The great Expat Exodus – PNG to the World

Well, it’s that time of year, when the schools are finishing up, kids and wives go away for Christmas waiting for hubby’s to catch up later, and then all those families that go pinis (go finish – leave) after finishing up 1, 2 or 3 year contracts, and even those that have moved on from life here in the tropics – the long termers…

This time around is having a profound effect on the Bird family with lots and lots of our friends and PNG family leaving this December. Most people are now finishing up 3 years and some 2, but it’s the ones that came up the same time as us that is really hard to say good bye to. They were the families that shared the shock of new culture, of living behind razor wire, and of finding their way in the Land of the Unexpected.

They leave, and we consider the journey, friends lost today, but gained forever.

PNG does strange thing to people, brings us together even though we might never be “mates” anywhere else. Gets us tolerating those little issues that might piss you off back home, and gives us an appreciation of other countries, cultures and ways of life. It changes you… Mostly for the better, and that’s why it is so hard to say goodbye, so we don’t. We say “congratulations” and plan to meet one day, somewhere else, if only for a short while. And we do…

Our children, so resilient, see their friends depart. The tears, the frustrations, but also the knowledge that the world is a small place, and they will always have their PNG friends.

You all know who you are, you are still reading my blog :). Thank you all for being a part of our adventure. Remember, when you want to get away from the craziness of the world, there’s always beds here in Port Moresby – the insane sane place in an insane world.

And once you have left, and can’t hit me, I’m gonna post photos!



Expat Living in Port Moresby

There is something to be said about life in another country, it either makes you a more tolerant person, or less so. Sadly, here in Moresby it can flit from one day to the next, but there is one thing most people here can’t abide and that is those expats that think they are better than everyone else.

A prime example today, we were grocery shopping and on leaving the grocery shop, here’s a van blocking all the traffic whilst a bunch of young expat blokes disembark, only for the van to move forward 5 meters and drive into a vacant car park – sorry guys, but that’s just rude. A little sign in the front of the van “ADF”…

Then there is the big white Prado, that sits blocking the entrance to whatever entrance it can find so it’s passengers only have to walk 2 meters to the door. These big white Prado’s are pretty recognizable as Exxon Mobil vehicles – commonly with people inside that get told off if they stand in the sun….

And then there is the van that takes kids to the school and parks on the pedestrian crossing where the other children have to cross. It has diplomatic plates too….

Or the guy that yells across the cafe for another coffee because he is now a lazy shit that realizes he can only get away with it here.

And the diplomatic plated car that always takes 2 car parks at the grocery store, same one everytime. Maybe drive a smaller car bro.

And the guy who can barely dress himself, yelling at the store assistant because it took a little longer for the assistant to get the computer to record the transaction.

Or the car driving up the freeway in excess of 140km/hr during the school run when there are little kiddies walking up the side of the road.

So, if you are coming to Port Moresby, or Papua New Guinea. Forget about being the “big boss man”, drop your baggage at the airport, embrace your new expat life, try to be respectful to the locals, and remember – there is no need to do things here that you can’t get away with at home…