Friday 14 October 2011


Expatting can be hard, especially on women up here on a dependant visa. They're not allowed to work. So there are plenty of activities to get women out of the haus, and plenty of opportunities to network. There are card mornings, Mah Jong, Lioness Club, Rotary, various committees for the Show, Pink Ribbon Day, balls and dances, and the like.

One of the highlights of the month is LOTM, Lunch of the Month. Tickets go on sale a week before the event and the are usually sold out within a day or two.

There is a committee that organises them and they often have themes. I've been to a local PNG-themed one, a Mexican one, and yesterday was a South African one.

Lae is a polyglot of many nations. In the expat community, the most frequent nationalities are Australian, New Zealand, South African and American, with smaller Philipino and Chinese contingents. Cross-cultural relationships are common. It's not unusual to find someone on a US passport, who's been up here 20 years, and talks with an almost pure Aussie accent, married to a local of Korean/Philipino descent.

It makes for a weird accent.

But pretty awesome food.

Here's a glimpse of yesterday's LOTM:

There were boerwars sausages, heavily spiced with cinammon, corn bread, chutnies, and AMAZING dessert drink called Don Pedro, originally from Argentina, something called Bunny Chow- little bread rolls hollowed out and filled with spiced fruit and meat curry. And more.

Addendum: Just found my spiel on South African food, from th LOTM Ladies:

Rainbow Cuisine.

South African food is truly a multicultural combination of indigenous ingredients such as fruit, bulbs, nuts, leave and wild game, and food tat came with the colonial era fromHolland, Germany. France, Great Britain and India. Maize has become an integral part of traditional Afrian cooking since its introduction centuries ago that many people assume to be an indigenous plant.

Mielle brood/corn bread
Bunny chow: curry stuffed into a hollowed-out loaf of bread, called kots by locals
Braai: South African BBQ
Biltong:dried salted meat
bobotie: meatloaf with raisins and baked egg from Malay influence, typically served with yellow rice and chutney
Boereors: spicy, fatty sausage, grilled over an open flame
Sosaties: light curried meat kebab similar to satay
Potjiekos: African stew made in a cast-iron pot over hot coals.

The LOTM ladies usually put on some games, or a quizz, to learn a little about the culture of the month.

Did you know that South Africa was the first country to commerical grow and export aloe vera products?

If you're new to Lae, get on the LOTM mailing list. It's an awesome day.