24 September 2013


Ugh, I am seriously amazed that something as tiny as a cold can bring a person down. Six days – six days­ – I have been dealing with coughing, sore throat (gone, thank God), sneezing, puffy sinuses, lack of energy and, worst of all, the loss of taste.

Food is a really big deal to me. My favorite holidays are my favorite holidays because of the food that is served and, of course, the atmosphere and the people around me, but I really like the food. Lacking the ability to properly taste foods makes me unable to properly season foods. When my sinuses are blocked, I seek uber salty foods. I don’t know why.

Without the desire to eat certain foods because I know I will not be able to enjoy them, I lose the desire to cook foods and, let’s face it, I didn’t have much energy anyway. Poor Paul. I cooked only three meals in the last five days. He has resorted to leftovers, snack-craving cupboard attacks and going out with other pilots, which I highly encouraged (less effort for me!).

This cold very rudely collided with what was the best week I had had in a lot of weeks – pretty much the best week since I moved here. I found out that a friend is moving to PNG, Paul and I were planning a major expedition, my friends were having better weeks than the previous two; it was a good week. And then, BAM! I woke up Thursday with a puffy face, feeling my breaths in my lungs and coughing. Don’t you worry, though. I was not about to let some stupid cold bring me down mentally (though physically, it kind of did).

I am excited to report that my friend, Beth, is moving to PNG. When, I am not sure, but she has committed in writing so I am holding her to it. (P.S. Beth, if I just outed you, forgive me. I gave you a week.)

Beth and I are current day pen pals (e-mail pals) who met way back in March when my husband, Paul, and Beth’s husband, Joe, were interviewing for Air Niugini positions. Let’s just say that Joe’s experience with the company has paralleled Paul’s: told one thing, then told another, made plans, those plans didn’t happen, waited a while, got word to do something else, yadda, yadda, yadda.

The biggest surprise came last Tuesday when Joe landed in PNG after completing some company training in Australia. Joe and his wife had been excited about beginning a new life chapter in Cairns, which is an Aussie city overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Their Texas house is packed and awaiting renters while Beth prepares for the move to…PNG. Wait, what? Oh yeah, that’s right, Joe isn’t based in Australia like they thought. Bad news for Beth; great news for me!

I suppose it’s my fault that Beth is absolutely terrified to move out here. I mean, my blogs the last two weeks have not been any help to Joe, who is trying to convince his wife that it’s not so bad out here. Truthfully, sucks sometimes but, all in all, life in Port Moresby is manageable, as I am trying to explain to Beth – one just has to lower the standards a bit.

For example: In America, when Person A asks Person B how she is doing and Person B responds, “Fine,” we all know that “fine” never actually means fine – “fine” either means “like crap but I don’t really want to talk about it,” or “just take this as my answer and move on.” In PNG, “fine” is normal; “fine” is great. Because “fine” is the new “good.”

Life in PNG is what I call average, my new normal. Port Moresby is certainly not the nicest place on earth but it’s certainly not the worst – granted, it is near the bottom of every list but it’s not in the basement.

Paul and I are fortunate enough to live in a third world that is filled with first-world bubbles so we have many conveniences that others cannot afford. Like Singapore was my bubble society (great education, ridiculously low crime rates and unemployment rates and fantastic health care), Port Moresby offers mini bubbles in the form of cars, hotels, fancy restaurants and the occasional retail outlet.

The scenery amazes me (mostly because it is surreal to think I actually live in PNG), the people are kind and welcoming and all of the local people really seem to love the expats. Paul and I spend a lot of time together and we get to do more travel together than we ever have before.

Next month we will be spending a week in Singapore, four days in Bangkok and a week in Israel before coming back to PNG to do some laundry and then head out again for some birthday fun in Brisbane. We may only be in PNG for a total of a week the whole month.

There is another trip on the books for November and by the end of that month we will be back in the States; I will be in Massachusetts in time for Thanksgiving and Paul has to be in the States for training the beginning of December, which means we should be able to stay through Christmas. So, for the next three months at least, it won’t seem like we actually live in PNG; we just may leave a few things behind so that it looks like we do.

No comments: