Monday, January 19, 2009

Papua New Guinea - truly the land of the unexpected

Two things happened to me in Port Moresby at the weekend that really had me shaking my head and agreeing with that old tourism catch cry that Papua New Guinea is truly the “land of the unexpected”.

Last Saturday, I really wanted to eat some fish and vegetables, so my two elder sons Malum Jr (8) and Gedi (6) accompanied me to Rainbow Market at Gerehu.

After buying the fish and veggies, the boys wanted to have some guavas, so we went to one of the women selling guavas and the boys got five guavas for 40 toea each, which works out to 2 Kina.

They collected the guavas and we walked happily down the street, they munching on the succulent fruit, when suddenly, we hear a scream behind us an angry woman with her hands over her head.

She accused me, at point-blank range in front of a large group of people, that I had stolen her guavas.

I told her that I had inadvertently not paid and pulled out a 2 Kina note from my pocket.

However, she wanted me to go back to the market, and pay her the money, which I very reluctantly did.

And after paying up, she calls out for the entire world to hear, that I am a “stilman (thief)”.

No one took her seriously, and I told her that if she had been a bit more diplomatic, I would have bought off her whole table of guavas.

The next day, I went to my office at The National newspaper, and worked for the whole day.

After 7.30pm, as the driver was dropping us off in pouring rain, we almost had an accident at Tokarara.

A vehicle suddenly drove straight at us, on the wrong lane, and had it not been for the quick instincts of our driver Joe, who veered to the edge of the road, we would have had a head-on collision.

That errant vehicle, meanwhile, drove head-on into another vehicle behind us.

Our driver wanted to stop and see what happened, however, I advised him not to do so and drive off.

Who knows what would have happened to us on that dark, rainy night?

Papua New Guinea is truly the “land of the unexpected”.


  1. Anonymous12:46 PM


    Wouldn't that unfaithful accident make a good picture story the next day on The National newspaper? I think you missed a good story. And again, you would have saved a life in that accident. How dare leaving some one die in pain behind you in that accident? But I understand why you decided to leave. In PNG, they would pick up on your poor driver, and possibly you. You made a good choice, though!

    Hehehehe....I am thinking how you made that decision to ignore the story and a good picture, possibly for front page. What if it was the Prime Minister behind you who was head-knocked by that car you avoided. I am sure you would regret for the rest of your career for missing a good story! Sometimes journalists can value their life, and I do not blame you. After all we are human being.

    Mathew Yakai

  2. he, he, he Mathew.

    Your life is more important, especially when you're the sole bread winner for four young children.