Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monthly trip to Lae

We just got back from our monthly shopping trip to the big smoke. A 2 hour drive away is Lae, quite a big city with big supermarkets and a department store with loads of overpriced stuff just for expats. ;)
On the way down on Friday we stopped in at another ranch to check out some weaners (baby cows, not hotdogs. ) We set off from there and the phone and radio started going. There was open warfare on the road into Lae at '4 mile'. 2 clans were sorting out a disagreement with bush knifes, bows and arrows, spears and fire. When we travel we are constantly monitored by a security company employed by the company. They advised us to turn around and wait for further news. So we did, and not long after we were told it was safe to continue on, police were on site and the waring had stopped. Regardless of that incident we always get an armed escort for the last 30 miles into Lae, it is notorious for holdups and the company recommend you use the service. So we continued on and met our escort at '9mile'. Driving through 4 mile got the heart racing a little. The security company wouldn't let us go if it was unsafe, but the remnants of a battle were obvious. Plenty of people either side of the road looking pretty angry. Houses burnt down, about 10 police vehicles keeping the crowds under control. Apparently 3 lives were lost and many homes. Pretty sad really.

We arrived without incident and checked into our hotel. It's a pretty flash hotel for PNG, it's no park Hyatt but it's certainly a little luxury for here. I even booked into a hairdresser for a hair treatment and blowdry. The soft dull of the hairdryer was a nice change from the not so dull 2 year old! :p

We had a promotional night on at the Lae Yacht Club. The company beef was cooked up and the company supply prizes for a raffle. N0t how i would have chosen to spend my wedding anniversary, but better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick i guess. The yacht club is full of expats drinking, talking crap, while kids run around and create havoc. I loved it as there were plenty of other kids to keep mine entertained!

Shopping is a real mission. It's not safe for me to go alone, so we all go. Yep, a 2 year old, 1 year old and a cranky husband who's not into shopping doesn't make for the best day, but i am so excited that i can actually spend money i don't really mind all the whinging and carrying on. ;)
We went to the three biggest supermarkets where you can buy most things you'd want/need.
I paid 40c for half a kilo of beans and $16 for a tub of yoghurt, $20 for 1kg of tasty cheese?! So you can see it pays to eat as the locals do.
We (well, i) bought so much stuff we had to off load some into another car traveling back. A nissan patrol full of shopping is a lot of food.

I'm in the middle of unpacking it all but decided i needed a break. A beer and a bit of blogging while Tarzan watches his beloved Hawks seemed totally appropriate. Essendon is currently 10 points ahead. I think i'll go to bed now.


  1. What an adventure! It makes my trip to Coles in Hastings seem a bit mundane!

  2. my god cheese costing more than gold i rekon! maybe you guys should have a dairy cow and make your own cheese...
    ill ask tosh to send you some frenchy recipies, loved the banana one looked great!
    big hugs tan

  3. First of all Matt wants to know how the weaners looked? lol
    Secondly, after you and the DFAT website you are just brimming me with confidence for our trip between Lae and you guys ;)
    We're off to Jack's (Fiona and John's little boy) first birthday party today, woop woop. Hope you lot are well, see you soooooon! Love to Tarzan and the girls xxxxxx

  4. Jane! All I can say is thank-god for the fruit and vegie truck that we have once a week. I generally winge about it coming and 8pm and hvaing to drive into Watheroo to get my F&V, but after reading your blog I'm pleased the only thing I look out for is the odd Roo along the way!!! Yikes! Cheers Nors & Flange