I have had some amazing experiences in Port Moresby, and even the flight home is providing me with more. I had a sleep in this morning, was up at 5am (7am NZ Time), sorted my bags out, did some blogging (PNG 20 Lessons), and then down to have breakfast as late as possible. Again, they haven’t sorted my complimentary breakfast, I had a chat with the young waitress from yesterday – who was pleased that I wasn’t making a fuss. Back to the room and bumped into the cleaner who has been cleaning my room, had another nice chat. This is a problem though cause a 1 minute walk sometimes takes 10 minutes…
Checked out of the Hotel, and sorted out the extra charges for breakfast. The front desk staff just removed them from the bill, which was good. Maybe I should have just sorted it out the day before…
Got hold of Syd who came and picked me up to take me through to the airport, we had a good chat in the car, and he is very keen to throw some consulting work at JB around Lotus Notes.
Arrived at the airport, and set off the first metal detector with a pen in my pocket. They scan all your luggage and yourself before you checkin, then through checkin, up to Duty Free, and then to customs – where I had to get screened and scanned again. Again the buzzer went, so I am holding the queue up trying to find the pen, which I didn’t have on me. So took off my belt and watch, and went through fine.
Got a bottle of water for the plane ride, and sat reading a book until departure. Meanwhile an Aussie lady with a wee boy named Jaxon sat next to me, he was a bit hyper and giving his mum some grief so I started up my iPad and we played one of the kids puzzle games until boarding. It is amazing how kids just get how to use an iPad, he figured it out pretty good. Then we had to go through another set of bag screening checking for liquids… Manually opening the bags, and of course my bottle of water was confiscated… Hmmm.
Sitting now next to a chap from the Southern Highlands (Andrew), who lives in Mosbi and works next door to work in the BSP bank. We hit it off pretty quick and had many discussions over a couple of hours. I am going to catch up with him when I get back up into PNG and he is going to take me out and about. I am normally a good judge of people, and felt like I had known Andrew for ages. I’m a little concerned that he is going to take me into the settlements, however I have been in the slums of India, through some pretty dodgy places in Africa, and am most likely to be silly and go into the settlements by myself – so more than happy to be going in there with someone else. It will diffuse the temptation for me :). Andrew is part of the credit department at the bank, it’s his job to reclaim money’s owing or repossessions. I don’t fancy that job, people can get pretty particular if you take their stuff away, but imagine taking away something from the entire family and extended family (wantok). wantok – pronounced wontok, is a more complex family group similar to whanau and iwi. You are responsible for your wantok’s and they you, wantok’s could be family, tribe, village and I think even friends. Something else really interesting about PNG is that even though someone might come from Port Moresby, born and raised – they don’t seem to call Mosbi home. Home is where their family comes from, it might be a coastal village or highland village, which is maybe why there is a lot less pride in Mosbi. I am sure it is a lot more complex than this, but that is what I get the feeling… It’s like that saying “you never shit in your own backyard” well, Mosbi isn’t their backyard – it’s just where they are living.
I also get the impression, that lots of people don’t actually go “home”, net migration to the city does create a disparity and with poverty, there is possibly just no way that they can get back to their villages, if in fact the village is still there.
What is also amazing about PNG people is how different people look, I know that Kiwi’s look different to Aussies, but these are tribes that look different. It’s just, so amazing. I never thought to ask what tribe Andrew is from, but I am sure that we will be able to have many discussions in the future :)
I am sure that I am really going to enjoy the PNG cultures, and hope that it shines through where corruption, poverty and crime are normally in the limelight.
Right now we are an hour out of Brisbane, the seat I am in is killing my back, and I need a sleep… Fat chance there eh :)