I’m back in Port Moresby after a lovely break in Australia.
I was there for the 21st birthday party of my Twin brothers. It was a Star Wars theme, so I went as Han Solo.
It was nice to be back in Australia, catching up with family. Of course, Australia has its quirks, particularly in the rural areas. One knows one is in Australia when one sees a “ute” (Utility pick-up truck) with a sticker on it saying, “Yes, you’ve just been overtaken by a girl”.
Another sign that one is in the land Down Under…
At the gym, they write on the mirror “Seriously, pack your S#!T up!”
I made sure when I had finished that I packed my shit up.
Only in Australia would a company be called “Rent a Bomb” (they rent older vehicles).
Though, they weren’t as old as this car parked outside of a youth hostel in Cairns.
And lastly, you might be in Australia if…
There is a hairdresser’s called “Chev Hair” with half a Chevrolet in the foyer.
I wonder what kind of hair styles they do at “Chev Hair”. I bet they’re high-maintenance.
On my first weekend back, I went to a concert by a local band named, “Sanguma”.
They are local celebrities in the Port Moresby music industry.
Personally, I found them a bit tepid and self-indulgent. It was interesting culturally though.
They played one song that used a special flute that looked like a didgeridoo. They explained that it is culturally significant for a particular tribe in the Highlands. They explained, “They play the flute when a girl experiences her first menstruation or there is a killing.” I’m not sure that girls would be particularly grateful for having that piece of news broadcast around the town with a flute.
I had to travel out to the “Pineapple Building” for work last week. It is empty at the moment because apparently, it was poorly-built and then condemned. There is now a major refurbishment underway to fix it up. I noticed that there is a big sign out the front boasting about the work that is underway. Nothing like masking somebody’s screw up as progress.
I was saddened to see this fellow begging on the street this week. He has a disability and has to beg for money to survive. I asked a colleague about this and he confirmed that there is no social safety net here. People with disabilities rely completely on charity and family as the government cannot afford to offer pensions.
I was intrigued by this picture in the paper recently. The British military traditions that are continued in Australia and Scotland are also maintained here in PNG.
Work continues to keep me busy. The project is progressing really well. This is a photo of the training that has been underway for some months now.
We had a distraction during a meeting recently. These two window cleaners were busily in action on the building across the street.
I survived living and working in Afghanistan, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to take on this job.
The fellow on the left here was sitting on the side of the building before he hooked himself on to the ropes.
PNG has some unique traits. This is the “Hillsong” section of the CDs and DVDs in a local Department store. That particular Australian religious cult is a powerful force in this country.
PNG moment for the week: Someone stole the bowls from my kitchen. So I bought some more at J-mart today. I was juggling bags and opening the boot and dropped the only bag with fragile items inside. I checked and sure enough it looked like a Greek wedding in there. That was most frustrating. So now I STILL don’t have enough bowls.
I had heard good reports of a coffee shop named “Duffy” here in Port Moresby. I had a meeting there the other day, so I had to look up the map to work out how to get there. In perusing the map, I noticed that on the map, the Australian High Commission is marked as the “Aussie High Comm”. Only in PNG.
The cafe gets two thumbs up. It’s like a little bit of Paris here in the tropics. Of course paying $16 for coffee and cake makes it feel less like Paris.
Until next post card…