Lonwe Boss. etc. This is a melaesian way. Same in the Solomons. The melanesian people have a self-effacing habit, of telling the whiteman what he wants to hear. Then making themselves scarce. Otrherwise the Wait man has the unfortunate habit of going beserk.
This extends to pasin bilong wait man, such as organisations like the Army. As an example. Nau yumi sindaun,na mi stori liklik: ( Now you and I will sitdown and I will tell you a short story) tell a story) AMaori friend of mine was with the RAMSI mission to the Solomons with the NZ Army. They were loaded with Chainsaws, fuel, normal camping gear, food, weapons, ammo, and everythjing else needed. Over 60Kg per person. They asked a local about as to where they were going.
His reply was: "Sotwe boss." Then he shot through. They, the AJs, did not know enough t6o ask supplementary questions. Like: Dispela sotwe ah? Mi laik kisim save long dispela sotwe?" And so on. Any way some 12 miles later they are cursing and swearing: "Where uis that b-----d? We'll give him his effen 'Sotwe Boss' " And so on. The total distance turned out to be seventeen miles. In reality it shoud,lt should hjave been: "Longwe tumas Boss." = "Too far boss." "Forget it." (implied)
As you can see, he, (the local Soloman Islander) told the whiteys what they wanted to hear, then made himself scarce.
Now for arranging things that then don't come to ***. One is: "Melanesian Time". The other is loss of face. If the locals are unable to arrange something, because of unforseen circumstances. Then, they tend to wander off, rather than tell you. (Being a whitey once again)
Lat me give you an example of "Melanesian Time". You give on of your Techs his annual holidays. (normally 4 weeks) He goes bek long Ples. = To his village with his family and wantoks. Now, due to the normal circadian rhythyms oof village life time as we know it fades into oblivion. He doesn't need money - which drives all of us back to work. (Paying off the Mortgage, the kids, the car, amd sometimes the ex-wife as well. So some six weeks later "Gooma" has not returned.
Now I am not talking about some unskilled labourer, but a highly trained Tech, with a standard of (formal) education superior to min
e, quite often. Only those living a more western life, with their wife and kids in the city, and paying off a house, are more "reliable". (my words and from our point-of -view, only.
Orait. Mi sotwin nau. Mi kam bek long taim bihain. Ok. I'm short of breath, I'll be back later. (Actualy I have work to do.
PS. Olgeta manimeri bilong PNG. If I have got anything incorrect, or you have abything to add....Feel free. I am sure Kristen would appreciate it - and so would I.
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