I grabbed breakfast with the Airbnb host at the Marina then she left for work, leaving me to explore Port Moresby. Very aware that Port Moresby’s recent economic development and inflow of inhabitants are due to Australian mining, and that the people from the disparate tribes of PNG, one of the most culturally diverse and undiscovered countries in the world, sometimes share diverging social norms and values, which at times leads to conflict and unrest, I stayed vigilant and in public areas with an umbrella in hand. I avoided the bus system due to reports of hijackings, opting to walk through the town center from Ela Beach to St Mary’s Cathedral, a small university, and a couple of shopping centers. At a cafe, I asked a Philippine migrant about his experiences in the city, but mainly got warnings. Then I made my way to the Waterfront Mall and SVS Super Market to buy foot powder for a scratch from snorkeling, but was met by a Australian military guy who followed me around the mall until I walked up to report him to security, then he told me he was head of security and directed the pharmacy to sell me some antibiotics. Mission accomplished, I headed next door to the Royal Papuan Yacht Club to relax and wait for my host.
An umbrella is extremely useful not only for rain but sun when walking around, and security when in relatively unsafe areas. Small compact ones don’t take much room and can be attached to the outside of your luggage for easy access. They come in all shapes and sizes, but generally I recommend reverse folding, sturdy handle, and lots of ribs.