In all honesty, tourists annoy me at the best of times. Whether it’s getting stuck behind a camper van travelling in the fast lane or noticing the growing mound of rubbish and human waste piling up at the local freedom camping spot.
I recognise the economic benefits, however, so I do my best to be as welcoming and friendly as possible. In this frame of mind you’re more likely to have fun and rewarding encounters with those who come from distant lands anyway, so why not.
In an article published in the Dominion Post on the morning of Friday 9 February, I was struck by the reported behavior of two young people from overseas, travelling around the country spending little or no money.
Anna Karg and partner Enoch Orious are currently seeking a way of getting to the South Island without making use of any traditional methods such as, oh I don’t know, swimming?
“We just don’t want to be part of the rat race any more. We know we can live without money – we just wanted to see if we can travel without money.”
“It’s about living our truth, and showing how much love there is out there in the world.”
No, you just wanted to know how far you could push things and abuse other people’s hospitality and good graces, you couple of utter freeloaders. This was my initial reaction, anyway.
How Virginia Fallon, the media reporter, happened upon this little nugget of good copy is anyone’s guess. Was she told about them by another? Was she simply walking down Cuba Street one morning and got distracted by their virtual begging bowl. Drawn in by the random inquisitiveness? Tripping up over the thin end of the wedge? Who’s to know.
When questioned about whether they saw any problem with accessing the soup kitchen managed by the Sisters of Compassion on Tory Street in Wellington Orious said:
“We’re all in the same boat as them really. A lot of them have incomes, but it’s a service that’s been provided. We’re not taking it from people who need more. We’re all here for the same thing.”
I am somewhat ashamed to admit that my immediate response reading the story was as follows:
Yes, you are taking it from people who need it more you, moron! And the fact you don’t see the completely greedy nature of your behaviour is evidence not only of your immaturity but also of your complete lack of self-awareness.
The narcissistic nature of these two has unsurprisingly begun to manifest itself into other forms of self-abuse as they readily admit to not even bothering to take a shower!
I’m left wondering how much was left out of the initial release though. Were the two just seated, or were they serving also? How much was left out of the story for impact?
While judgement is a necessity for living, it can quickly escalate into a crescendo of feedback, a veritable tsunami of negativity, especially from those you have been a guest of.
Did I mention that the two have a Facebook page called “Free From Money.”
I had a brief look at it and it seemed to be filled with the sort of confusing array of virtue signals and nihilistic offhand comments one has come to expect from your average garden variety self-obsessive these days. My Old Man would say it’s always been like that.
One that jumped out at me was, “We believe in the night.” I mean, what the bloody heck does that even mean? Well, I guess it means what it says. I was tempted to comment at the time but held back for some reason.
Perhaps if any lesson is learned in this whole affair, it was more likely to be realised when reflecting on oneself. After all, what am I doing to make things better for others, and what rules do I follow?
I think the most significant story – from this story – was more the public reaction to it, and maybe even the self-questioning that followed.
By the time the article was released in the early hours, a growing buzz of rather angry, at times humorous, sometimes nasty, but always completely spontaneous activity burst through the reactosphere, and cold hard reality began to fall on these two unsuspecting dopes.
The weight of a nation.
Well, a bubble at least.
But what are they guilty of?
This is the question…
Perhaps the question is who are the real parasites?
Those who take from those who give freely?
Or those who take from those who give unsuspectingly?
How embarrassing for the media…their big story about two bludgers sponging their way around the country turns out to be fake news.
A new story is now out that one of the so-called German tourists is in fact a Kiwi who, if you read between the lines, is more than a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Enoch Orious is in fact Auckland man Jamie Burfoot.
So what does the media do?
They run the story as a “kiwi connection” story instead of a ratbag bludging fraudster story.
The media are shameless, even when busted they try to turn it to their own advantage.
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