Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moresby Miracle

Against all odds, I made it to Port Moresby this evening.When and where I go from here remains a mystery - one that will not be solved tonight. But,rather than sitting in my hotel room feeling sorry for myself, I headed to the Moresby Yacht club to meet up with my friends Bob and Allan. This was my first glimpse at the 'white' side of PNG. Indeed, it was the nicest establishment that I have seen in this country, but the fact that the security guards demanded that my black drivers prove that they had a passenger in the car before they could enter the parking lot was unsettling to me.

At Bob's suggetion, we continued our evening tour of Moresby and headed to the aeroclub - a popular destination for pilots. We passed through the first security gate and Bob promptly introduced himself to a man holding a pump action shot gun. 'It's important to know who your friends are', Bob explained, which prompted a man on the other side of the fence to point out that he, too, was carrying a large weapon. We passed through two more doors and were just about inside when Bob spun around and said to me 'By the way, Aaron told me that there might be prostitutes here. Just so you' If there were, it was hard to tell; however, there was a man at the bar that was hooked up to an oxygen tank. You don't see that every day.

The small, narrow room, with its corrugated metal walls, had the feel of a shipping container - adding to the ample character already provided by its occupants. A band set the rhythm of the room while a silent television (first playing the simpsons, then wresting) offered visual stimulation. Eventually, a pilot took the mic and belted out 'I did it my way' to the amusement of everyone in the bar.

The hotel that I've been put up at by the airline is actually quite nice. Apparently, it's the choice of the UN and other such organizations when they post people in Moresby, which explains why the internet costs K$1/minute. Tomorrow morning I head to the airport early to find out if and when I will be able to leave the country. Wish me luck.


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