Expat, Traveller, Local


This is a little dialogue piece I wrote back when we were living at the the Lae Inter as a way to describe different attitudes to things over here.

Expatriate: The PMVs (busses) are dangerous. They told us that at the security briefing. You can’t catch them. Taxies either.

Traveller: The PMVs are fine. It’s a good way to meet locals.

Local: I wish I had a bloody Toyota Hilux. The PMVs drive me insane.


Expatriate: I don’t take anything. I know I should but I don’t want to take pills for three years.

Traveller: Just don’t get bitten, that’s my advice. That’s all the locals do.

Local: I’ve had malaria 19 times. It’s a hassle. The medicine is really expensive.


Expatriate: You have to watch out for raskols. They’re everywhere. Did you know that there are ten carjackings in Port Moresby every day? I even know someone who nearly got carjacked once.

Traveller: The expats are all so paranoid. I’ve been coming here on and off for years, and I’ve never even seen anything.

Local: Two months ago, some guys broke into our house and bashed my Dad and stole all our money.


Expatriate: You can drink the water. It’s a good idea to get acclimatised for a few weeks first though.

Traveller: The water is fine! Excuse me I need to go to the toilet again.

Local:  What else am I going to drink? You can buy me bottled water if you like. Each bottle would cost me two hour’s wages.


Expatriate: I wish I had a chance to get out  of Lae more often. There’s so much to see, but this is where the work is.

Traveller: The countryside is the real PNG. Places like Moresby and Lae are just for passing through. You know where you should go? [Insert name of village]. It’s so awesome! Really traditional, you know?

Local:  They told me if I came to Lae there might be work to support my family back at [insert name of same village] but I’ve been here for two years and I’m still unemployed.


Expatriate: There have been some bagsnatchings at Isi Kai. Don’t go there.

Traveller: That Isi Kai place is the cheapest in town. At this rate I’m never going to run out of money!

Local: My cousin works at Isi Kai. He gets us lamb heart in gravy sometimes, but only when the fridge hasn’t been off for too long. They don’t have a generator.


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