woensdag 30 september 2009

Time for a Change

A clean sweep!
He, what's going on?? Why is this in English? Is this still Marleen’s weblog? Yes it is and a warm welcome to my new and updated weblog! I decided it was time for a change, mainly because a few of my international friends were interested to read my weblog (probably just to check if I am not writing any bad stuff about them ;-)), but they couldn’t because it was in Dutch! So I decided to make it more accessible to everyone who is interested in my life and my experiences in the land of the unexpected (because it is never a dull moment, I can tell you that!). I am sorry for those who will have to struggle with the English, but I trust most of you will be ok with it. Otherwise: Sori tru!

Dutchies at a Eurovision party (organised by some Australians!)

Let me just give you a brief update of the past few months, because a lot has happened. In July two of my friends from Amsterdam came to visit me, and that was welcoming change. Marleen (yes very true, apparently it was a very popular name in the late seventies..) and Dewy had travelled a bit in Indonesia before crossing the border at Jayapura (Indonesia) and Vanimo (PNG). While they were here in Madang, the weather was not that great. This was the first time in months we had those gloomy, although quite welcoming cool, days. Probably like everywhere else in the world, PNG is experiencing some climate changes. The wet season was supposed to be ending in March, but even in the middle of July we had some big thunder and rain storms. Very nice and cool at night, but muddy and depressing during the day.
Anyway we organised some bring-your-own-food-and-drinks night at our place so the girls got to meet almost everyone we hang out with here in Madang. Jon and Miquel made a very good impression on them with their knowledge of music and celebrity gossip. You have to understand that both Marleen and Dewy are like walking music encyclopaedias to me. Even though Jon’s interest in music is mainly Euro Trash, he found his soul mate in Dewy, and they could just go on and on about some artists who have already been erased out of memories a long time ago. And not without any reason, eh!
Jon and Miquel enjoying the ride in our Nissan

Charlye just left for the US a week before their arrival, so she didn’t meet them. That was actually not part of our deal, because she was supposed to take care of the B&B component in our house by providing the girls with breakfast on bed ;-) She owed Marleen big time because of some last minute stuff Charlye requested which Marleen sent off to PNG (long story..). So I had the house to myself for more than 4 weeks! On one hand this quite relaxing and nice, but on the other hand I didn’t feel that comfortable and safe all the time. Because our house is quite spacious, and Charlye’s bedroom is in the front of the house and mine in the back, I didn’t have any clue what was happening in the front when the dogs started to bark in the middle of the night. Especially the first week I didn’t sleep well. I was up and walking in the middle of the night and expected the rascols would come in any moment. Of course nothing happened, but I was just very much on my guard all the time.
Kisim sampla kaukau long maket

While Marleen and Dewy were here I felt pretty safe again. The house was full with people so I felt I didn’t have to worry that much anymore. In addition to that, we finally got our own security guard….Dolly!. That’s right: a cat! Charlye and I already wanted to have a cat because that seemed to be the best solution to get rid of the rat problem we had in our house. So one morning, the Dutch girls and I had breakfast on the balcony when I spotted a kitten walking around in our garden. Marleen immediately stood up and suggested to catch it. So we did. We caught the kitten, fed it, gave it a bath and named it Dolly! Initially Charlye and I wanted to call the cat Chasim because we figured that would fit best for a rat chaser. But once we caught her, I liked Dolly better.
Dolly needs a bath
Of course she is named after Dolly Parton, if you all wondered! It is not because I admire her appearance that much, and I wish for Dolly to look like that, but just because she's is this unique character with! But maybe I can also get away with it if I say that I wanted to give it both an American and a Dutch meaning (since her two ‘mothers’ carry those nationalities), so I named Dolly after Dolly Parton and (yeah what else can I say to justify this name pick…) the Dolly Dots which were a popular Dutch girl band in the eighties.
Marleen and Dewy shopping for ....shopping bags

Of course I couldn’t let Marleen and Dewy leave PNG without at least letting them trying to chew buai (beetle nut). We bought some buai, lime powder and mustard seed from our neighbours in the back who have their little market stand in front of our house, and started to chew. Our neighbours obviously found this quite hilarious: three waitpela meri getting spak of the buai.
Dewy getting spak of buai under the watchful eye of our neighbours
Dewy was struggling and swallowing all the buai stuff and couldn’t manage to turn the mass red, while Marleen was sweating and feeling dizzy of the effect! Quite the PNG experience!

Coming back from the beach at Hole in the Wall

So after a week of shopping, chilling, learning pidgin from our haus meri Marianna, drinking, attempt of karaoke singing at the country club and taking care of Dolly, the girls left for Vanimo and after that back to Indonesia for another 2 weeks of travelling.
Marleen strapping on masks and snorkels
with some village kids at Hole in the Wall
However, this never happened. They got stuck in Vanimo for a week! If you think of Vanimo think of……boring, sleepy little border town! Apparently there was no connection with Jakarta for issuing the visa and therefore everyday they had to come back to the Indonesian consulate to check if the connection was fixed. This was a week of wasting time in Vanimo PNG. I felt so sorry for the girls, because they had to change their travel plans for Indonesia. Fortunately they could stay with a friend of Gabriel, who is our Canadian friend in Vanimo, but who wasn’t there at that time.
Village kids at Hole in the Wall

A week later my sister Dorien came to visit me in PNG for a second time. Charlye arrived in the morning, and in the afternoon I picked up Dorien. So we had a full house again at Coronation Drive! Dorien had a horrible day with crossing the border at Jayapura and Vanimo. A few days before she met up with Marleen and Dewy in Indonesia and they explained her how they crossed the border so she did exactly the same. Unfortunately for her when she arrived at the border crossing, she got send back to Jayapura to get another stamp in her passport from the PNG consulate. This was all in one day and both of us didn’t expect her to arrive in Madang the same day. If Air Niugini didn’t have a delay that day (or any other day) she definitely would have missed her connection and had to stay two nights in Vanimo before she could get the next flight to Madang. But she managed to get on the plane so we celebrated that and Charlye’s return with a good glass of wine. Although Charlye didn’t make it for that glass of wine because the jetlag had already kicked in.
Tupela susa

Dorien’s entire luggage almost consisted just out of books and presents for me! She only packed a few necessary things for herself and that was it. What a great sister! We took her out for some snorkelling and picknicking at Hole in the Wall and Pik Island where Miquel entertained us with his obsession for Eurotrash music.
Beautiful ride on the North Coast road
For those of you who don’t know what we consider Eurotrash: it’s European dance music from the nineties. Like Haddaway, Snap, Cappella, Culture Beat, etcetera.
Beach at Pik Island
It is so horrible and bad that we can actually quite appreciate it. But we just enjoyed singing along with the music (which brought me back to my days as a teenager; I could see myself and my friends on a Saturday night riding 10 KM on our bicycles to the local discotheque called 2Night trying to get in before 11 pm, because then entrance was still free..) while zipping our drinks and refresh ourselves in the turquoise coloured water. On those days I can really appreciate life in PNG!

Relaxing in the water at Hole in the Wall

1 opmerking:

mauswara zei

Thanks for changing to English. I will pass this on to the PNG Gossip Newsletter for mention in the next edition.

http://pnggossip.com/news/latest.html and http://pnggossip.blogspot.com/