Having realised the depths of my own ignorance with regard to climate change refugees (see below), I went to the library yesterday to get some books on Papua New Guinea. It didn’t go well.
They did have a copy of ‘Spain for Dummies’, and various books by Michael Palin on everywhere else, but I couldn’t find anything on PNG. Eventually, one of the librarians searched the catalouge and found two entries. One looked promising, The Culture of Papua New Guinea. It turned out this was an illustrated children’s book and actually at another library. The other was the Lonely Planet, which to be honest is as good a starting point as any. This lack of information is exiting and daunting in equal measure – I may not know exactly what I am getting into, but at least there is less chance of people wanting to sell me egg and chips when I get there.
I particularly like the book’s introduction to the capital, Port Moresby, which I have been warned has a bit of a problem with crime: “on that front you do need to be careful, but not paranoid,” says the Lonely Planet. “It’s not as bad as the reputation would have you believe.”