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by The Impeccably Arranged Snark of The West Pacific Master Dispatch. . 415 reads.

The Western Post - May 2022

Announcements!

  • Join the Hall of Nations to participate in drafting LinkCommend Fujai, the most recent Regional Commendation nominee. You can get involved in the Hall of Nations by becoming a citizen Linkhere!

  • Join The West Pacific News Group staff today! We're always looking for new folks interested in getting involved—if you're a writer, artist, puzzle designer, or something else and looking for an outlet to share your work, contact Editor-in-Chief Fujai today!

An Interview with Minskiev
By Zoran

Minskiev is still a relatively new NS player when compared to many players here on NS, they have shown themselves to have gained a significant amount of experience over the course of their two years on NS. This experience has culminated in their recent rise to the delegacy of The Rejected Realms and yet still they remain relatively unknown. To get to know them a bit better, I decided to ask them for an interview to ask them a few questions about themselves.

Q: Let's start with a fairly common question, how did you end up finding Nationstates?

A: Drew Durnil's infamous video. I know, it's embarrassing. I was young okay.

Q: While I know you have involvement in other regions, what makes TRR home for you?

A: Ok well, I'm incredibly fond of TRR's community. The playful, sometimes lewd jokes, the fun Werewolf and Diplomacy games, the scary political spam channel, and the incredibly experienced administration and "old guard". I say old guard in quotes because the old experienced people form what can be called an old guard, but are really rather in-touch and up-to-date. It's been my home for a while and I just love the community, while with most regions I may only consider one or two people friends.

Q: Ok, could you shed some light on your favorite TRR cultural event?

A: Popmaster. I'm pretty sure it's a RL game show? But people in the server can host a Popmaster whenever they'd like, usually giving time in advance so that people can attend. There are 3 rounds, with 10 songs in each round. Each round has a category that all the songs relate to. The host will play these in VC and people try to guess the song and artist. Song or artist is 1 point each, but if you get both you get 3 points. Winner of each round gets to pick a victory song, and all around it's good fun. Even if Cove, WS, Nakari, and Jack are usually better than everyone. Karp's good too.

Q: As a followup to the previous question, what makes it your favorite cultural event? Is it the spontaneity of it, the music aspect, or is it because of a completely different reason?

A: I love music, personally, so that's a big factor into it. But also how 15 people join a VC and all compete and have fun while listening to music It's just a good time all around.

Q: How did you get involved in writing WA resolutions?

A: I had tried issue writing while I was mostly a forum goer but I wasn't any good at it, so I decided to draft a GA resolution. I, for whatever reason, thought of volcanoes and saw there wasn't a resolution on it at the moment. So I started drafting, and while I didn't understand too much about some GA principles, Araraukar helped me a ton throughout the 3-month (>_>) draft process. And then I tried to campaign, but I did it manually, and forgot to mark some as campaign. Oops. One quick mess-up explained to the mods via GHR later, my proposal got to queue and passed. From there, I just decided to keep on writing, although I'm a little busier now so I'm not sure if I'll keep on writing resolutions.

Q: Looking a bit into the potential future of NS, what do you personally look forward to the most in what has been said about the Frontiers and Strongholds update?

A: Probably the political aspect. The competitive aspect is cool and all, but some dorks who have too much time on their hands will now spend even more time with this. I just think it'd be interesting to watch

Q: Ok now it is time for the final question: pineapple on pizza, yay or nay?

A: Never tried it and I don't particularly care enough to say nay. Let people enjoy what they like

Thank you, Minskiev, for your time and for answering our questions, we wish you the best in your delegacy!

WAR Update
By Aluminum Oxynitride, Deputy Minister of World Assembly Recruitment

The WAR Ministry has two new dispatches for you to check out! The first is a list of Nations Not Endorsing the Delegate. If you are featured in this dispatch, please endorse the Delegate Giovanniland and let us know! The second is the Endocap Violators dispatch. To be removed from this list, please endorse our Delegate or reduce your number of collected endorsements to 10 or less. These two dispatches, along with The Masses, complete United Adaikes’ efforts to monitor all WA members in the West Pacific.

We at WAR cordially invite you to join the Western Endorsement Sovereign Trust! Collect and maintain between 150 and 250 endorsements and you will be a valued member of the WEST. Current members include Mediobogdum, Corbeil, Sensorland, Bardon, Cro Magnon, Westwind, Crazy Waters, Pandaland II, Glorious Existence, Hongg Kong, Oliverary, Archonina, Chaos Realm of Lavoria, Lodiberdade, Atheist States of Philippines, Mucht, and Willow Gate.

Besides the WA, the WAR Ministry also deals with R. What is R, you ask? Recruitment. That’s right. We want YOU! Young people, old people, middle-aged people, and even Chiss are welcome to apply, especially if you have coding experience. Contact the minister Teralyon through telegrams or Discord (@ZaFo#1920) today to join!

Area Man Not Sure Why He's Being Celebrated, But Happy Nonetheless
By Scottmichael Shakeshand of Podium

When Guy Normaldude left his home in northern Rook, Roiko, just a few days ago, he thought he was in for yet another 8 hours of mind-numbing work, punctuated only by a cramped commute and a mediocre lunch break with coworkers who despised him just as much as he did them. What he hadn't predicted, however, was the sudden assault by a larger-than-life parade the size of a small country, right on his doorstep. According to Guy, he had barely had time to react to the ocular onslaught before he was loaded into an improvised trebuchet made from papier-mâché and launched with much fanfare, leaving him stranded in the centre of the colossal carnival of colours. “I guess it was meant for me, since they kept chanting ‘Guy!’, or maybe it was ‘Sky!’, or ‘Fly!’, or something else ending in -y,” he explained in an exclusive interview with the Western Post. “I tried asking around a few times if someone could tell me what was going on, but it got so loud with all the cheering and screaming and busking, I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying.” The perplexing procession then took Guy on a grand gallop through all 11,000 of Rook’s residential rectangles, yet more partygoers participating per pause in the proceedings, with Guy held aloft for a further 14 hours before he was frown unceremoniously onto his front flowerbed, facing the fading flare of daylight.

Shortly thereafter, Cliff Lemming, founder of the influential Lemming Institute and inventor of the eponymous rodent, confirmed previous rumours that the fantastic festival had, in fact, been entirely his doing. “When I look back on the work of my Foundation, I can’t help but feel giddy with glee, and for very good reason; not one single other person alive today has ever been able to single-handedly transform entire cities of thinking, caring, and unique individuals into unthinking, uncaring, and indistinguishable hordes, entirely under their control, as masterfully as I have. Freed from those ghastly little wrinkles within their grey matter, their fully-smoothed brains are much better spent on labours incomprehensibly gargantuan in sheer complexity to all but my brilliant self.” Lemming then indulged in a bout of theatrically evil laughter, which his audience of 343 million proceeded to imitate both flatly and simultaneously. Only now do we know that but two things are certain; loyal service, and disloyal death.

All Hail God-Emperor Lemming!

Punday Monday Highlights
By Gryphonian Alliance

Mondays aren't exactly known for being fun. Chances are, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the first day of the week probably isn't fun or excitement, but having to go back to school or work after relaxing over the weekend. But there is one way you can brighten up your Monday, and to do that, just pay a visit to our RMB! Every Monday, TWP gets together to share some creative wordplay- and potentially win legendary card prizes. Here are a few winning submissions from the past month.

Berke Khan wrote:Why didn’t the sun go to college? Because it already had a million degrees!

Why was Jupiter banned from competing in the planetary boxing championship? He was taking asteroids

I'm not surprised the sun is arrogant. After all, the world does revolve around it.

Roiko wrote:Why did the tectonic plates break up? It wasn't anyone's fault, there was just too much friction between them.

Why did the tectonic plate throw up lava?

It was in-continent!

Bhang Bhang Duc wrote:What goes black, white, black, white, black, white, black, white....?

A penguin rolling downhill.

Why should you hire a penguin and a flower to build a bike?

You need the penguin to bring an icicle and the flower to bring a bee!

Hyzante wrote:That is un-Bolivia-ble. We are sorry for your Laos.

Next time, make your Chile with Turkey instead of ground beef - it's less Greece-y that way.

That pun Israeli good. Kenya think of some more?

If you want to enjoy some more snarky puns or feel inspired to come up with a few of your own, head over to our RMB at the beginning of every week and enjoy Punday Monday. See you there!


Delegate's Third Speech
By Giovanniland, Delegate of the West

Welcome to another Delegate's Speech! Following the First Speech in January and the Second Speech in March, it is time for me to provide another update about our achievements so far and our plans for the future. Furthermore, today is a special date for me, as I have just reached 1,000 days of NationStates! Therefore, it's a wonderful day to deliver this speech.

Firstly, general updates! After a period of less activity gameside and offsite, the Regional Guides are committed on improving Today in the West activities by creating more engaging events such as questions, message board games, and polls. Furthermore, the Guides are also looking to promote more themed events in a given week or month, so you can expect that in future Today in the West posts. Some changes have also been enacted—for example Guides have been now divided in Senior and Junior groups, ranked through merit, and outstanding Guides may be chosen for higher promotions in true meritocratic style. There's also a Head Guide and its Deputy, currently Blue Bubble and Sensorland respectively, who lead these events. I encourage more residents to join, even if one doesn't have a lot of experience, because one can gain it through developing commitment to the regular activities.

Moving forward to updates about each ministry, we've had a leadership change in Foreign Affairs—unfortunately former Minister Fuentana resigned from the position, and in his place Dilber has agreed to return to the position. I wish Fuentana good luck in his real life duties, and hope that in the future he comes back to the game. In regards to the Foreign Affairs ministry, we've promoted engagement in the private FA channel and also pushed for the return of Foreign Affairs Features in this newspaper, in a currently ongoing search of writers. Furthermore, Dilber has chosen to create a second Deputy Minister position, focused on foreign events specifically, and has nominated United Adaikes (UA) to serve in the position! Congratulations to UA, who has already helped to organize the #REDInstead Baseball Classic with The Sasquatch Republic as part of Autism Acceptance Month, and a future game night with Europeia, to name a few projects.

Next up is the Ministry of World Assembly Recruitment—do you remember the work put by Teralyon, United Adaikes and Aluminum Oxynitride on the internal goal of increasing cross-endorsing among all WA nations? Well, I am glad to announce that the Western Endorsement Sovereign Trust (WEST) has been founded! The WEST is an elite group of hardworking nations that have and maintain between 150 and 250 endorsements, thus improving our regional security through actively exchanging endorsements. You can join the WEST by endorsing others in order to receive endorsements back. Furthermore, other dispatches like Nations Not Endorsing the Delegate and Endocap Violators Dispatch have also been published in order to improve our goals.

Talking about these goals, I am also happy that the region has completed the goal of Sailing to 600 endorsements, with myself becoming only the third delegate in the West to reach this feat. Ever since this goal was reached, my endorsements have stayed at or above 600, and the ratio between endorsements and total WA nations in the region has averaged 85%, the highest of all game-created regions. Meanwhile, in the Security Council proposal front, Varanius has published the Commend Bran Astor draft in the SC forums, attracting a fair amount of discussion and comments so far. I am hoping to see this great proposal at vote, alongside others still in the private drafting phase—and if you want to help on these efforts, you can contact Overthinkers and possibly become a new proposal author in the West!

In regards to our military, The West Pacific Armed Forces, it has maintained a good activity level and has participated in operations both led by us and by other allied militaries. Notably, a regionwide Impressment Telegram has been sent in order to recruit new sailors, with relative success, and the focus has now been on training the greenhorns into regular crew members. Furthermore, our pirates have also contributed in other ways besides regular raiding and defending work! For example, Fhaengshia created an innovative Telegrams from the Frontline article for the newspaper, with the help of other sailors. Meanwhile, in the University, the military module has finished and given the floor to the Foreign Affairs and World Assembly modules, the latter of which is still ongoing. Unfortunately, a large amount of students has been busy in real life, some of them studying in real life as well, so University activity isn't at its high at the moment. However, we're hoping to improve engagement with the remaining students and finish the two last modules in the next months.

Last but not least, I would like to recognize the work of some individual members! Remember when I mentioned at the start that activity has decreased a bit? Thankfully, due to innovative actions by members such as Zoran, engagement has been able to increase again with creative events like the LinkLabours of Zoran. In this event, Zoran must complete 12 different challenges to free himself from the Foreign Affairs Mines, a complex labyrinth of chambers where FA work takes place ever since 2020. Residents from the West and friendly regions alike submitted various challenges, which were then put to vote in order to select twelve of them. The vote results are now available in the LinkTWP Discord server, where you can follow updates about this month-long event and whether Zoran completes these challenges.

Another wonderful initiative I would like to mention is the Autism Acceptance Month, led by Wymondham (Wym) throughout the month of April. Through multiple activities, both in the West and with the help of friendly regions, this event was able to raise awareness about this important theme and promote acceptance of autistic people, about which you can read a detailed article later in this edition. And Wym has meanwhile continued his work as Speaker of the Hall of Nations, successfully drafting and Linkputting to vote the regional commendation for Darkesia, and starting a Linknew discussion to regionally commend Fujai. Other events like the Hall Member of the Month have also continued, as the HoN Speaker and Guardian terms come to an end later this month amid elections.

On a closing note, I would again like to thank everyone that has contributed to the region in any way during these last few months, through both highs and lows, while also inviting new members to apply for LinkHall of Nations Citizenship and to participate in a Ministry. I look forward to the next months of my reign, and reiterate that my inbox is open for any ideas and suggestions people may have. See you in two months for another address!

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TWP Autism Acceptance Month
By Santos-Dominius

As one of the most populous regions in NationStates, the West Pacific plays host to a large and diverse community, with residents from many different parts of the world. This includes those with autism, a condition where brain development affects how a person perceives and socialises with others. Unfortunately for the autistic community both in TWP and in general, many still remain uninformed about autism and awareness of its causes, effects and impacts are still not very clear or well known, leading to discrimination, ignorance and intolerance on this matter. With that in mind, autistic voices from TWP and other friendly regions organised Autism Acceptance Months every April for the last several years to aim to inform others, raise awareness and foster inclusion and acceptance of autistic people. This year was no exception.

This year's Autism Acceptance Month was led by Wymondham (Wym), TWP's Speaker of the Hall of Nations. Under him, TWP began celebrating the month-long event with the #REDInstead campaign, where TWP residents and participants changed their on-site NS flags to a shared #REDInstead flag to show their support for and solidarity with autistic people. The campaign itself was influenced by the broader push by the autism community against the narrative that autism is a disease to be cured (Autism Speaks' narrative that is commonly associated with the blue theme); rather it aims to make people recognise it as a difference to be accepted. This was met with great engagement from the TWP community, with multiple residents honouring the call to action and wearing #REDInstead to support autistic people in the TWP community; a great deal of work was done by the Regional Guides to consistently promote this campaign and their efforts did not go unseen or unappreciated.

The first activity of Autism Acceptance Month was a Q&A session on the TWP Regional Message Board (RMB) by Wym, Deputy HoN Speaker Hertfordshire and Jammbo (H&J) and former Delegate The Holy Principality of Saint Mark (Halo). The session recorded good turnout, with TWP residents taking turns to ask thoughtful questions on autism and make insightful comments about their own thoughts and personal experiences on the matter. Among those who shared their stories were former Delegate Westwind, who gave a personal account of frustrating experiences while advocating better treatment for his autistic daughter, and Willow Gate, who inquired about the hosting trio's experiences with their autism diagnoses. Halo, Wym and H&J all gave honest and informative answers, the session was further enriched by the presence of Hulldom, WA Affairs Minister of the North Pacific, who kindly shared his own views on the matter. The session ended with goodwill from former Delegate Bhang Bhang Duc, who thanked the trio for hosting the session and making him more informed on autism.

Following the success of the Q&A session on the TWP RMB, another event was organised to push for even greater awareness in TWP on autism. To this end, a live podcast session in the TWP Discord server was held by Wym, featuring the aforementioned Hulldom as well as Kuramia, Europeia's Grand Admiral. The live podcast lasted for a little more than an hour, and was comprised of two parts: a set of highly-informative monologues from the three speakers, which discussed their own experiences—both in real life and on NS—as autistic people; and a Q&A session afterwards, where they took questions from listeners. Throughout the podcast some valuable information was provided, especially with Wym speaking about the legal "right to choose" that the NHS provides to people in the UK in regards to autism and ADHD assessments and diagnoses. A complete recording of the podcast including both aforementioned parts is available on LinkSpotify, LinkAnchor and LinkGoogle Podcasts, and comes with a Linkfull chat transcript that has valuable information provided by the hosts and can act as a companion for anyone listening to the podcast.

The #REDInstead campaign was also complemented by an interregional event that sported the branding. From April 22nd-30th The Sasquatch Republic partnered with TWP to host a #REDInstead Baseball Classic, where teams from the two regions battled it out with their peers to decide which region of the two is the better one in baseball; the winner Nova Vandalia Red Greens also won the right to have a donation made in their name to an autism-related charity of the organisers' choosing. The contest, organised by TWP's Teralyon and United Adaikes as well as TSR's Illahee (former TWP Delegate Bran Astor) ended with a US$200 donation which was funded by four anonymous donors from both regions and made to the LinkAutism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), which was chosen by former TWP delegates Halo and Dilber.

For all of those involved in the month-long event, Autism Acceptance Month was a fantastic success at raising awareness on and promoting acceptance of autism and those who are autistic. Many autistic voices from TWP and other friendly regions came together to exchange experiences and stories, informing other participants and bringing light to their struggles, lives and situations along the way. We hope all those who participated became better-informed and more aware of everything about autism and autistic people by the end of the event, and we all are grateful to those who helped organise the events or mustered the courage to speak about their own experiences, despite autism unfortunately remaining a stigmatising and taboo topic for too many people. Links have been provided throughout this article so that readers can access the resources provided during Autism Acceptance Month and refer to them in the journey to become better informed about autism.

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Sam & The Jam Band
By So Long

I am Indie Trash™, and as a teenager, I was (embarrassingly) that person who prided themselves in how obscure their taste in music was and made unsolicited mix CDs for friends as often as I could. I have realized since then that pop music is actually Fun and Cool, but I still love sharing new music with people, so here I am to do exactly that.

We're not quite to the summer spike of new music releases yet, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to look forward to either. Some familiar names are back with new albums this month that I expect will be worth checking out.

Who: Belle and Sebastian defined the genre of softly sung indie pop with their 1996 album If You're Feeling Sinister. 25 years later, they are releasing their 10th album called A Bit of Previous. They have released three singles from the album already, and it already seems strong. Nostalgic but upbeat, I think it has a lot of potential.

When: You can listen to A Bit of Previous which is out today, May 6th.
For fans of: Sufjan Stevens, The Magnetic Fields, Grandaddy

Who: Florence + The Machine's lead singer, Florence Welch, has a powerful voice which, when combined with the band's elaborate orchestration, has won them plenty of critical acclaim. Following the band's 2009 album Lungs featuring their hit Dog Days are Over, they rose to fame and have since won numerous awards and been nominated for 6 Grammy Awards. Based on the singles released so far, you can expect this upcoming album titled Dance Fever to be as brooding as past releases but with an uptempo, dancey twist.

When: Dance Fever is set to release on May 13th.
For fans of: HAIM, Lykke Li, Kate Nash

Besides new music, there are also tours to look forward to going on everywhere. With COVID-19 cases declining in places and more people being fully vaccinated, a lot of bands are feeling more comfortable with getting back on the road which is exciting. Big names like Gorillaz, Louis Tomlinson, and Metallica are coming to South America as well as other favorites like Cavetown and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Friends in Europe will have a chance to see acts like MARINA and Beach House this month. Also, if they are playing close to you, I highly recommend lesser-known names like Chris Farren and Illuminati Hotties, who put on two of the best shows I've ever been to. (Chris Farren was even recently named one of the Link20 best frontpeople in modern rock, so you don't have to take my word for it.)

Despite my not-so-subtle jealousy, I'm stoked to be able to get out and see some of my favorites. I have two outdoor concerts coming up - luckily before the weather here gets too miserable. Phoebe Bridgers, a staple in the "sad girl indie" pseudogenre, is on her first tour since the release of Punisher in 2020 which brought her four Grammy nominations. She has collaborated with the likes of Conor Oberst, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and even Taylor Swift, and whether solo or with others, she has made some of my favorite music of the last decade.

Speaking of Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes is playing here just a day after Phoebe, and 13 year old me is losing their mind. Bright Eyes is the poster child of early 2000s emo, and their music has shown up on coffeeshop playlists everywhere for years. They reemerged in 2020 after a 9-year hiatus with their album Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was. This tour, they will be playing a mix of songs from across their discography which spans nearly a dozen studio albums, and I cannot wait to cry along to their music with a bunch of other aging millennials.

TL;DR: If you like indie, pop, or emo, there is always lots of great new stuff, whether through streaming or in person. Happy listening!

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Posh and Opinionated: Wym’s Travel Diary
By Wymondham, Speaker of the Hall of Nations

Foreword

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”, I have absolutely no idea who said that, I got it off a quotes website but hey, at least it sounds cool.

Welcome, dear reader, to a feature I have been wishing to write for some time, but due to COVID, various lockdowns and other unforeseen circumstances, I have been unable to work on until now. I have been travelling abroad ever since I was 2 years old when I took what my mother would later describe as a “mildly traumatising” Air India flight to Ahmedabad for my uncle’s wedding. Since then I have travelled to countries ranging from France to Hong Kong SAR, visiting a number of states on my 4 trips to the United States thus far. This article is the first of a series which will cover my upcoming visits to Frankfurt in May, 8 different US states in July and August, and to Arizona and California in December, as well as any short term breaks I fit in between the aforementioned holidays. Without further ado, I would like to introduce the first part of Posh and Opinionated: Wym’s Travel Diary, covering my recent visit to Miami.

Miami (5 April 2022—13 April 2022)

April 5th

After much ado about nothing was made attempting to locate fuel the day prior after diesel briefly became unavailable across Norfolk; I awoke at 2AM for a 3AM journey by car to Heathrow. After an uneventful journey to Heathrow and a somewhat inconvenient misdirection by an American Airlines employee that took around 30 minutes to resolve, I passed through a Terminal 3 security that seems to get busier and more worn with each passing minute. Avoiding the British Airways galleries lounge due to our party size and the fact that we were, in all honesty, not missing much, we alighted upon a delightful restaurant named EL&N for breakfast. I had a smores hot chocolate, which was served in two parts, with the hot chocolate on the left being poured into the glass on the right, melting the chocolate egg as it went; and a eggs benedict with turkey bacon (pictures below).

After eating a delicious breakfast, it was time to board the aircraft, a 3 year old boeing 787-9, for our American Airlines flight to Philadelphia. Boarding as part of group 2, we were able to get Main Cabin Extra seats at no extra cost due to our frequent flyer status, which gave each of us a slightly nicer seat with more legroom (picture below). The flight did not get off to the most auspicious start, several passengers were unable to eat as there were no special meals loaded at heathrow, with the cabin crew giving short shrift to any passenger that dared to query whether an alternative would be available. Alas, it would later transpire that those who were unable to eat had in fact been given a reprieve from the horrors that awaited those of us without special meal requirements. Despite travelling all of my life on various classes on a wide range of airlines, I have never before seen an in flight meal that promised so little yet disappointed so much, to call it a “meal” is perhaps overly generous, as it ranged from chicken that even Oliver Twist would pass on, to the salad drowned in enough vinaigrette to fill the Caspian Sea. The only item worthy of any praise was the so-called “brookie” bar, if only because upon finishing it one knew that the hellish experience was finally over. However, I will credit that they offered full sized cans of coke as opposed to the mixer size cans BA prefers.

After the remainder of our 8 hour flight, followed by the ever stressful experience that is going through US CBP without Global Entry, not to mention having to collect and recheck our bags before going through TSA for reasons unbeknown to me, we boarded an American Airlines flight down the East Coast to Miami. A rather forgettable affair, the only highlight were the onboard snacks which were vastly preferable to the menagerie served on the transatlantic journey.

After landing, collecting our bags and my brief dash from one end of MIA to another for my Global Entry interview, we picked up our hire car and departed for the hotel, the Intercontinental at Miami Doral, a most excellent establishment which was only improved when we were given complimentary Club Lounge access upon arrival. After checking in and eating a small dinner in the lounge, we settled down for the night.

April 6th

After organising ones’ selves, we took a trip to one of my guilty pleasures when visiting America, Denny’s for a most enjoyable breakfast (picture below). I am most partial to their coffee, which I consumed alongside pancakes, ham, sausages, bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast - on the whole, a most satisfying breakfast.

Following Breakfast, we returned to the Hotel so that I could attend the main business of the day, tacos and a visit to Wynwood with a Mr D Ibbler who arrived in a most tardy fashion, admittedly after bravely battling his way through various breakdowns and congestion as well as the chaotic hellscape that is Miami traffic. After introducing Mr D Ibbler to my family, we journeyed to Wynwood in his extremely well outfitted automobile. After obtaining parking following an arduous search, we ventured to Coyo Taco, where a very enjoyable luncheon was had (pictured below). Following this, we viewed the Wynwood Walls with their beautiful street art before obtaining bubble tea before I was returned to the hotel. On the whole, a most pleasurable experience alongside an upstanding gentleman.

April 7th

After awakening somewhat later than usual, and having an excellent breakfast in the Club Lounge, we departed on a trip to Dolphin Mall; an immense outlet centre with no real equivalent in scale to anything in the United Kingdom. It had to be 2 or 3 times the size of Westfield or the Trafford Centre. After stopping at a few stores and picking up some items of clothing that were much cheaper than in the UK, we attempted to return to the car before going to the Cheesecake Factory located at the mall. Unfortunately locating an exit seemed to require 7 left turns, 9 right turns and the sacrifice of at least one credit card to the god of retail, it was a layout that many casinos in Las Vegas would envy. After finally locating the exit and dropping our bags in the car we proceeded to the Cheesecake Factory; after waiting 30 minutes to secure a table we began by sharing the buffalo wings as a starter. I must confess that throughout my travels, the buffalo wings at the cheesecake factory are the most consistently excellent of any I have had in the world. I then ate the cauliflower tacos (pictured below) for the main course, followed by the pecan cheesecake (also pictured below), while my youngest brother had a chicken burger approximately the size of his head for mains, it still eludes me how he managed to fit it in his mouth! After become quite full indeed, we headed back to the car and fell into a food induced slumber shortly after arriving back at the hotel.

April 8th

The day began much as any other, with breakfast in the Club Lounge, however this was to be a far more hectic affair than days prior. We first journeyed to south beach, solely so as to state that we had been, picking up ice cream from Haagen-Dazs while we were there. After a few hours on South Beach, we took a quick trip to the Art Deco Welcome Centre, again with no intention to visit, but so I could grab some postcards from the gift shop. While I will not bore you dear reader, it will suffice to say that I had not been able to locate any postcards anywhere I had visited and was getting rather desperate at this point. After locating and purchasing postcards, we returned to the hotel for a brief rest before taking a trip to chick-fil-a to rather guiltily try a chicken sandwich. After this, my younger brother and I travelled to the FTX arena to see the Miami Heat take on the Atlanta Hawks; I will never be able to understand certain americanisms such as playing the Star Spangled Banner or the fine line between what constitutes “atmosphere” in the US and what would be labelled “corny as hell” in the UK. That said, I found the experience thoroughly enjoyable, our seats were in an excellent position (pictured below) and while the food and drink was as overpriced as any sports arena, the game itself was excellent and left little room for complaint.

April 9th & 10th

I have condensed these two days as although there were occurrences across the 48 hours, neither block of 24 hours had enough interesting occurrences to warrant its own section. The 9th was made up of a visit to a local waterpark, whose name now eludes me, which involved the usual waterpark attractions such as a slide and lazy river, on the whole a perfectly average experience. This was followed by a trip to yet another of my US guilty pleasures, Taco Bell; there is something oddly appealing about the neon green mountain dew coupled to the food which is neither tex, nor really mex. Then, as we drove back, I partook in yet another US guilty pleasure, dunkin doughnuts, specifically their iced coffee with so much sugar that my younger brothers chose not to partake due the insulin requirements, alongside a triple chocolate doughnut that is as perfectly round as you will be after eating it (pictured), the true American experience! The 10th involved a 5 hour trip to the Everglades for 2 airboat rides, a swamp buggy and meeting an alligator who decided to fall asleep and refuse to move; after which we went to Taco Bell, again.

April 11th

The second to last day in Florida is memorable for two reasons, firstly the visit to Taquiza at North Beach, where we had truly excellent food despite the red flags raised by the sticky floor upon entry. The blue masa tacos and tortilla chips were exquisite, I would definitely recommend the restaurant to anyone visiting the area (pictures of food below). After visiting Taquiza, we walked down to North Beach to watch the sunset, passing a “Insomnia Cookies”, where we acquired 1 cookie each to eat on the beach (pictured below). Unfortunately, my mother appeared to forget which direction the sun sets in, for North Beach is located in the east, not the west. Nonetheless, the food and lovely views made the journey worth it.

April 12th

And so the final day arrived, the end of a thoroughly enjoyable day in Miami; but as we didn’t fly out until the evening we were determined to make the most of it. We checked out of the hotel, with the final bill for the club lounge (tips only) being extremely reasonable. Before we departed, we ate lunch at Pizza No1 in Wynwood and at the Salty Donut for dessert, where I had a lovely alfredo doughnut (pictured) before heading to Miami International.

We knew it would be a busy flight for the first leg to Atlanta, American had been offered $1000 vouchers for people to move to a later flight when we tried to check in online the day before, so we arrived in plenty of time. We cleared TSA with a breeze before taking a short 2 hour flight to Atlanta, where we boarded our flight back to the UK. Our return transatlantic flight was a British Airways flight on one of their new 787-9s, unfortunately this offers an extremely inferior economy product compared to American Airlines, with capacity being prioritised over comfort and the IFE box in the middle aisle seats being located in the area under the seat in front of you, severely restricting legroom, while the seat was adequately padded. Fortunately, as with most British Airways flights, an inferior seat was saved by excellent food, drink and service. After 45 minutes, pretzels and drinks were offered, with an excellent selection of alcohol available compared to that which US airlines tend to provide on trans-atlantic services, I opted for a Baccardi white rum with coke.

The hot meal followed soon after, and it was really night and day with that served on my outbound flight, the chicken actually came with seasoning and the sauce was tasty, the salad pot with mozzarella edible despite skimping on the pesto somewhat, while the chocolate moose was sublime and would not have been out of place in Business class.

Tea and coffee was served promptly after the meal, after which the cabin lights were dimmed and I drifted off to sleep. I was awoken about an hour before landing with the offer of more tea/coffee and a croissant with cheese and ham which I gladly accepted. On the whole, a typical British Airways economy flight, a lacklustre seat with poor legroom on a plane that was so cramped it could have only been ordered during Willie Walsh’s tenure as CEO, that was saved by good food, an excellent drinks offering and great service.

On the whole, a thoroughly enjoyable trip to Miami, I would certainly consider returning.

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Comic Alley

Snark Quest, Page Three: High in the Clouds by Zoran

Are you confused about certain creatures, things, or references from the comic? Well never fear! For starting with this edition of the comic we will be posting a brief bit of information about one aspect present in the comic! We're introducing Zoran's Compendium of the West, and every one of its entries will be compiled in a dispatch found here! We shall start with the monster that appeared in this issue, the Crabtypus.

The Crabtypus

Classification: Invasive Hybrid
Threat Level:
To Zoran: Apocalyptic
Everyone else: mild annoyance

Preferred prey: Zoran
Population Status: Not a concern

Description: The Crabtypus is a monstrous hybrid creature that first appeared in Teralyon’s comic “Crabtypus” in the December 2020 Edition of The Western Post. This creature is entirely Tera's creation, I do not take credit for this creature (nor would I want to).

It was created by Teralyon as a delegacy gift to the Crab King and Platypus Delegate Dilber. In a conversation with fellow TWPAF crew members who were elected to their deputy minister positions (back when those positions were elected) he said believed he could sell them but according to him they were “a little bitey.” He tricked me into watching over the crate the creature was in and was told not to open it. But my curiosity got the better of me and I opened the crate getting immediately bitten in the process. Upon seeing the monster I ran away to Tera to yell at him before running further away. According to Tera, it supposedly isn’t that dangerous as long as it is fed and given exercise, but I doubt this claim!

Abilities: Its main form of defense is its claws which are surprisingly sharp, sharp enough to cut rope. But if it needs to flee, it can climb up nearly anything or escape to the water. However, it has apparently developed the ability to turn invisible, which we all learned when Tera locked the creature and me in the same room where I was eaten to death (see the Teralyon comic One Crab One Vote) by the creature. I was later revived by the grace of Halo (The Holy Principality of Saint Mark) which is why I am able to write this account.

Habitat: Since it evolved its ability to turn invisible, the Crabtypus population has exploded in the wild jungle of The West Pacific. It has become somewhat of a pest that lurks around in the trees and rivers of the jungle that can occasionally be seen passing through the streets of the region. They primarily live near rivers but they can occasionally be found in the sewer, the beach, or in the trees.

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Musique Ouest: Eurovision 2022
By Fujai, Editor-in-Chief

Hark! A new column! I'm Fujai and this is where I subject people to my taste in music!

Next week, televisions across continents will be buzzing with singing and dancing as Eurovision 2022 is broadcast live from Torino, Italy. Måneskin won last year's edition with LinkZitti e Buoni, giving Italy the right to host this year's event instantly launching themselves to intercontinental stardom with several other hits, including I Wanna Be Your Slave, Coraline, and Beggin'. It's been a wild ride to get here the past few months, with plenty of controversy and drama that no one here—myself included—cares about, so on to the music! Going into Eurovision week these are my top five songs this year, plus a few extras:

Top 5

1 - Lithuania 🇱🇹 - LinkSentimentai
by Monika Liu

I will not be surprised if this is my most-listened to song of the year—the glamor, sensuality, and massive amount of skill and showmanship Monika brings to the stage is frankly incredible. Sentimentai is Lithuania's first entry since 1994 that has been sung entirely in Lithuanian, and I'm very glad for it. I didn't know that this style of music was something I was missing in my life until I heard it, but I'm desperate to find more.

2 - Serbia 🇷🇸 - LinkIn corpore sano
by Konstrakta

A performance, truly. Konstrakta's incredible art piece of a performance swept me away from the first time I listened to it. Konstrakta has put out some of the most unique staging I've seen and it works incredibly well for her song. She sings of the impossible beauty standards, criticizes the Serbian healthcare system, mass media, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic while pointing out how all of these distract from the importance of mental health. After all, a umetnica mora biti zdrava.

3 - Latvia 🇱🇻 - LinkEat Your Salad
by Citi Zēni

Hehehe, these wholesome boys have stolen many hearts this year with good reason. On-stage, they have an incredible energy and presence such that the stage never feels empty like it can with some other performances, and off-stage they seem like just really sweet folks who want everyone to be happy. Their song also absolutely slaps, and it certainly wouldn't be Eurovision without a sax solo.

4 - Iceland 🇮🇸 - LinkMeð hækkandi sól
by Systur (aka Sigga, Beta & Elín)

These three sisters from Reykjavík have had me diving into Icelandic folk in a big way the last few months and have continued Iceland's streak near the top of my rankings that's lasted for 4 years now! (Love you Hatari and Daði) This is just...a really good song and their staging works very well for just being three people and a drummer staying in the same position.

5 TIE - Slovenia 🇸🇮 - LinkDisko
by LPS

MY HEROES!! These kids are just 17 years old—they started in Slovenia's national selection in the newcomer stage before the main selection even began, getting all the way to the national final and winning it all with 30% more votes than the next favorite. Is their performance perfectly polished? No, no one's is. Are they incredibly talented musicians with a slappin' song and a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of them? Absolutely.

5 TIE - Sweden 🇸🇪 - LinkHold Me Closer
by Cornelia Jakobs

This one's been one of my sleeper hits this year—I watched most of Melodifestivalen this year, but wasn't a huge fan of Hold Me Closer at the time. Just the last month, though, it's been getting stuck in my head more and more. I love the emotion Cornelia puts into her singing and the lyrics are just really good. All hail the green disk!

Honorable Mentions

Italy 🇮🇹 - LinkBrividi
by Mahmood and Blanco

Ahh the favorites! Brividi has been the favorite to win basically since they won Sanremo in January, and rightly so. Mahmood previously represented Italy with Soldi in 2019, placing second to the Netherlands, and has stayed a favorite among fans since. I do love the song and once I actually learn the words, I wouldn't be surprised if it got into my top five.

Ukraine 🇺🇦 - LinkStefania (Стефанія)
by Kalush Orchestra

The drama! Kalush Orchestra placed second in Ukraine's national final to Alina Pash's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, but finished with nearly 50% of the televote against seven other artists. Due to some controversy, Alina Pash withdrew from being the country's representative, and Kalush were asked to compete in her place. Personally, no one will hold a candle to Go_A, but I do very much enjoy Stefania and its meaning, and I very much look forward to seeing them in the final!

United Kingdom 🇬🇧 - LinkSpace Man
by Sam Ryder

A good entry? From the UK? In my Eurovision Song Contest? I guess it's a lot more likely than you think because absolutely no one had this on their bingo card this year. Sam Ryder is far and away the UK's best entry since I've been following Eurovision. He's got a great song, is incredibly talented, and I hope he goes far.

Czechia 🇨🇿 - LinkLights Off
by We Are Domi

Czechia was one of the first countries to release their entry this year, and Lights Off has been on my radar ever since—the vibes were good, the staging was good, it was all good! It still is, certainly, but the revamp of the song left some things to be desired in my own opinion, but they're still high up on my charts this year!

National Final Roundup
A couple of my favorite songs from national finals that didn't make it to the big stage.

Spain 🇪🇸 - LinkTerra
by Tanxugueiras

If they had been Spain's representative, Tanxugueiras absolutely would've been in my top 5, hands down. Fabulous song and would've been the first time the Galician language had been performed on the Eurovision stage. Maybe one should revisit a voting system that allows a song garnering a completely unheard of 70% of the televote to place third to a song with less than 4% of the televote. Just sayin.

Spain 🇪🇸 - LinkAy mamá
by Rigoberta Bandini

Another casualty of Spain's national final voting system, Ay mamá was a very fun song about mothers, the liberation of womens' bodies, and belting your heart out under a globe made from a giant breast. What more could be asked for?

Lithuania 🇱🇹 - LinkNot Your Mother
by Lolita Zero

A Lithuanian drag queen with giant horns and glittering head to toe. There's a reason she came second only to Monika Liu.

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All your chocolate belongs to Darkesia
The Western Post Staff - Delegate: Giovanniland - Editor-in-Chief: Fujai - Staff: Aluminum Oxynitride, Blue Bubble, Bran Astor, Fhaengshia, Gryphonian Alliance, Overthinkers, Podium, Santos-Dominius, So Long, Teralyon, United Adaikes, Wymondham, Zoran, and YOU
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