PNG 20 Lessons

Lesson 1: If you need a good night sleep, drink SP Lager.
Lesson 2: Don’t open your curtains into a hot Port Moresby sun if you don’t want to blind yourself
Lesson 3: You don’t need the aircon blasting in your Hotel room, stick it on low and in the low/mid 20’s, that way it won’t be too much of a shock when you go outside.
Lesson 4: If you like a hot shower get up early
Lesson 5: Use your cellphone as an alarm clock, the Hotel alarm clock constantly blinks having reset itself with a power cut
Lesson 6: if you have the opportunity to pee – then pee. I think people thought I had a problem, always rushing off to the loo – but, I have drunk so much water, when the need arises, I don’t want to be stuck somewhere with no toilet.
Lesson 7: Don’t bag expats or locals. Not everyone is here for the dollar, nor is everyone a rascal.
Lesson 8: Don’t forget stuff, it’s bloody hard once you are driving to turn back.
Lesson 9: No one knows how to drive! Even if they do know how to drive, pretend they don’t. Pretend you are on a motorcycle in the middle of rush hour, and you are wearing no helmet and a pink tutu. Everyone looks at you, but nobody sees you coming. And if you get hit – you get knocked off your bike.
Lesson 10: Don’t be angry – with anyone, at anytime.
Lesson 11: You can’t say hello to everyone, you will never get anywhere
Lesson 12: if you have clean phobia’s don’t bother coming to Port Moresby, it’s a beautiful city, but very dusty and pride in Port Moresby’s appearance doesnt seem to exist.
Lesson 13: Don’t be stupid. We watched a young attractive expat woman walking down the main road in Town on her cellphone, with her handbag just hooked over her shoulder. In most places I have been to she will have had her bag snatched pretty quickly. Sean was of the same opinion, and voiced it straight away.
You don’t do that in many countries in the world, it is too much temptation. And the problem is, if someone snatchs her bag – they will get caught, and have the crap beaten out of them. All you have lost is your bag – because you were stupid, they get beaten up – because they were hungry and opportunistic and you were carrying a nice cream donut over your shoulder.
Lesson 14: Be polite and respectful. There is nothing more charming than chatting to the angry looking security guard for 10 minutes. We talked about where he was from, where I was from, Rugby League (state of origin starts this week), PNG and Port Moresby. To the nice man at the gate of the Ela Beach Hotel – thank you, I really enjoyed our conversation.
Lesson 15: Sometimes you have to say hello first – don’t be a sour puss or too afraid. (that has always been my number 1 rule of travel). It doesn’t matter who it is, I introduced myself to an American man at the bar on Thursday night, asked to sit at his table – he was having a meeting soon, and we talked. If I didn’t go up to him, both he and I would have spent 15 minutes alone.
Lesson 16: Panadol and Water, both for the heat – you don’t want to dehydrate, or wander around with a headache.
Lesson 17: Always have your car licensing and drivers license on you and up to date, we went through about 5 checkpoints where the police were checking rego and safety stickers. I was warned that they like taking your money and will pressure expat wives as they normally have money. They also pull over every cab driver. Andrew was saying that the taxi’s will flick them 20kina as a “tip” to be on their way. We watched a van go through the checkpoint, and it looked like it had done about 30 demolition derbys, obviously they had no money, so no reason to pull them over – cynical I know.
Lesson 18: don’t get to close to trucks driving the freeway. A truck ran off the bottom of the freeway the other day, and killed a couple of people. Then a bus smashed into the back of a truck on the freeway, thankfully no deaths. Remember Lesson 9.
Lesson 19: Patience. Be patient with everyone. Port Moresby is a melting pot of so many different cultures. Not only do you have the many different cultures within PNG, but there are Australians, English, Filipino, Canadians, Korean, Malaysian, Americans, Kiwi’s…. All trying to find their way in the Land of the Unexpected.
Lesson 20: If you see it – buy it. I know that this message has been done to death, but it is reiterated here. Something as simple as sugar, you are only allowed 1 small bag. So if you see it – buy it.

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3 thoughts on “PNG 20 Lessons

  1. Same old standard question. Looking at expat role in PNG. wife, three kids (10,8,5) Having done a few years in a quiet area of fiji, we just dont fit in back in NZ.
    I have never tweeted, or blogged, so not sure this will even go anywhere!
    Can we make contact to ask the smae old quesitons you appear to be versed in πŸ™‚

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