Thursday, December 14, 2006


Sometimes even I forget how amazing my country is. It can be way too easy to get mired in the drudging awful mean reality of just how tough it is to be making it in this paradise (insert irony here). PNG is like the hardest thing, the simplest thing, the rightest thing and the most natural, yet taxing. It can wear you down if you don't stop weighing all the heavy on your back and start sitting on top of it instead, delaing with it from a more positive, new perspective. Some pretty amazing and inspiring encounters ricebag has had this week and will tell of soon. In the interim, let me remind you why PNG is indeed the Land of The Unexpected ... The Unexpected Charm ... The Unexpected Disarming Beauty ... The Unexpected Innocence ... The Unexpected Generosity ... The Unexpected Truth ... The Unexpected Delight ... The Unexpected Soul.

Some people never saw some things like a mourning dance or a come-love-me dance or a warrior thrum or a cargo cult. Some people never saw a thousand different stories on display with pride and with steel, all on the field, all in one day. And that's what the Sing-Sing in PNG is all about. The annual gathering of highland tribes and island brides, the clash of feathers and spears and the sheer intensity and overwhelming sense of history and passion. And if you're one of those people, who has never seen that, then you're living a life half lived and you really REALLY really need to come ... to this land, my land, PNG-land.

I went to the Goroka Show this year over Independence Weekend with Miss Pinky U. I have scanned some of my photographs for your viewing pleasure - but as you will no doubt see, ricebag is a bit better photographer than scanner - so pls forgive for wonky angles and jagged edges - but in a strange way, that's kinda me anyhew.

The Show was AMAZING. 2 days of an athletic field full of BILAS and I have to say it was heady stuff. The ground was shaking and hips were swaying. People came from AAAAAALLL over man. Highlands to Islands. Cargo Cult to the Momase Boys to the Hagen Warriors and all the lines in between. Each group wore a specific dress related to their specific 'ples' and performed a specific dance or story.

So what did I feel? Yeah man. PRIDE. P. R. I. D. E.

We stayed with the incandescent Vivi via my old mate Mali and I have to say the hospitality was a treat! Not to forget Petie and his rustbucket that toted us around town.

And they were selling loads of hand0made highlands goodies. Pinky U and I went on a bit of a gluttonous bilum-shopping spree. Me buying oldie bilums made the oldie and dying-out way and Pinky U buying newer, cooler models for family.

Goroka shone like a brand new penny - might have had something to do with the clean clean streets of this highlands town where the grass is always green and the rubbish is never seen. yes - there is a place in PNG where people are proud of their public spaces. I'll drink to that!

So - thanks GKA - this won't be the last!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

potter potter

Hola peeps.

Whats up? Been bit of a whirlwind since returning from Canberra-ra-ra. Xmas parties and leaving parties and dinners and drinks and drinks and drinks. Partied hard on Saturday at the lovely Pink U's house up up on a windy terrace in town. From vodka jellies to vodka slush to vodka lemonades ... greena and red themed sushi ... hand-made xmas hats and crowns ... lots of yummy food and even better friends - it was a fun one!! Even made it out to lamana until closing - always a sign of random rightness with the world.

Last night had dinner with a friend and then went to work and THEN went on a bit of a date altho I didn't realize it was a date until the end when the lovely-boy did try his luck on ricebag. Let's just say he didn't get exactly what he was looking for. But nice try!

Talking of Men. Feeling so much better these days - claiming bit of my power back!! Weekend b4 last ricebag was at a charity event and one young-man from last year (who caused some misery for a while there) was there. Ricebag and young-man hadn't seen or spoken to each other for over 6 months and I have to say, when I saw him I got ... NADA ... no goosbumps, no hot flush, no nothing. Just bliss, thankyou very much. SO SO SO nice when you know you are over it. And even better this time because it was really something that had no promise - just a lust-on-lust thing. And the sweetest thing is he was throwing me his sexy little smile and I just flicked it off. Hope he gets that he don't hold no power over me no more.

And then on Saturday at Lamanex there was the golden-beard-boy. Someone from years ago who keeps haunting me. Well I put that one well and truly to rest. Explained that he'd missed his boat and I have to say that crushing him felt good good good to me - sorry mate. But you really deserve it. And I had to kill your hopes, coz there was absolutely NO WAY.

So so so. In my relatively desert-love-life, I find that I am pretty ok withOUT a lover or a boyf or a boyf-lover. I mean, it's Moresby after all. And I am not going to wish someone out of thin bloody air. I mean, if someone wants to be with me, they should stake their claim. Coz if they wait, like golden-beard-boy, then they'll miss their chance ... or if they don't make their intentions clear like lovely-boy then ricebag is not in-the-know and she needs to know too ... and if they just rely on their sexiness like young-man to keep me hanging, then they'll find out that ricebag doesn't do hanging-on.

So I don't have any huge standards or list or whatever. All I ask is for a decent boy-man who can make me laugh and try hard not to make me cry. Who thinks I am sexy and lets me know it. And most of all, likes me and most of all, I like him too. That's about it. I don't need to do the falling-in-love hard-and-fast routine. Been there. But what I'd really like is a lover, not necessarily the Great Love. Do you get it?

Until then, I am quite happy to potter on in my celibate way. Potter potter. Potter.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

so wots it like then

Canberra put on a beaut coupla days. Sparkling water on the LBurleyG ... sun beating down on xmas lights and avenues ... just lurvely. Only hello - how come noone here has heard of aircon? Noone in taxis, noone in busses, noone anywhere? Maybe Canberrans are trying to squeeze out some sweat for their short summer to last them out their loooong wintry winter.

Some other observations & things done and dusted in ole Cambs in the last 16 hours:

  • "Kamberra" means 'a meeting place of tribes'.
  • Today ricebag in Kamberra pulled out all the stops and managed to tick off all the boxes on her VERY challenging stuff-to-do list - and all by lunchtime no less.
  • I had to courier some documents and I was using the 'Business Center" of the hotel, Mizuki was serving me and I asked her about shopping. Little Mizuki, no doubt of Tokyo-lights and Ginza-nights and much much finer things than Westfields and Woolies. She drew together her imMACulate eyes and Chanelled swan-neck into an arch and said with some disdain as she fiddled with her Mimco pacer, "there is NOWHERE to shop in Canberra". I took that literally. But now I know what she means - it's not Shinjuku baby. No Louis or Dolce, no Chloe or Marni honey. This is Australia, not Honkers and 'shopping' translates to some kind of windowless mass where McDonalds and Katies and Cotton On and Rivers breathe the same aircon recon air. It's certainly not 'shopping'. Alas. In Canbs it more like filling. Not topping.
  • My reward for finishing all my tasks and having the afternoon free was a visit to the National Art Gallery - I NEVER get tired of this gallery!! What a privilege. Seeing Art (with the Capital A pleeeeeeeeeeese), Paintings, Scultpure, Installations, tapestry in a confined-space-again was pretty awesome. I do miss a little bit of european kulcha back in png-way-la. Blue Poles is always a showstopper. Bought some Michael Riley postcards and then bumped into an old art teacher of mine (a very VERY cool woman I gotta tell-ya) from school and we had a coffee together. Just Lovely.
  • The current major exhibition is "Egyptian Antiques from the Lourve" ... which is a bit sad for me coz last time I saw these, I was actually at the Lourve with FJ almost a decade ago.
  • I then ran off to the National Portrait Gallery at Old Parliament House - lovely. Totally mesmirizing Truth & Likeness Exhibition on there now.
  • Strolled past the current Parliament House and gotta say I don't get sick of that building either. And taxied over the the Australian WarMmemorial.
  • Then I even went on a little bit of a sight-see around this wide-road city. Saw the Mint and the old Deakin pool that I used to swim at for school way back in 1986 when tomorrow was never going to come and 50 cents on sundays actually bought a fistful of sugar at the corner shop.
  • Last but not least, I made it back to La Perouse and past my old house and my old school. Spun me out a little. Not a lot has changed. Except me. I did. I changed. I made the taxi go back up the street and back down again. I thought 3 times was enough. Just.
  • Even had time to catch the new James Bond flick (which was absolutely crap - and not even in a good way - sorry - no high-nosing, just telling it like Dr Phil - crappy story line and some embarrassing acting - although the blonde Bond is hothothot) and afterwards enjoyed a few glasses of very nice South Australian wine a la solo in Manuka - the 'chickity chic' - Manuka reckons its the Canberran Paddington but it don't even come close. More like a weakie weak double bay honey.
  • Water was glinting off the Burley and I walked along the south side this morning, very early this morning.
  • I also caught up with a Bear in Sydney a la phone and I have to say, love you!! And am very excitd with new developments.
  • Oh yeah - and I found and bought my 2007 Moleskin diary. Massive phew.

So - what can we say? I been PRODUCTIVE! Very. I even got to Coles and stocked up on xmas lights which I am going to give my secretary for xmas. Shhhh. Don't tell her - it's a seclet.

So Canbs may have streets so wide they take 20 minutes to cross; no pubic transport to speak of; wall to wall to wall suits; everyone on mobile phones too busy to say hello; just always Somewhere Else, Physically Here. It's definitely a city where people are very busy going about the business of Getting Things Done. And me too. Tomorrow I leave. To get some more done in my little life.

Right now I am going to jump in the massive tub in my art deco bathroom, soak until I pass out and then crawl into my bed. And wake up in just a few winks at my 4.30am wake-up call. Youch!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

peace in the capital

Guess where I am???

You'll never guess - so let me tell you - CANBERRA!!

Yessah - ricebag strolls into work this morning only to be told she has to RUN run RUN to the airport and jump on a plane to Australia. So I did run to the airport and met my mum there who brought me a bag of clothes after I rang her and said she had 4 minutes to pack and 6 minutes to get to the airport.

So this is a MILESTONE of sorts. Ricebag's first-ever proper strictly-workity-work-work- related overseas trip.

And here I find myself in one of the oldest, art-deco, 5star, prestigious hotels in Canberra. The bellboys are dressed in 1930s garb, they serve proper afternoon tea in the clickety clack chequer-board-floor lobby and my massive room has a bathtub the size of my car. Yeah yeah.

It's not all good though. Somehow tomorrow ricebag has to hit this nation's capital and run from office to office and hopefully pull the rabbit out of someone's hat or someone's ass or someone's heart. There will be some begging and pleading involved. So wish me luck lovers!!

Whatever the case, in case you didn't know - ricebag used to live here 20 (that's right - you heard me) ... TWENTY ... years ago. As a little gal, in 1986 - The Year Of Peace. That was a year spent with galpals Pip, Nazli and Katie-Kate ... making lemonade and selling cupcakes by the side of the road while the world sang ... "And Now This is Christmas" ... and we ate all our brocolli ... all of us in The Year Of Peace doing this for the starving babies in Africa.

And tomorrow I am going to sqeeze a trip to my old house on La Perouse. and I am going to try not to cry. But no promises.

Friday, December 01, 2006

trying not to bounce

Wow. Sometimes really simple things are beautiful. And there's nuthin like crisp sheets and brittle wind, like sun on your face and 5 dollars in your hand as you skip to the beat of the banana-bread clan. That's why I was a Sucker for Sydney, it was all the little, really simple, things that bit me. And I felt clean and good. Sometimes. Like fresh grass.

You wouldn't know it ... but sometimes I miss Sydney so bad I can taste it.

Keep trying not to forget not to take my life for granted.

That's Sydney up there. One small green square patch of it. Sydney in my heart. 4eva. xx etc etc

But you know what it is - and I've blogged about it before - I miss Sydney. But I dont think that's really it. I miss ME. The me I was in Sydney.

My boarders are preparing for a gals w/end in sydney next year. MyMama is moving down there before the end of this year. And yet, more than ever .... or really, for the first time ever, I just don't want Sydney any more. Sydney never mattered like YOU and YOU and YOU did. So please ... all YOUs ... come to me so we can make other memories in other simple and beautiful ways. Like a real-life hug. Like pinching me when I swear. Like laughing when I remember that time, that time and that time. Like crying when I leave. Let me pinch you back. Let you remember me. Let me cry when you leave. And this time let's do it somewhere else. Let's do it in a place that I spring from and not YOU.

And don't think I belong to you. Coz I don't. And I'm still not sure you ever got that - even now. Even now. Do you remember how I was always trying to make my world bigger and me smaller in it? Maybe that's coz your microcosm was already flush with yours. And I was just some rent-a-gal. And just because you forgot that I came from somwhere other, that didn't make me from Sydney. It just meant that everbody forget that ricebag has 432 different sides and all of them make her belong and all of them make her alien. And how I know you are alien too is when you make what is mine yours. And none of you have ever done that the way strangers from my travels have. Maybe it's easier to fall in love with something transient and even to belong to that, than it is to something you see every day in a way that means you don't see at all.

Anyway. Whatever the blech and the blah, there is absolutely nothing blech or blah about Sydney. Love your guts!! But like a long lost lover, I think I have to let you go. Coz it wasn't all sunshine and roses. Lots of passion in the past absolutely dammit positively sure ... but not a lot of future innit it's sad to say.

But I can't forget the beauty. The old-man pubs. The energy. The shade. The heels and champers on a sun-dial lawn with croquet at 12 and debauchery soon therafter. Hallowed and hailed. Loads of pretty girls and even some pretty boys too. Sand in the shower and night drives to the shore. I'd like to think I gave as good as I got. But I'm sure that's not true.


BabySister in Tokyoyoyoyo ... has just moved into her very own, very tiny, very central apartment. Her little pad. Her little lillypad. YAYAYAY!!

And just so you know how small the space is my beautiful baby sister gets to occupy - check it out. One room literally means .... one room.

So she's not homeless, she is central and she is the master of her universe. We are grateful for all these things. And s'more. Yup.

Miss you baby!