Back to it

I got one foot on the tarmac
The other’s on the plane
I’m goin’ back to Port Moresby
To wear that ball and chain

No, it wasn’t a marriage reference (although…?) and no I didn’t sing it. Kitty spouted the inglorious number as our plane eased its way to the disembarkation point. Inside it was all Pacific Blue – enamel-clad pleasantries, tinny top of the pops and brand-enforced pleasantry. Nonetheless it was Port Moresby outside the windows.

A greener city to be fair – and believe me a verdant Moresby is miraculously easier on the eye. I was reminded of this en route to my first day back at work. My colleague decided to take the feared back road through Tokorara into Hohola, a road that might as well be in another city as it winds its way through the hills adorned with newly-dug food gardens. Rickety junk fences and tyre repair shops with the obligatory pool tables. Residents sitting behind their little tables made from crates or old cardboard boxes, selling newspapers, cigarettes and buai, sharing stories with neighbours and pedestrians as they come to buy. Neat little yards with short grass, banana trees and bougainvillea. The bowed backs of the elderly as they sweep and rake at the ground, clearing their patches of gravelly dirt with short straw brooms or wiry rakes with no handles, clearing and piling the detritus with the kind of determination and focused energy one notices when bush turkeys go about building their nests.

Then again, it’s still Moresby. We have been inundated thanks to the (former) tropical cyclone Neville off North Queensland. The freeway near Hohola is a big puddle, with no sign of the soupy lake (chunks and all) diminising after three days. Over the years the dirt and rubbish of Moresby has accumulated in the storm drains, rendering them useless. The result is a city that, although tropical, cannot handle the rain. The rain that brings out the flush of greenery also encourages a blooming of a less pleasant kind – potholes. The lurch and swerve of cars as they avoid water and newly-formed craters is a well-known roadway dance. An automotive tropical tango. A Moresby motoring macarena. Something like that.

Anyway. We’re back, and I believe suitably recovered from the stunned confusion that results when plucked from one world and shunted back into another. Apologies for the absence dear readers but this isn’t supposed to be a record of my adventures on holidays in Australia, so our time there, although pleasant and indeed greatly significant (yes the ring is still on the finger), is hardly relevant to this little project. Although one of two New Years resolutions may encourage more frequent updates, the commitment being to write more (flowing on hopefully to more blog action). Then again my other resolution was the floss my teeth every night and I think I’ve done that once since January 1st. Oh well, 2010 is yet young and the next nine months or so still lie before me, like fresh mumu pig on a platter. Oily and meaty and full of both tasty and slightly unpleasant morsels. Yum yum.

3 Responses to “Back to it”

  1. 1 Albion January 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I love those parts of cities, the ones that feel a-whole-nother world away whilst being just around the corner, so to speak. And green is such a wonderful colour, I truly love it when its been raining and all the plants just intensify.

    And mate, fuck flossing, just write! Twas a grace and pleasure to see you both again.


  2. 2 Madame Boodwah January 24, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Glad you’re back and I was worried a PNG divorce was on the cards. I’m divorcing Sydney this week after a 2 month trial separation…we just grew apart. May the writing force be with you in 2010.

  3. 3 Melody February 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Ha! One of my new years resolutions was to floss my teeth every day too! Glad your both home. Much love from Oz.

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