An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Never A Dull Moment

Simple things can become sagas.

Got offered a lift into town at lunch. Decided to take. Need to pay off that bloody PNG Power bill I keep forgetting. Don't want them to turn off the power while I am away for two weeks. Get dropped off on the main street. Arrange to meet my lift buddy back at his car after Utility bill paying is complete. Nearly get run down by a raskol running towards me from the bank. Screams of "holdim, holdim" follow as well as a few pursuers. They don't catch him. Think to myself "That guy should become a professional runner and win gold for PNG" - he was going fast. See cops zoom off from the cop shop in their troop carriers. Think wow that is some fast response. Get to PNG Power only to discover that they are closed - "nogat pawa yah" (blackout). Walk back towards my rides car. Decide to pop into the bank and get some small notes for next week. Underestimate the size of the queue. Spend far too long waiting. System goes down three-quarters from the end. Fill in a slip of paper and hand to a bank teller who knows me. A wantok, one of our students. Tell him I will be right back. Go outside and discover my ride has disappeared. Go back in the bank and get my cash. Wander around outside to see if I can spot the vehicle. Go back to PNG Power when I figure I have more time to kill now. Utility still closed - bloody blackout. Wander around some more, vehicle definitely gone. Try to ring the office to see if he has returned without me - my mate should get a mobile phone, this is the 21st century - can't get a connection after 5 attempts, "Network Busy". Think "This is the 21st Century!". Receive a text message from another mate. Read it and smile. Decide to go and jump on a bus to Eriku instead. Get to Eriku and get a phone call from the office. "Yu we?" (where are you?), "mi stap long Eriku nau, mi kam long bas" (I'm at Eriku on the bus), get informed that my mate has returned and he tells me I should catch the bus. Think "good advice". Get off at Eriku and pay the bas kru. Find another bus going to Unitech straight away. Some luck at last. Catch that one and make it back without a hitch. Find my mate at the office and get an apology. Tell him no worries, inform him that I should have told I was going to bank as well. Sit down on my seat and look forward to the wine tasting tonight at the International hotel I was informed about via the text message. Nice.

Two hours in the life of me. All fun and games.