Tuesday 27 September 2011

Dumpling feast

you give up a lot to expat. Especially over here. Living behind razor wire, guards, gunfire at footy matches, leaving friends and family behind, not being able to drive around freely..... To make up for it, you have to look for the upside everywhere.

Now I hate sounding like Polly-fucking-Anna, but if you focus on all the things you've 'lost' to come up here, you'll never leave the compound, miss out on so much and eventually find yourself pouring vodka on your Cornflakes.

I completely don't get people, especially women up here, who stay locked away in their compounds for fear of 'something happening'. I know of two families alone, who've never been to Madang, or Salamaua, or Goroka or anywhere, for that matter, despite being here more than 12 months.

The reason? They're "too scared". Then I argue, why the hell did you move here? There are plenty of places that are 'safer', where you can make more money. You're in one of the last, great, unchartered places on Earth, with possibly the most diverse culture on the planet... and you'll go home in 3 years whining about how Lae's such a hole, and PNG is so dirty and hot, and you'll do it all from the privacy and 'safety' of your company compound.

People like that shit me senseless.

Lae is perfectly safe. As is most of PNG. My mantra is always, "If I wouldn't do X at home, I'm not going to do it here" The key to surviving expatting is to be courteous, culturally aware and vigilant.

Oh, and to carry a bush knife.


The other key is to put aside your Western/ Eastern prejudices and look for the good. And if the 'bad' shits you enough, get out and do something about it.

One of the MANY good things about PNG is the abundance of amazing food. (I'd argue that those who 'hate' Lae, or PNG, those who never leave their comfy compounds are also those who've never been to the market for fresh crab, or tried aibika or kau kau, and who's cupboards are stocked with Oreos and Kraft Mac "N Cheese blue boxes)

Anyway back to the amazing CHEAP food.

Lobster. I haz it.

5kgs of juicy lobster tails, for about $200AUD. Dude, I will take all the dust and diesel fumes and PMV bullshit drivers in the entire country, for lobster this good and this cheap.

And I'm going to turn them into this:

Yep. lobster and chive dumplings with a little touch of XO sauce.

And because I like to think I am a person of integrity and have a pretty strong sense of social justice, I'm off to the market soon to spend a whole K40 (about $20 AUD) on veggies- thus supporting local farmers- to make up a big batch of soup, and take it to the local hospital.

The local hospital where patients have no access to water, food or toilets while they wait up to 30 hours to be seen.

The hospital wherein yesterday, my friend Lian gave birth to her 3rd son, and was discharged within 2 hours.

And I know this because I ran into her in the supermarket, shopping for her and the children... THREE HOURS after giving birth.

Jeez... and I thought I was hardcore....


Lucy said...

that IS hardcore...oy.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a bamboo steamer, does that matter when doing dumplings? I just have my good ol reliable stainless steel Bacarat set. Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question.

purple goddess said...

Jen, a stainless steamer is fine. Just whack down a circlet of greaseproof paper, with some holes cut/poked in it, to stop the little buggers sticking and you'll be fine. If you want to start of with a basic dumpling recipe, searxh the blog for my recipe on "Furry Balls"

Dr. Wendy said...

"Lae is perfectly safe"? Dude... you had me up until then... rofl! It's a bit of Russion Roulette safe, but I keep spinning!

And yummo... when's dinner?