Monday, August 29, 2005

don't dress up fancy

What I am about to print is embarrasing - mostly because it comes from someone who in PNG academia and also because this is (very sadly) indicative of some of the very real fucked up social issues we are facing today - especially in regards to AIDS.

As a woman in this country I can tell you that there are some very socially & psychologically retarded neanderthals out there that will distort and creatively massacre and regurgutate biological theories and historical scenarios to suit their own malformed agendas ... agendas that promote the idea that women are responsible for all the shitty things that men do to them. Women, who in this country are the driving force behind informal labour and 76% of the economy; women who sell 20t iceblocks to send their children to school with a bread roll in their pocket; women who do not have the money or the opportunity to have recreational sex but are married to men who do - men bring home the deadliest of all STDs - AIDs. The AIDS statistics in this country are truly shocking ... because of lack of education, because sex is a taboo subject, and largely because of misdirection by the likes of our friend who wrote the letter below.

So you'll understand why this letter makes me so mad I can't see straight. In another place, this might seem like some kind of ridiculous hoax - trust me when I say that unfortunately that is not the case.

JCD picked this up in last Thursday's Post Courier.

Don't dress up fancy
AIDS is a major threat to all those who are sexually active. We hear and see from the media about the safety measures to be taken against AIDS. Use of condom is the safe way to prevent against AIDS. Of course, this is not true because it is like removing upper parts of an unwanted plant in a garden without having to uproot it. The plant will grow again in few weeks time. In the same way, so many condoms are involved in sex but never effectively prevent the transmission of the virus.Sex is a reproductive process which occurs in every living organism at certain times. In animals, the female is on heat for only three days waiting for a male counter part in order to reproduce. Birds and frogs make sounds to attract male counterparts when ovaries are ready to be fertilised. The similar phenomenon is true for humans. That is to say the females leave some private part of their bodies exposed in their dressing. When male counterparts see it their eyes receive the message and send it to the brain. The brain receives it, converts it and then sends another message to the male reproductive organs to act accordingly. Thus, produce hormones that stimulates the whole body which leads to unsafe sex, rapes and so on just to satisfy the desire. Those women neglect their duties as woman and relate themselves as a sex object. I am a biologist and I have a lot more to say on this, but please National AIDS Council, instead of promoting condoms do something about fancy dressing.

I really don't know what he is on about - even if we ignore all the mumbo-sexist-jumbo and the joke of a lecture on biology & the laws of attraction - as JCD said, women here do not dress 'fancy'. Unless mumus and meri blouses and laplaps and massive outsized shirts and loose shorts and long skirts are 'fancy' clothing.

Back in the 60s and the 70s women in Port Moresby wore the shortest skirts and the highest hotpants ... all the name of the truly world-wide fashions and free-love etc beliefs of the time. Since that time, the skirts have got longer and women don't wear shorts unless they're well below the knee. Women dress BAGGY ... as a woman here, I can see there is definitely an attempt by young women on the street NOT to attract attention, by clothes, or heaven forbid - fashion. Nothing is too short, nothing too tight. And when on the (very) rare occasion it is - everyone notices. It makes me so mad that we are being SUBJUGATED yet again ... please note NOT every man from PNG is a backward-looking ignoramus ... but there are a few who make it horrible and hard for the rest of us - primarily because their mentality has encouraged a general perception that women are somehow responsible - RESPONSIBLE - for what befalls them. And I don't see men taking responsiblity for their ignorant views - they make women responsible for the horrible and often violent consequences of those views. I see men, both the 'good' men and the ignorant a**holes, expecting us to cover up and accept the status quo.

Not so long ago, I was sitting at the airport, waiting for a friend on a flight and one man had the audacity to come off the street and tell me to cross my legs - can you even imagine?? Needless to say I gave him the death-stare and told him in no uncertain terms that I was the boss of my legs and he should shut up and f-off. I mean, the thing is, a lot of these guys look at women as propietary - even women they do not know - like women must be careful not to excite the highly excitable imagination/organs of the male who then is unable to control himself and its ergo, always, her fault, when she gets attacked, mutilated, violated, killed.

The letter above does not say anything entirely new - it was accepted for a long time in British and even Australian Courts that women had a duty not to set-off the uncontrolable impulses of rogue males ... that somehow a woman should take responsibility for being attacked.

I will refrain from a massive rant & rave - mostly because I have work to do. But now you can see just what kind of uninformed sometimes ingenious and defintiely ignorant attitudes women here are up against. And because the vast majority of women are not formally educated and not aware of their 'rights' to be treated equally etc ... they absorb these destructive views and at the very least, accept them as the way of life here.

According to my family, my problem is that I can't understand that. And I tell them no - I understand it - I just can't accept it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

week in the life of

Hiya. Been super-busy this weeeeek. Big boss & ors came up from Sydney. Monday nite with my old nanny, Lusam, and her kids ... including the twins whom I named back when they were just blips on the ultra-sound in 2002 - Enoch and Leah : had to go to a funeral for a cousin baby who died : 2x 6am drop-off/pick-up at the international airport : wed - big work dinner, drank copious amounts of wine and had my first fag with my boss : tues - big-time family meeting with all the aunties & uncles to discuss the sky falling in last week in Enga : very busy with board of directors meeting of youth service club I am member of and various activities associated with that : organising finance for a bank loan re housie-housie-housie : getting yelled at intermittently by this boss and MyMama : Jimmy Barnes is in town tonight so will be attending with my beautiful Fiona's : due to spend w/end in office and when not in office, practising staying alive on Port Moresby's roads as I go behind the wheel ... just another week.

Pretty blah, huh. Wouldn't mind squeezing a main squeeze in there somewhere. At some stage.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

you wouldn't know it

You wouldn't know it ... but sometimes I miss Sydney so bad I can taste it. Some of you will know what I mean. Not so much SIDONEEEEEEEE ... but the mourning of having left something, some life, some limb behind, that can't ever be reclaimed, relived, refit. And I miss it. Miss a blue sky and a windy day. Miss knowing there is nothing in the distance except the future.

beautiful image

A sheet of late afternoon rain falls, catching the setting sun as Papua New Guinea goalkeeper Tapas Posman clears the ball during an Oceania Nations Cup game against New Zealand. Photograph by Tim Clayton, a Fairfax photogrpaher published in SMH.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Things have been a bit glum lately - rather, I have been. Somehow I have gotten wrapped up in this life I think is mine but really, in this place, belongs to my Family in a strange way. The lost sheep and all of that.

Last night I spent a few hours at the house of people my age who live together and not at home and basically have normal working and social life - believe me when I say that having that in this city is not as easy as it sounds.

So MM commented that I looked tired. He should have said 'haggard'. I am exhausted.

Just comandeering the basics in this place has, for me, been a completely alien exercise ... trying to reclaim some basic independence for a girl who has only known a life of independence from her family since she was in Grade 7.

Getting there ... just not at turbo speed.

Not sure how someone took away all the steps and I am back on the bottom rung again ... but dealing and starting to figure out that maybe the ladder isn't vertical after all.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I just would like to know how I let this woman, this beautiful stunning intelligent long-legged cocoa-skinned spiteful jealous mean money-hungry woman, my cousin Muzz, how did I let her get to me again?!

Until last Friday Muzz and I had not spoken in 3 years. And I still don't know why. For some reason she has waged a one-woman crusade against me. Actually, there is a reason - jealousy.

Why didn't she know that I always looked up to her. She was the fun bright star, the shining fiery heart, she burnt bright and lit all of us up in her wake. That's how I choose to remember the childhood I shared with Muzz and our 4 other siblings combined.

Perhaps what I am ignoring is the sensation of being burnt, of Muzz's sparkler burning me at the edges, of her brightness blinding me to her faults. I saw her meanness. But I never thought she would use it against me. Not so directly. Not so vehemently. I knew she dug a little bit of earth away from my roots all the time, I knew she resented me, somehow wanted me to falter ... but I thought she would outgrow that, I thought that our love and our bond would mean more than any of those belittling emotions.

But she couldn't handle it.

I partly blame my family. Always comparing us. Always matching the 6 of us against each other - Ricebag, BabySister, Muzz and the other 3. I've had my own demons too because of it.

And the result? I think I still love Muzz. I can't escape that. There's too much blood, too much history. But I do not like her.

Muzz left college and got impregnated out of (shock-horror) wedlock and put MyMama and our whole lot through a dry ringer and it was stressorama for all of us. But we all survived her fuck-ups - partly because she produced two of the most unimaginably aware, intelligent and gorgeous girls ever. And we all moved on together. And her falling apart since then and her subsequent divorce and losing custody of those girls hasn't fractured my family and put Muzz back in the centre of the crumbling bowl the way she would have liked. Instead, we've all coped with it and gotten on and are going about letting her life be hers. And I give a big-up to my family, for the oldies, for emerging from their comfy old stifling ways and letting us be who are are, for better or for whatever.

And now ricebag returns. Living, seeming to have lived the life Muzz kissed off when she came back to PNG & made babies with a certain Mr R. She is spitting vipers.

And when I spoke to her on Friday my heart stopped. And skipped a beat. And I talked to her. And she just couldn't help herself. Belittling me. And I managed to speak up for myself - although not as well as I should have. Pity her, I remind myself. Pity. The very lowest of sentiments, Muzz and I once agreed. And it's hers. And I ask myself why this intense jealousy? And I think it's because she resents me for still being single; for still seeming to be starting out; for falling in and out of lust and making love in all the wrong places; for hitching and hiking and almost dying and almost really living; for being insanely weary; for knowing beauty and loving ugly; for still being who I said I would always be - just me.

And I refuse to lose any sleep over her closing madness. I won't. I've got enough handbags of my own to carry.

And I am sad. Because Goddamit she is missing out on ME ... on US. And I don't have convenient amnesia. I remember. We had FUN. We were alive. We made music. We felt free. We dreamt dreams. We lived them. People watched us and felt like being better sisters, best of friends. It was an intense, volatile relationship that could have grown into something more real and substantial if she hadn't convinced herself that all her missing pieces fell through the hole I created when I left her behind and grew up.

And what makes me more mad than sad is that I am missing the 2 babies. I have a right to see them and hug them and watch them grow. And she has cheated all of us in this family of that joy.

At the very least I know I am not afraid of Muzz. I understand parts of her but not all. And I don't really care to. I know all I need to. That she is turning black inside and she doesn't know how to go back.

I'm decided. I'll be there for her when she finds the bottom of her fall. I will be there. But until then she is going to need another flower to piss on.

in just 3 days ...

Remember I was saying how so much stuff is happening all the time, how busy things are in sleepy POMville ... started me thinking how people can cope with going to work when there is so much LIFE just basically happening.

Well since Friday in the life of ricebag

  • my cousin, Der, the first-born son of my Godfather Puff, basically lost it and took an axe to the car and house of Puff's brother, OurHero up in waybag Wabag, Enga Province. Approx K30 000 worth of damage. We've pretty much gone into mini-shock as a family. Der went crazy and China who house-sits for Our-Hero said Der basically went ballistic. And we do not know why. He left a note saying "I am a Man. I make my own decisions" - absolutely crazy. And whats totally scary is that I know Der ... and I do not recognise the manianc who has done this.
  • my wantok, Unlce Leo, was axed across his forehead - all for defending his 13yr old daughter from a brutish pmv bus-driver who basically said he wanted to F-her. He beat that man. That man's men then axed Leo who has since had 17 stitches and was refused admission to the hospital for lack of beds. He is now recovering at home. This could have escalated into all-out war between Engans (my side) and the ones from Mt Hagen (their side) over in the Morata settlement ... but (for once) the intervention of the police eased the tension.
  • what happened to Leo is directly related to an awful incident 4 years ago. A young Engan girl (Leo's niece) was coming home from uni on the 'last bus' (ie 5.30pm) and the bus boys gang-raped her and slit her throat. She crawled from the bus and died in the ditch. UNCONFIRMED REPORTS have it that Leo was behind the retirbution which saw the rapists (from Mt Hagen) murdered in their sleep.

and amongst other things, my beautiful nephew Dhink is sick : ricebag has reignited that lovely flaming pain in her lower lumbar spinal column : ricebags mum and ricebag had a fight on the phone (NEVER a good move) : ricebag had masses of homework to do but due to familial mayhem she couldn't be arsed

ricebag did however manage to do her laundry : she did bleach and wash her white white whites : she played with her namesake and other little-people under the age of 10 for a very long time : rise early before dawn to water the garden and eat mangoes dropping of the tree as the sun rose over the bay : make massive curry for 14 people last night : talk and talk and talk and listen and half-listen for hours and hours

Thursday, August 18, 2005

a little therapy

I was pretty despondent yesterday morning ... nothing unusual. And one of my bosses came into my office and barked "What are you doing?! Come with me!"

And so we went. For a drive. For 2 hours. We just talked. About nothing. Of significance.

And when I returned to the office. I felt better. Better than I had in weeks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

for dr charles

Just so you know Dr Charles, people all the way in this crazy forgotten country are thinking about you.

As I told your daughter ajh, you've got your best mate - G - and I know that as scary as all of this is, that together you can just about kick anything in the teeth and send it back to the pit it crawled out of. You and G have both worked so hard to create together a strong partnership, a beautiful life, a loving family and a home that has also been my home and I don't think for one minute G is going to let you slip up; let your guard down; let you forget just how strong you can be.

Please know I love you too. And I have faith. Buckets of it.

Always, Ricebag

i don't recognise ricebag

*another lager, another day : ricebag down at the pub in london : bartercard snapping this shot : mid-summer 2003 : dingy pub on the road to brixton : just the way we like it : 5 minutes before closing : 6 minutes before kebabs and garlic hot chips*

Never thought I'd be saying this, but, as of yesterday I am trying to reprogram my mentality ... by starting and ending each day with a positive affirmation - for at least a week to see how it goes.

For some reason I have turned into a negative person. I don't recognise ricebag. I feel a distinct and dire lack of self-worth; I feel dum dum dum & I feel slow; I feel (and this is the worst) incompetent.

Having nothing else to blame except for the stress of a job which has the paradox of keeping me up at night (every 45 minutes I shake awake, never having properly teetered off the sleeping cliff) with worry and yet nothing I am actually doing in the office is what I would term as critical. I am, right now, expending serious amounts of energy analysing why I shouldn't quit - and I have NEVER done that before.

Truth be told, I think it boils down to a distinct lack of motivation. Something has GOTTA change. Please, Lord. Chicken before the egg - is it the work, or is it me.

I think 85% of this is in my head. Having never been this near to psychotically-negative before in my life, I am extremely wary of this creature unleashed ... and hence, am willing to try almost anything

... including positive affirmations.

"I, Ricebag, am an intelligent, confident, and articulate person who will become an outstanding **** and **** for my clients."

So I started yesterday and I don't mean to get all Anthony Robbins on everyone but today I woke up NOT feeling absolute shite about myself (still feeling like shit ... but less than usual) for the first time in months. I am hoping that as they say, these affirmations are a powerful tool to reprogram the subconscious.

So now you'll know where I'll be ... in front of the mirror in the morning immediately when I get up and in the evening right before I go to sleep ... for at least a week ... or longer if it means I die a little less inside every time I clock in.

I just need to feel better at work. All my other problems can get positively affirmed at some other time.

Friday, August 12, 2005

i thought that i was free

I thought that I was free.

But I am not. And I never was.

It's kind of like an illusion ... I needed to believe it, to believe that I was choosing my own life ... and I don't criticize that ... it's just that now I am beginning to understand and ... accept ... that there were reasons for what has happened and where I am and the course my life took and those were predetermined by circumstance and things that I and mine thought were necessary and 'real' ... like expectation and other contraints like money and nationality ... meant that when I was moving around it was never free from the boundaries those things set up ... because even the act of trying to move away from those walls meant that they have and do exercise their wall-ness ... trying to move around or outisde them in a way, makes them concrete ... and maybe now I am starting to see that FREE is really just in me ... and I think that's what is a bit scary because implicit in accepting that is that, to some degree, all the other walls, transparent or not, are OK - that we can try to escape them or destory them or shift them but that's not really the point ... and for the better part of my life, it's all been about those walls ... so yeah, I needed the barriers, they gave me some kind of reason ... something external from me ... so that fighting inside against these external stuff gave me the feeling of having strength ... and while that may be true to a degree, I think its more true to say that a lot of that struggling has been grinding more than anything else for me - and for my family, it's just been expensive - don't get me wrong, I am completely appreciative of my privilege, because most of that came at a high bloody cost and a lot of hard work and even harder decisions on the part of my family ... not a thing came for free ... it did not come easy for me or mine to get educated and to go travelling and to make dreams happen ... just to be able to move down or up and out and back and sideways when you come from the circumstances from which the people I love have come, it's a massive fucking achievment - but for myself, for my adult life, I was doing it really in aid of something that means so much less to me now than it did before ... I was working hard for a kind of FREEDOM from lots of things, from those walls ... and that's still important but it's not crucial ... it should have been a part of the evolution, not the resolution ... and now I think I am moving to the next phase, because finding the freedom in me is what I am trying to do ... to choose ... release some of those old demons that I needed to hold onto like disappointment, like self-doubt, like self-loathing, like fear, like desire ... all those things that made me feel I had a right to escape all those external limits that existed before I did ... I am just locating that calm center now, so that every decision, every motivation, now comes from a conscious place within rather than a reaction to things with-out

Thursday, August 11, 2005

fight crime : shoot back

My BOFF (office boss) just gave me 2 stickers : "FIGHT CRIME! SHOOT BACK!"

The BOFF is a super-shooter ... or whatever the correct terminology is for really-really-really- good shooter of hand-guns. He just won a gold medal at some international games.

Gets me thinkin' ... not so long ago just before my return to PNG I was seriously considering joining up at the rifle range just outside of Port Moresby ... I think I have a pretty good eye ... bit of experience SPOTLIGHTING out at Cumnock in country Nuuuuuuuu Saaaath Whales. Not so good at moving targets - but smashed the tin off the fence every time.

I am an unviolent person. UNVIOLENT. I don't abhor violence - I abhor needless and gratuitous violence. And I think a lot of 'violence' is needless. But I do think there is a place for it in every person and every society - just like any other aspect or capacity we have as animals. Unfortunately my society has made it a code of conduct.

And I don't like guns. I. don't. Having spent time around them up close either in PNG or in the Middle East, Central Asia etc ... I am not scared by them per se ... but by the crazy potential they have ... just to end life. end. it. Its so indiscriminating, these weapons ... they don't know of the lives they literally tear apart. The sheer violence of pulling a trigger and the damage that can do - its pretty awesome stuff. Some sick joke that a click and a kick can bring the shit on.

But I still want to learn. Just to know. For a skill. And because you never know. Bit like shu-jitsu. But then again, not.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

going a bit ga-ga

Please send me this. Or something I can read. Desperation lessens my sense of literary discrimination.

My 'choices' are very limited ... there is a distinct lack of books available either to borrow or buy. We have 9 public libraries in this entire country! And from what I've seen they are sadly lacking. And 2 bookshops in our capital city - both of which make a newsagents in Cunnamurra with 1992 back-issues of "The Land" look like it stocks gold. It's a very very poor situation.

Books are just not available here. New ones are harder to find than Osama BinBah. Anything newly published isn't available. And that is because books are a luxury. They don't get imported here. They don't get printed here. They are an expensive commodity in this country and just not as necessary as rice or school fees or buai.

I NEED BOOKS .... though not just any ... & I NEED BOOKSTORES ... here any will do.

I am going a bit ga-ga.

If you feel the urge ... my birthday is coming up in a month ... feel free to send something bound & surprise me at:

PO Box 5033
Papua New Guinea

fat boy

Yesterday marked the moment 60 years ago that a US plane dropped the plutonium bomb known as Fat Man that killed 80,000 people and sealed Japan's defeat in World War II.

On August 6, 1945 the American B-29 bomber known as the Enola Gay released the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare. The 9,000 pound bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" detonated in Hiroshima,

Japan. "Little Boy's" explosion was catastrophic and resulted in 66 thousand instantanous deaths. Total vaporization from the blast measured one half a mile in diameter.

Three days after the release of "Little Boy" a second bomb named "Fat Man" was released on the town of Nagasaki. "Fat Man" weighed 10,000 pounds and annihilated nearly half of the city. In one split-second, the population of Nagasaki dropped from 422,000 to 383,000. As astonishing as this seems, scientist estimate that both "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" only utilized 1/10th of 1 percent of their explosive capabilities.

Completely terrifying that we use words like "nuclear" with such ease today ... sometimes I know one of the great thing about being tucked away in a no-name no-brand country is that threats like this are highly unlikely a la sud pacifica (pray pray and cross fingers).

Monday, August 08, 2005

call me biased

DHINK : call me biased ... but isn't this just the cutest baby ...CMON!!

I am a little sick of feeling such shitty self-esteem these days ... but all I have to do is take a look at my cousin Dhink, baby dundu, and all of a sudden there's this massive bit of perspective shoved in my arms ... yeah, loving having this family constantly remind me that nothing is so bad with them around.

At the risk of sounding softer than I am, I am kind of loving the felicity of children ... they bring their parents such joy - I can see that - and they bring me joy too. Their needs and their love are such blessings ... it's like some kind of pact made with God. He said I'll give you the most important job in the world and your reward for doing it as best you can is the purest kind of love and trust. So I am watching it happen all around me ... to my aunties and uncles who have young kids.

But for now, let us not forget that at the end of the day the reason I am such a good auntie ... is because I know I can always give them back.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

sometimes old people forget

what is feels like when you're young and you're just dying to do so much in what feels like too-too little period of time ... like there isn't enough time to fit in all that massive learning and this big fat world and to experience all the shit and the stars and to breathe and fight and love like sunday is never gonna to come ... sometimes old people forget that the next 10 years can feel like forever and never all in the same instant ... that all this burning and yearning has actual physical effects and consequences ... that the wear and tear and the exhaustion and the all that forwarding and reversing, like badges of honour, they're all the proof required that battles were fought well within ...

and I know that I forget - all the time ... I forget that learning is meant to take time, even when its flooding ... I forget that Love doesn't always have to jump you to knock you out ... I forget that real and strong relationshipos are forged over eons ... I forget that every experience has intrinsic value - and missed experiences just don't count ... I forget that my life is so goddam rich it's thick to suck ... I forget that long-term goals are like umbrellas that protect us from the shitty-want-to-pack-up-and-fuck-off days

and still. and still I feel like there isn't enough time ... I never have ... it used to make me desperate ... sleepless and manic ... I was fun-girl, pretty-girl, bestfriend-girl, mate-girl, smart-girl, sad-girl, loving-girl, lovely-girl, poor-girl, rich-girl, ugly-girl, stunning-girl, dum-girl, fat-girl, skinny-girl ... all these faces ... I wore them like I was taste-testing chillies under the fluro-lights of the hard-bitten exotic foods counter at Coles - only noone told me it was april fools ... yeah, it made me lonely ... but then, having this much life-ambition isn't generally a cake you can cut into smaller pieces ... it's such a beautiful fucking burden ... but boy, I tell you it's heavy ... it's so heavy but at the same time its this fickle tempter because just when you want to not want it so much, you get this perfect flash inside, like a picture, and there is no heavy just in that glittering second and that is all you need to hump over and carry on because somehow that perfect moment lets you know that it's all good, that it's all just a part of getting there, that there is in fact, a there

and someitmes I do hope and pray for the day feeling this way reaches it's used-by date ... and maybe that is when I too, like old people, will hopefully, begin to forget ... but those times a pretty rare

Friday, August 05, 2005

pure socialism alive in png

*Polish Socialist Party poster 1940s*

How small is this world. Espcially the microcosm that is PNG. I have it on very good authority that my cousin Finni used to be in love (from very very afar) with a certain AP ... this is way back ... as in her First-Crush. I remember we used to read those Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books by torchlight and whispering-out-loud under the covers, I would change the name of the various hero-prep-school-boy-types to 'AP' and insert 'Finni' where ever there was any vague romantic connection with a suitably tom-boyish-crime-solving-girl. Ahhhhhhh ... sad sad sad.

Well. Seems that whilst we were ruminating on Finni's future filled with APs babies ... seems APs dad, Mr Robert George Pavey has, all this while, been a stauch socialist.

RGP has just started the PNG Socialist Democratic Party conceived to "ensure that the wealth of PNG is distribued equally and Justly". RGP has started a political party devoted to facilitating "Equality and Justice for all" and "the concept of a society based on co-operation and brotherhood." Honourable ideals indeed.

Please note that the Notice states that for entrance into the PNG Socialist Democratic Party:

"Membership is restricted to individual that sign a statutory declaration declaring that they does not:
Consume alcohol, inhale nicotine, nor do they indulge in drugs. Annual membership is restricted to K10.00 per individual. However donation or love gifts can be deposited direct to ... etc"

Hello. How socialist does that sound!! This party should be called the Party for the Collective Government of Puritans Only.

I guess there's no Justice for people who have one dear little puff on a home-made while they're sipping a beer after a looong day. Guess I'm out of the 'brotherhood'.

And to think I used to choose-an-adventure where his son would be the hero many many times over. I'd call THAT generosity a "love-gift" ...

Please note any grammar mistakes in quotation are copied correctly from the original published Notice.

holding up lollo

My beautiful friend Lollo, the mummy of the adorable M-Mei, was held-up at gun-point on Wednesday night on her way home from work in Port Moresby. Very unfortunately it does happen. I am so very very grateful she is ok and the new life she carries is safe and that her innate sense of calm let her deal with the situation.

Here is what she had to say:

Well it's finally happened to me. I got held up at gun point for the first time in my 29 years of life yesterday arvo at the Stop n shop car park near my haus at Waigani. Strange thing was, I was so calm about it, like I've always heard about it happening to everyone else and have often wondered how I would react if it ever happened to me.

I'm happy to say that for once all my precautionary measures paid off, my wallet had only 2toea coins in it, which I use for bus fare much to the disgust of the 'boss crew'. I carry all my notes in my bra and my mobile was in my jacket pocket. So basically all the guy took was my bilum with several shriveled up buais and dakas, my kambang film container, hand lotion, toothpaste and toothbrush, comb and my lunch box containing 2 week old mold coz it's been sitting in my office locker for that long.

I was a bit dazed after the incident, but I managed to calm down after saying a couple of prayers and thanking God for having survived.

So what have I learnt, well to be alert for one thing and not take situations for granted i.e. it's never happened before so it won't ever happen to me. I did get ticked off when some of my colleagues here in the office had the audacity to say to me 'Someone as big as you could have easily have beat the crap out of the guy'.

I was like 'Hello, he had a GUN, not to mention I have a 5 year old daughter, and one on the way, I am not going to put myself at risk for the sake of my bilum!!' Crike some people can be such A$$H#LES at times.

So anyway, just be cautious if you're ever out our way at Waigani and take all precautionary measures no matter how silly they seem, coz they might just come in handy when you least expect it.

I have also been robbed twice since I've been back - and that's only been 4 months!! One of them was an incredibly scary experience on the infamous highlands highway ... good to know I made it all the way across Afghanistan, Pakistan, illegally across western Tibet etc etc and I had to wait until I returned 'home' after a 3 year absence to suffer the scariest ordeal with guns and bush-knives ... where I was lucky to escape after being dragged into the bushes - will blog on it some other time.

It makes me mad. And sad.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

japan calling

*woodblock : hoda coast : ara province : japan*

Konnichiwa. Ohayou-gozaimasu. Oai-deki-te ureshii-desu. Ogenki desu-ka.

Japan Calling : BabySister lives in central Tokyo-yo-yo ... and am missing her so so so.

Even though "officially" started the rest of my life ... am el-keeno to post-pone this massive bit of growing-up and jump on plane and visit my lovely-love. Spend 3 months on her couch, drinking lots of cheap beer from vending machines; smoking chocolate-tasting ciggies; chowing udon & copious amounts of raw filleted fresh fresh food; checking out young Japanese and the styles of the future; spending many many joyous hours in stationary shops (know what I mean if you know muji); spending even more joyous hours perving on the perfect aesthetic of Japanese life, of art and architecture, landscaping and the (almost unintentional yet sublime) design element in every aspect of living ... the Japanese poetry and art of life; teaching bits of engrish on the side to chuff up my karaoke-nights-account; waiting for the riotous cherry blossom season and all that compulsory sake; overdosing on the iron chef; telling longlong stories with my long-lost sister etc etc etc

sashimi, sushimi, migi, mae, hokkaido-do, shinjuku-ku ... see what I mean-mean ...

Arigatou-gozaimasu. Sayounara. Mata ashita.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

not joking at notting hill

A real sign at Notting Hill Tube, an underground train station in London. If you've been up with the news, I hope you're as offended as I am.

Instead this sign should read "Be Aware of Trigger-Happy Racist Cops Who Shoot First and Ask Questions Later"

And people are worried about 'terrorists' taking away our Freedoms ... more like the terrorist STATE ... obviosuly in the UK freedoms are being taken away one by one by one ... in what other time could the government of the day have EVER gotten away with saying "... and FYI ... whilst we're so sad about that Brazillian man, its basically his fault he ran (obviously running makes you guilty of bombing London) and MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE WILL PROBABLY BE SHOT" and this must be ok with people because whilst I am outraged I can only hear peeps from various human rights organizations ... what about Londoners? Tony Blair's government has just TOLD its public that it now has the right to kill innocent people ... that regular people and their basic human right NOT to be killed and their basic democratic right NOT to be found guilty before being proven guilty ... are not as important as chasing down the bad guys. OOPS. Don't get in the way. Especially if you wear a rucksack. Or a big coat. Or 'look foreign'. And definitely DON'T RUN. If you ask me, I'd be packing that rucksack, donning my big coat on my very foreign-looking body and running to the airport ASAP with a one-way ticket out of the yUK.

Having just spent the better part of last year in central Asia and the Middle East ... it's those justify-justify-justify politicians who are never wearing rucksacks or big coats and look very very non-foreign' with their pallid white skin, that scare me more MORE than your average Koran-reading muslim/arab.

It's a sad bloody state of affairs ... looks to me like the terrorists are winning (not running) after all.

Monday, August 01, 2005

shitty day

Wow. Last Friday comes close to just about the shittiest day I've had since returning to PNG just 4 months ago. It was one of those stinkers where every damn thing just went belly-up and I suck-I suck-I suck was the mantra of ricebag. Couldn't get a bloody thing right and got a big one wrong and felt dumber than a dumdum. DUM!!

Well, I won't bother going into specifics. Sufficed to say the entire day was one of the longest I have ever experienced and I felt about this big by the end and I went home and just wanted to cry and thank the Lord that MyMama is still here taking care of her biggest baby because I was a bit of a wreck.

Feeling like I am never going to be good at this gig and was hoping I could kinda 'pull-it-off' like I do everything else ... but have to remember that the first 6 months are supposed to be torture ... when your self-esteem is lower than landfill and your sense of belonging is with the vermin.

I just cannot wait until I start to get my shit together. THAT day will be a real blessing.

And more bad nius ... remember those awful exams I had a month ago? Well, one of them was completely awful and I have it on very good authority that the lecturer who sets them is an arsehole of the very highest order and he wrote me an exam I could not pass ... and voila ... I did not pass.

I can't believe it. MyMama and I concur in saying that to the best of our knoweldge, I have never failed anything in my life.

Well ... welcome to PNG folks. My exam-marker, the scrawny Mr Lulu, whom in all seriousness I suspect suffers from some form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (of the constantly washing his hands in antiseptic variety) ... also has this thing against ... women. And its common knowledge. And his position gives him such power and he wields it like its his life-force and I just want to grab and shove it somewhere completely unimaginative.

Lucky for me all my colleagues and MyFamily are on ricebag's side and we fight on in the knowledge that Good will Triumph over Evil ... when I sit for that bastardos exam again in 6 weeks.

So I went home on Friday with a sad-sack full of work and a heart as sad as my pale pashingnina. And it was all the Merry-Go-Round ... spent the whole night until 3am talking with OurHero and my other uncle, PapaJoe ... two of my favourites. Loving my Family! We talk about anything and everything ... life, culture, civilizations and their passing, lemon teacake, shitty Mr Lulu, MIA BabySister, Iraq, earthquakes, linguistics, student demonstrations ... and thats only by midnight!

MyMama's birthday was on Saturday and we all loafed around together at Aunty Ds and had a few home-made cakes and sweet milky tea and in-between yummy yums and just really flopped and did a bit of shop, but otherwise, hung out under the air-con, telling stori and whiling away. And the best bit of the day was when MyMama laughed harder than I've EVER heard her laugh after a she made a phone-boo boo. That was totally beautiful, that sound. Made me smile from the inside out. Made me wince, I knew I'd miss it once it left. And always cling onto it like one of the TopFive loving memories of the woman who gave me birth. It was a truly peaceful and loving moment.

But I never could really enjoy ... coz hanging over my head the thundercloud of WorkToDO!

So yesterday I started at about lunchtime and stayed up ALL NIGHT ( I shit you not) ... still going strong and despite a minor migraine this morn, am palling in sweet.

So the work is WORK and have a horrendous time coming up and just wanted you to know its all a bit BusinessAsUsual ... which makes me SAD ... because I know I cannot live my life like this ... dreading work ... not enjoying it. Oh, I cannot wait until the first (which they say are the worst) 6 months are over!!!

CanNOT wait to feel good about myself again.