierarchical long-term expatriates.

You who are exceptions, you know I know who you are, if you know what I mean.

Other places for our distraught US liberals then.How about Nauru? I can hear the Nepali Times drop to the floor from here as readers rush for an atlas. Just to help pinpoint it, Nauru is in the southwestern Pacific, but it's too small to appear on most maps. But it's there, and it needs help.

Nauru is a country, a circular island about 16 km in circumferance, and it used to be made from bird poo. That's right. Guano, phosphate rich seagull dung, many metres thick, coated the coral reefs of Nauru until the place was a gold mine for Australian mining companies. Apparently it's good for the garden. Anyway, Nauru is out of bird poo and it's going nowhere fast. American liberals would be welcome to join the local pastime of driving around in circles, drinking Foster's Lager and bemoaning the fact that seagulls don't shit here anymore.

Various Central American countries are used to playing host to US citizens fleeing something back home - in the past, taxes, spouses, drug charges or life its own self. Add to that list, Republican ascendancy and you've got a place to run to. Then there's Mauritius, Dominica, Sao Tome and Principe, Uruguay and New Caledonia. All need the right kind of new citizen. My travel agency for disgruntled liberals is about to take off big time. But then again, maybe people should just hang on for four years and keep fighting the good fight. I suspect most will. Nauru and Nepal may be worse off, but America needs you more.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)