Thursday, November 30, 2006


Someone sent me this the other day. The scary thing is that I have a pair of each of these undies (probably all Bonds). Some might say ... whatever they want. I say "classic" and "comfy". Beaut.

Although just betwixt us, a little Agent Provocateur would not go astray! Every girl must have high-street-sexy undies - this is a good law. Just not every girl can wear sexy undies every-day for every-day pruposes. And for ricebag, sometimes my-comfy is my-sexy .... sad sad sad. But true.

little loves

Last night was the 4th birthday of the twin miracle-babies I helped bring into the world - my little nephew & niece, Theo & Faith. Love you babies.

So Auntie Ricebag ordered a massive chocolate-mud-chocolate cake and then had the terrible job of carving it up and distributing it to the masses. I had a good time, thanks. Loads of my cousins on my mum's side (the pretty and loving side of ricebag's genetic pool) and their kids or their parents and just people sitting and jiving. Cool night, lovely breeze, only one screaming child, 2 zooming spidermen, 3 princesses, 2 lovely old grandads. And 60 other people I've never seen before. Just your usual I guess.

A 'small' bday pati in PNG ain't neva gonna be "just us" ... so like 100 people later, I had it and packed some food in my kit bag and took off home, leaving MyMama at the party with PrettyGirl and ors.

I got home, derobed and crashed a la ottoman. I was just about to bomb out into never-never land when the skin on the back of my neck jumped up and every cell in my body started freaking out. I ran for the front door, fumbled with the key and landed on the verandah, knees knocking, my guts in my throat. Someone was in the house!!! But why did I run outside without my mobile ... or my gate key ... or any clothes!! Tentatively I ran back into the dark house, picked up my mobile, ran out and rang MyMama. "Where are? Come Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!". And she did. Like right away. And she and PrettyGirl came walking up the drive and they didn't blink an eye. I made MyMama go through the house and check under the beds and in the high cupboards above the wardrobes - after she's stuck her hands into the wardrobes to make sure no goblins behind the clothes.

See - told you I was a big girl.

Then after I got back into bed she came and sat beside me and say "Ricebag. You know what I told you. God Lives In This House." And for her that's 100% security that ain't nuthin gonna bite me. For me? I have 100% security in knowing she gonna make sure (with Him) that ain't nuthin gonna bite me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

this corrupt nation : me guilty too

Below is the Editorial from today's edition of The National newspaper. It makes me mad and sad because it's tru and I am guilty too.

FROM time to time, Papua New Guinean governments have had cause to be highly critical of both the attitudes and the advice of the World Bank. Yesterday, The National published a report from the Bank that analysed corruption in the South Pacific. Papua New Guineans will derive little pleasure from the report. Our country is numbered among the most corrupt in the world.

Our average per head income is only a little above that of people in sub-Saharan Africa, an area that has suffered for decades from vicious civil wars, genocide, prolonged droughts leading to mass starvation and major movements of refugees. PNG by contrast has an embarrassment of natural resources, a number of major investors and at least superficially, a free-speaking and energetic democracy. The report calculated that it would take PNG 20 years of sustained economic growth of 3.3% a year to get average incomes back to the level achieved in 1994, more than 12 years ago.Aid to our country is calculated to be about K125 per person each year, compared with K96 per head in Africa. So the people of our resource-rich, more or less politically stable South Seas democracy receive K125 of their average annual income of some K1,600 per year in the form of aid from other countries and organisations.

The reason for this rampant near poverty is corruption – and before readers point the finger at their leaders, let them be honest with themselves. The PNG level of corruption is one that spreads throughout the community. The World Bank figures would not be possible if our corruption was restricted to a handful of elected politicians. Such endemic and ingrained corruption has come about through the thousands of silent kick-backs, the myriad of small bribes and the other lucrative deals that riddle our society. We are a corrupt society, not a nation where the corruption stems solely from our leaders.

We now think corruptly.

When we analyse a situation, far too many of us do so from the angle of determining what’s in it for us. If we’re approached to carry out a small job for somebody, we set a reward.

No reward, no outcome.

No carton, no driver’s licence.

No couple of thousand kina, no falsely extended work permit.

No massive spin-offs, no contracts to exploit this or that resource.

Pay enough, and your car will be registered in no time. Fail to pay, and it may never be registered – there’s so much that can be found wrong with a vehicle.

K50 or K100 in the holiday season ensures that your name is moved from the wait-list to the status of confirmed passenger.

K100 will make sure that your bag of cannabis exits from the air terminal or the wharf without interference from officials.

Equal amounts will guarantee your child enters high school, or becomes captain of the school soccer team.

A few crisp notes will save your bacon if you’re stopped by a cop for swigging beer while you drive.

As for that block of land you’ve had your eyes on for years, you only have to blame yourself if it lands up in somebody else’s hands. You should long ago have bribed the appropriate land authorities, then purchased the block for a fraction of its value. Once it’s yours, you can throw up that ill-built nightclub you’ve always wanted. You’ll only have to pay another thousand or so to inspectors or a building board to get away with no fire provisions, and don’t forget the bribe to get your grog and public entertainment licence. Once that’s all taken care of, you’ve got a brand new business that’s a licence to print money, a good old-fashioned cash cow that’s all yours to milk.

So let’s not adopt a holier-than-thou attitude, and blame the big time operators who try to get away with millions. Chances are, they’ll get caught. But us small operators – no way. We can go on coining a dishonest buck indefinitely – or at least until the World Bank and this country’s long-suffering donors finally pull the plug on PNG. The task is a huge one. It’s time we turned the finger back to point at ourselves.

So what does ricebag do? To tell you the truth. When something bureacratic actually gets done for me (which sometimes feels like nothing short of a miracle or an amazing event, or both), I fall just short of singing for joy and a feeling of insane gratitude overwhelms me and I just feel that I HAVE to reward someone. It's insane and wrong because someone is 'just' doing their job when they process that form or that bill or that passport - but I know they could just as easily not have given a rats arse and left me high and dry. Of course - when someone expects gratuity in exchange for just doing their job - I don't pay unless there would be no other way.

It's not like that in every single situation, but it is more often than not. Every day we justify paying that little "extra" by saying that person who 'helped' us doesn't make crumbs in that crappy-assed job. Truth is sometimes paying the 'extra' is fair in a weird, evening-out-the-universe way, but other times its could be insulting and unnescessary - you need to be able to know when to tell the difference.

So yeah - I am 'surviving' here and learning how it goes. Just today I got stopped by the police for my busted tail light on my car. Someone I know from Enga is a cop and when he saw me he ran over and saved my butt (for the 2nd time in the last 2 months for the same taillight) and saved me from getting a ticket - so I gave him some "smuk moni" - just K5. But I know it saved me K20.

So I am part of it too I guess. Pointing my finger right back at me.

Friday, November 24, 2006

always bet on black

Wow. Today has been one of those days! I tell you ... but ain't nuthin going to get me down because this week has definitely been absolutely ten stars in what has been (let's face it) a not so amazing year in the life of.

So why so good?

Let's just say good old tax-cheat Wesley Snipes got it right when he said "always bet on black". That's right baby. I AM BLACK. My skin is black and it is glowing honey, baby-bum smooth and I feel like a panther baby, stalking and walking and feeling pretty okay in my solo universe.

So good coz I exited Cairns early Monday morn and returned blackity black black-skinned baby and I my skin feels warm and my heart does too and I feel strong and it feels so good to feel like ME again!! Like I got it back. Somehow. Some magical how.

So yeah-yeah it might have had something to do with the long longer hours spent sunning along the incomparable 14-mile stretch of Mission Beach ... hanging a la hammock with vino and pals staring across the rainforest canopy as it falls into the sea ... kissing a lovely Dan-boy under cover of a million stars around a midnight bonfire on the beach no less!! ... lovely Dan at the wrap-party for a film-crew with some quasi-famous Aussie celebs in the mix ... kayaking out to Dunk Island and back and around and surrounds ... getting down Tully River in style ... yeah yeah. Sun and splash and a good old pash and all of that. Not so bad. Not so bad.

Then I return to work and to png-land to find I have been rewarded with my first BONUS ever - that's right - for outstanding work on this major project which I have been pretty much Master & Commander of these last 4 months. Wow. And it's very nice just before xmas. Not to mention a good old boost for the self esteem. Then I find out that my name has been published in an international journal for being good good worker-bee on another project and it's about to be published again! So what can we say? We can say that hard work pays off I guess.

Mosey mosey mosey.

So I feel real good in my skin right now. Not fabulous, but like I fit inside myself again. And feeling that way even makes me like myself again. and that is good good good.

Love you lovers.

And don't forget, Blade or no Blade - Always Bet On Black.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

mission beach

Hola lovers. I write you from Mission Beach, Australia. Just returned to my treehouse backpackers from a dinner of fresh calamari and german beer on one of the world's moat incredible beaches. Yeah. Yeah. It's all sun and beers and prawns and chips. Just a quickie to say love you Gov - you're my number 1. xx. Ricebag

Thursday, November 09, 2006

days on and on

So lovers.

It's been raining in POM. That muggy mozzy rain that sits in between a beat and a patter and really just makes everything a little greener but doesn't really relieve the summer swelter ... a heat which has blown in and is sitting heavy every day, beating on this brown earth.

So I have been sitting in my aircon tower and have been MASSIVELY busy with work. I haven't worked so many hours in a day since I was in London and it ain't no picnic. Workity Work Work.

A weird thing happened, when all that stuff with FJ went down - that very same day my boss let me take my own files - which basically means the hand-holding is over and the beast is unleashed .. so yeah. I had the biggest professionally beaut day this year and most emotionally shit day this year all rolled into one - what a wollop.

I'd love to say I've taken it all in stride and while my head is bobbing, I have been feeling el swamped - emotionally and workerly. No help that MyBoss just skipped town and I am dealing man - Dealing!

So - that's some of where it's at.

I'm getting on a jet plane tomurrah and so just saying g'bye and check youse when I return.


miracle worker

I spent all week praying that God would help me - and he did. Naturally, my praying efforts seem to kick in just when I need Him the most. And boy, did I need a miracle!!

No small thanks to the big man upstairs because he came through.

3 months ago ricebga put in her application for a new passport ... after months of getting fobbed off I went down to out UNtrusty Dept of Immigration and found out they lost my passport - NOT good to know when I'll be needing it TOMORROW (yes yes yes, I am going down south again).

So I asked around, got a contact, rang, harassed her and generally hovered around her place of work until she finally helped me and I submitted ANOTHER application on Monday and yesretday they gave me my brand new passport - something they manged to do in 48 hrs what they couldn't get done in 16 weeks. And then I put the brand new passport in for a visa for Australia - usually takes a week and they DON'T like to be pushed but the ever-so-nice M behind the counter gave me a wink and nudged my visa applciation along and here I sit in my office writing to you as a person who managed to get her passport AND visa in less than 4days - an AMAZING feat by any man's standard but absolutely nothing for Him.

So glad.

See you soon el soon el soon Govvie!!

drive faster around corners

I drive like MyDad. That's the verdict down from MyMama. That means she said, I am a natural, instinctual driver. That could be a compliment but I know what else she means - simply - I drive too fast.

I drive fast. I drive fast. I drive fast. Ricebag knows better but she deos so anyway.

Sometimes it just feels like EVERYONE ELSE is driving too slow - when I realised that, I realised, maybe, just maybe, it was me ... rather than 'everyone else'. I also got a check yesterday when PrettyGirl was quietly counting all the cars I passed as I drover over the freeway into town - 18 cars on a rainy night over roughly 4 kms - not good.

I have to say driving faster did save my life once - very early on in the piece when my P Plate was still fresh off the photocopier. But I won't rehash old times.

Just to say I am making a concerted effort to slow down. Techincally, in PNG, there is one speed limit for the entire country - 60km/hr - obviously noone respects it, most people aren't aware of it and there aren't any signs proclaiming it.

So I am going to curb my Need for Speed. Always keeping in mind the excellent bit of advice I got from Olga-da-Polga's dad (who used to be a racing car driver) ... "Drive faster around corners". And I've tested it and he's right - you strangely get more control. So I figure the rule with driving is speed kills, so drive slower when you're not in a massive hurry and drive fast around corners.

That's my happy medium.