But I digress, despite the copious amounts of razor wire, the Guard Dog security guard on every street corner and the security screens welded to the outside of the windscreen on the bus you catch from the airport, Lae has an attractive underbelly to it. 4 metres of rainfall each year means the grass is always greener and hidden amongst the termite infested Rain Trees are some exquisite orchids, zygos, broms and ferns. There are some hidden Horticultural delights in the main streets of Lae. There’s also that laid back approach to dodging pot-holes (called driving elsewhere) that exudes the charms of a big country town, and the way that on every pot-hole corner there’s a dozen people makes one think that one is caught up in a thriving metropolis.
One time, I managed to escape the allure of Lae itself, and I managed to get up into the mountains behind the City to Bulolo and Wau, towns of a decent gold rush in the 1930’s and a new prospective happening at the moment up in
Wau was gorgeous, should be renamed Wow, and had a real charm to it, after you get over the initial What-is-this-white-guy-doing-in-town introduction. I will admit, Wau gave me the most aggressive of all welcomes by any town in PNG. Shortly afterwards, once it was known that I wasn’t here to dig a massive hole in the ground and shortchange the locals, I was received more comfortably. If you are ever in Wau, go to Donna’s Stoa, see Dannielle or Tim and they can give you some good guidance in a real pretty part of Morobe and far removed from the aggression of Lae.
I only regret not making it to Finschafen. Footy biang!