Sunday, 31 January 2016

Late Night Post In Port Moresby

This is the fish of my dreams.
                           -  Dan Dodds

Among the primary things of which everyone’s enthusiasm becomes apparently stimulated whenever a momentary congregation of semi-tired managers squeezed in together for a 15-minute ride home are the profound interest to know what sort of fish, in its size and form, is available at Malaoro Market at the time being.

Malaoro Market is a prominent open-air market and an alternative place for shoppers whose premeditated itinerary is to buy freshly caught fish and for those who are budget-wise alike.  Fish are displayed on temporary stalls in quite a number upon which prices of unquestionable modesty is coupled. 

Here is Ben and the “buro” which he has recently made. While most people are drawn to this market for low prices, a number of people like me are quite in for finding a fish alive, which is what a fish must be, in order to make a really nice and authentic buro according to Ben who is a co-manager and a seasoned buro maker. I’ve been meaning to try and learn his art of buro-making but I haven’t got around to that yet.

But then again, I’m also in for low prices. 

This is ate Des. If there is one reason for her to be happy about after returning from Malaoro Market, it will be a fleeting moment like this while she’s holding a yellow fin tuna of incalculable disproportion to her hand which dwarfs what anyone else has bought in comparison.

Wait a minute; I think we might have a new stalwart contender. Here’s nanay Ada, holding the same variety of tuna. Judging from how she holds it for this photoshoot, it must be a couple of times heavier than what ate Des has.

Nanay Ada has once been featured by this young blogger sometime around November, 2014 and has since then become a regular persona of interest in the pages of this blog. You can read it here if you have a bit of precious time to spare.

 Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
- Henry David Thoreau

While it appears to be a fallacy of hasty generalization, the quote with its varying degrees of meaning has somewhat found itself useful for this particular scene.  I owe the reason for owning an aquarium partly due to the fish’s inexorable cuteness when swimming underwater and largely due to the associated psychological factors that we can benefit from looking at it or by going through the chores of maintaining one.

But then again, it’s just one of my feeble attempts to explain the reason behind getting some things that I want, like this small aquarium in particular.

Years ago, I had an incredible urge to learn the art of bread making. My point of study in particular was solely about making pandesal. I did make some to varying degrees of success but more often than not,  the quality of the bread I made were in nowhere near  within a marketable value.

Sometimes my pandesal were as hard as rock and sometimes they just don’t taste like one at all. The picture above was the last ones that I made and I have since then stopped baking. 

One significant effect of having an aquarium nearby is an apparent reduction to the levels of anxiety and stress on those who are contemplating on the fish dwelling inside. The effect of which can increase tenfold if an exercise involving a moderate physical workout such as riding a stationary bike is added on a daily routine. During the first few months since I bought the bike, I adhered to my biking schedule religiously like how Lance Armstrong stuck to his biking regimen.

Nowadays, the things that ride my bike involve a number of used shirts and an ample amount of dust.

Back in my younger days, I used to play Starcraft a lot. This personal desktop computer in my room bears a copy of this game and I still play it whenever I am in the mood for crushing a colony of alien being. Of the particular antagonists in the game, I disliked Zerg the most, and this is followed by the advance and more technologically capable Protoss.

I am huge fan of the Terran colony despite its unjust inadequacies in the game.

Here’s me in my bedroom while programming our company’s Lucky Chance software right after a good Starcraft game. While playing a computer game seems counter-productive to many, this is not always true for everyone. According to several studies that have regarded the effect of games to the gamers’ brain, a positive outcome of playing a strategy or real-time games includes a notable increase of activities in areas of the brain that involves spatial ability and critical thinking.

I’m not sure what that means, but if it means being able to come up quickly with a good alibi during a thorough questioning by an angry girlfriend, then there's more reason for you to play.

Hypothetical conversation.

Girl: Who’s Jenny and why is she in your FB friends?

Boy: Oh her. Uhm. Yeah.

Girl: Who?

Boy: (stammering) Uhm. She’s my boss and…
        … she’s specifically asked us all to…
        … to, add her up on facebook so she could see who was spending time on fb during working hours.

Girl: Oh. Okay.

Again, here’s me on my back. If, by any chance, you are wondering what this young blogger is actually doing when he is not blogging, I do all sort of things that can assist the company that I work with on their inventory and IT matters. The endeavor involves a number of things like planning for stocktake and making sure that they are done on time while keeping the results up to their highest accuracy as possible.

Here’s Moses, while testing his fingerprint on the biometric machine connected to a computer. The software running on this PC is what I programmed within the confinements of my bedroom.

 Luckily, this young blogger has developed a keen interest on software programming during his younger age. In general, if humans spend a lot of time doing the same thing with a high degree of interest again and again for what may seem like an eternity,  one can become so accustomed to the deed. The associated result is what humans have simply referred to as “skill.”

Here’s one of the software that I created for the company that I am working with. This module is particularly designed to deal with product searches and organizing them. 

This young blogger has a profound interest on other things as well that may or may not have something to do with a computer. He likes networking computers and troubleshooting problems related to such. The picture above is an example. Our server's previously setup state and after I did some rearrangements.

 And when everything of what this young blogger does becomes mundane, he just simply retreats to his art corner to which he spends a quality time to unwind. Having a conglomeration of varying art supplies on a narrow drawing table with a good source of light may bring forth the inner child within us, said I.

I specifically like to visualize someone how they would look like if they were an anime or a manga character. 
I have quite drawn a number of sketches that depict people in that way like this sketch above.

It’s almost midnight around here and somehow, my eyelids are getting heavier. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Shop Hopping at Port Moresby

Port Moresy and Papua New Guinea in general is a home to numerous shopping store and supermarket.  Back in my country, I remember Cabanatuan, where I spent most of my school days, as a home to numerous schools and universities.  Walking around a few blocks in that place will almost always bring you to a different school. On busy weekdays, students can make up most of the public on every crowded street.

Port Moresby, having dwelt by diverse cultures comprised of the locals and expats from different countries, is adapted to meet what the multicultural community needs.  Thanks to the local farmers and poultry growers, we are enjoying a steady supply of fresh meat and vegetables.

This shelf is in Waterfront Shop. While the prices may be outdated, tiger prawns are sold at K87.75 per kilo and baby squids are sold at a much lower price for K24.95 a kilo. Squids are generally associated to foods that are of rubbery substance and are hard to chew, so I am guessing that the word “baby” in this price tag is a fun way to disassociate these little creatures from the same conviction.

Kind of suggesting these are the “softer” kind of squid. 

I’m not sure if it’s a good idea not to mask off the prices but it seemed that the majority of my readers are people interested at knowing things about PNG.  A few months after I started this blog, I’ve been occasionally receiving emails from various people asking mostly about the cost of living in Papua New Guinea. 

Apparently, shop owners here are quite knowledgeable in local cuisine.  Here on display is mixed veggies intentionally packed together for a certain recipe. There are various days in our kitchen when I pretend like a good chef and just cook whichever is the simplest from a recipe book. Perhaps, I’ll be trying these on one of those days. 

In Port Moresby, local farmers continue to bring in their contributions to the ever luscious display of fresh vegetables on store shelves.  I sometimes wonder how the locals can still manage to grow crops despite the scarcity of rain being received by this place all year round. 

Proficient farmers, I must say.

Some stores are considerate enough to bring in goods from the Philippines.  When I was younger, although I still am, but by some metaphorical interpretation, I can feast on a whole jar of peanut butter just by progressively scooping it out with a single finger.

Nowadays, when I try and reproduce that behavior, such a childlike action can sometimes elicits gleeful reactions from my good-humored housemates.  

This shelf is dominated by heaps of Choco Mallows and Flat Tops. I specifically took notice because these two were my favorite treats.  If you haven’t come across eating Choco Mallows before, its taste is akin to that of a regular marshmallow dipped in a bowl of chocolate-flavored pancake syrup.

Although I work in a shop of similar ventures, I also become a customer to other store every now and then. Being a customer, I always enjoy the pleasure of taking all the time to inspect an item before I buy it.  But I have come to learn that shopping while dressed in my company uniform does attract a steady influx of inquisitive customers lost in the labyrinth of shelves and gondolas.

Hypothetical conversation

Customer: “Could you help me locate where the Anchor milk is?”

Me: “Uh wait, I think it’s on that side. But I’m really sorry, I don’t work here.”

Customer: “Oh, sorry.”

Me: “It’s okay. No worries. Have a good day.”

Papua New Guinea’s undeniable growth is apparent on its every day scenery. For example, an increasing number of vehicles on the road and the partial colonization of hills that have once stood uninhabited can be considered a sign of progress.

We left the Waterfront Shop and visited Waigani Central. Unfortunately, this store has caught in minor fire a few months ago. I believe that this remains close to the public at the time of this writing.  Luckily though, it still has its old building nearby where they are doing business as usual at the moment.

We usually go here for bananas and carrots. The shop hopping has largely been due to the differences in the way each stores add a markup on their produce.  We have learned that paying a visit here on weekends can be productive on our part.

Plus you’ll get to see a mosaic face of vegetable origin on the banner.

It wasn’t long before our hungry stomachs took our concentration away from the vegetable stalls.  We went inside the shop and looked around for something to munch on our way home.  A co-manager ended up choosing this sushi.

I did not feel like eating at that time so I walked about a few paces from there and found myself staring at this remarkable machine that produces superb-tasting coffees in an instant. I always wanted one of these for myself but the price of owning one is just simply impractical.

In the end, I decided to order a cup of cappuccino that fits perfectly in the cup holder inside our car. We went home feeling jovial that we spent our weekends in a fruitful way.

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