Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change


singapore2Singapore. Which means sweat. You feel it almost the moment you step outside, prickling up under your hair, through your clothes and rolling in beads down your forehead. The sun lies heavy like a woollen blanket and in the still air there is the smell of spice, incense and something sweet – maybe the flowers. It makes you slow, wonderfully slow, leaving all your busyness behind. The worries about this trip during a broken night’s sleep on the airplane? Gone. All I worry about now is getting into the shade along the pavement, but don’t hurry to get there. Better get used to it, too. I checked the weather in Port Moresby before leaving home: temperatures between 26-31 C and humidity of 94%. That’s almost underwater.

Here the sun picks out bright colours. Flowers, market stalls where the shopping is done in a mix of broken Mandarin and English, the red roofs of the apartment blocks where I sit to write this. All this heat, sun, smells, colour. That’s why I love Asia. Love it.

The jetlag is also helping with my lazy mood. I’m staying with an old mate from Australia, who now works for a Kiwi philanthropist. He’s left for work and I’m going to finish this and take a nap before explore the city together this evening. Tomorrow, the next step. I fly to Brisbane.


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