We had our first day back in class today, before that I was teaching online.  I’ve been here for nearly two months. Before here I was teaching in Singapore for 6.5 years. I signed the contract to come here in January when the world was a different place. I’ve also taught in South Korea and at home.

It’s really challenging building a community online. Maybe the drive towards exams and results is starting to be questioned. I’m teaching the little guys in year 4.

My parents happened  to be in Canada when I was born, we moved to New Zealand when I was very young. I grew up in Wellington and was in Auckland from my teenage years, I went to university there. My last teaching job at home was back in Tawa.

I was hoping to get back this Christmas, but it won’t happen. I think people will feel the reality of the pandemic when their loved ones can’t get home for the holidays. My Mum and Dad, brother and sister are all at home.

Us overseas Kiwis talk about how lucky you are at home, you’re only having to wear masks on public transport now – we’ve been doing that for six months. In Singapore I had a boy in my class whose parents both had Covid and there was another father in the school community who died.

In the supermarkets here they have those plastic lunch boxes with the blue clips from New Zealand. Apparently, we have the food container business in Bucharest sewn up.

I live in an apartment near the centre. The  parks are really gorgeous, I’m about 800 metres from Ceausescu’s Mansion. There are a lot of open-air cafes and the German Embassy have a big beer garden open at the moment.

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Images supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” it is in all good bookshops in New Zealand and also available in Australia. It will be available elsewhere in the world from August.

Amazon UK here.

Amazon US here

Through the publisher here

This Is Us – the diaspora in lockdown – these interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation.  Copyright Licensing have awarded me a grant to complete this project and convert these postings into a book.

If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via pete@petecarter.nz – I currently need interviews in the more unusual places around the world.

Exisle have released This Is Us as an e-book you can buy it here.


Pete Carter is the author of This is Us. Due out in June 2020 it will be published by Exisle and tells the story of more than 200 New Zealanders in words and pictures. The book is really a portrait of the nation and how it is made up. Pete wrote Our Dog Benji a children’s book illustrated by his nephew, published by EK in 2017. He is also the author of two books of poetry. He has had magazine articles published and poetry in anthologies. As a photographer he has had two solo exhibitions and work included in group exhibitions in NZ and overseas and has sold work to and been commissioned by corporate clients.

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