Saturday, 5 January 2013


One of the most common topics of conversation up here, is about house staff. Haus Maris, Flowa Bois, Ziggies.

Compound Guards are called "ziggies" as in "securities". It's an accent thing.

We are blessed to have Betti The Wonder Mari as our haus mari. She's totes amazeballs. And I am the envy of plenty of expat wives out there. Some families I know, go through a haus mari a month, or more. Usually sacked for stealing, BTW. Although I DO know of one haus mari that was sacked because the family came home to find her having sex with the day guard in the laundry.

We're also very lucky with our flowa boi, Kutsubi, who looks 75 and only ever smiles when his grand kids come and visit him.

With our ziggies, not so much about the luck.

We've finally found a night ziggy who doesn't fall asleep on the job, or use the pool to wash his socks in, and actually knows how to use his radio in the event of a crisis, but our day ziggies have been utter crap.

From then one who tried to hit on Rhee when the kids were up. Or the one that we caught playing poker with Vop.. with nudie women cards. Or the one that washed himself and his uniform by waiting until he thought we were out and jumping, fully clothed, into the pool.

My favourite ziggie story was the one where a couple of Two Kina Maris (prostitutes) were having a full on bitch fight in our driveway, and when I called him to break it up and move them on, he fully flicked me the hand, like a 15 year old girl, and lit up a smoke as he watched them go at it.

Seriously, all it needed was a fucking jelly-filled pool, and his fantasy would have been complete.

Most ziggies are ex street kids, or street monkeys, as they're called up here. The really smart ones MIGHT have a Year 8 education. Most of them are illiterate and working for a guarding company is quite a prestige job. They, well, most of them, get a feed as lunch time, and have access to a working toilet.

However, in the ziggy stakes, The Husbang and I are CLEARLY paying for the kharma of having Betti The Wonder Mari.

Having a ziggy is a weird thing. I would prefer a rapid response unit, to come if I needed them, but as anyone who's ever lived in PNG knows, "rapid response" is not a term that has any sort of meaning up here. PNG is the home of "Melanesian Time".

So having a ziggy means that most of their day is spent doing nothing. NOTHING. Because I live in a compound and don't work, our ziggies might have to open the gate for me, or a visitor, once a day. In a compound where everyone works, you might have nothing to do between letting the people out in the morning and then back in at 5.30. And while crime is rampant up here, not every house gets burglaries every day, so apart from keeping an ear out for broken glass, there's not much to do. Some read, some listen to a radio, and I don't really care what they do as long as they don't wash in my pool and are available when shit goes down.

The current ziggy has only been on site for 3 hours. because yesterday we sacked yet another day ziggy.

Three times in two weeks, I've called him to open the gate for visitors to find him nowhere in the compound.

The first of those times, I called him for a good 20 minutes, before he appeared, gormless look firmly plastered on his face, from the OUTSIDE of the compound. I suspect he'd been visiting the Two Kina Maris across the road for a bit of afternoon delight.

This has happened twice since, the final time being yesterday when The Husbang came home for lunch and found said ziggy three compounds down the street, sitting under a galip nut tree, hanging out with his posse...

Of Street Monkeys.

Yep, the same street monkeys that we lock our doors against, who try and sell you everything from stolen mobiles to carvings.. the street monkeys responsible for the drunken antics of the two kina maris at 4am on a Sunday morning.

The street monkeys that he's paid to guard us from.

The street monkeys, one of which turned up at our gate just before Crimbo and was drunk as a lord. He then proceeded to shake and rattle the gate, demanding entry to try and sell me some "simuk" (home made cigarettes). He tried to kick my dogs through the bars, and my vigilant ziggy, who was stretched out, lounging on the BBQ, refused to deal with it. I told him in no uncertain terms to go and 'rouse' the drunken idiot from the gate, and he simply refused to do so!

The street monkeys who pimp their wives and girlfriend and daughters in the banana plantation across the road, and then get them so drunk on Liwa Lower (the local home brew, which roughly translates as "Heart Lover", but is pronounced Liver Lava, much to my delight), they passout IN the street or on my driveway. One was hit by a car last week and killed.

THOSE street monkeys.

And when The Husbang asked, in no uncertain terms "what the fuck do you think you're doing?", he simply turned and walked away.

So THAT ziggy is gone, and our new one is proudly carrying a night stick and making sure I can see him patrolling the pool area.

Unfortunately I also saw him squeal like a girl and lock himself behind the pool gate, when the dogs came to investigate him.

I wonder how long he'll last?

No comments:

Post a Comment