One thing that flys over my head most days is that everybody is struggling man.

Last night (22-11-2021), I went to Stop and Shop Central to pick up some breakfast. We were on the road doing Rides Inc runs and finished up just about 8 pm.

Stop and Shop central closes but 9 pm, so you can imagine the place was almost empty.

I was only there for breakfast so all I needed I could hold in my hand. In front of me was a dad, with 3 sons and 2 girls; The daughters being the older ones.

As usual, the younger ones were fussing over something from the shelves near the counter that the dad wasn’t going to allow them to have.

We get to the counter and I’m tempted to just buy some of these things for the kids but I didn’t want to risk offending the dad, so I let him handle it.

I get through, get my stuff and go down to the ATM to get cash. There I find a mother with her 2 young, energetic and curious kids who have a million and one questions about how ATMs work.

Behind them was another guy just leaning against the wall, not really in the line. He seems both eager and nervous to step to the ATM. I didn’t think much of it as I was counting coins to give to the guard who was most likely standing there all evening helping those who don’t really know how to use the ATM.

The guy in front of me finishes up with the ATM with a deep frustrating sigh, turns, and asks the guard what the time is. I step forward and do my business. But I overhear the conversation with the guard and the guy continues.

He asks; wanem time ya?
Guard answers: em go osem 8:30pm now
Guy: aiiee avinun yet ya.
Guard: sapos em no kam now em luk osem tumoro ba you kam sekim ya.

Then nothing, the guard quietens and it’s so quiet all that’s left to hear is the ATM counting money.

I turn to the guard leave some “cola mani” with him and leave just wondering how that other guy is going to go home? If he is the only breadwinner? Is his family is going to eat tonight?

As I drive out I see him walking and I could feel his pain just by looking at the labored footsteps. But I was already in traffic and very little I could do. It was a shame I didn’t see him earlier in the car park. A part of me even felt guilty for not circling back to leave some money with him.

This isn’t the first I’ve I’ve experienced this there. Last week I had a mother in front of me put a small packet of tea and milk back because all she had on her was K50. It broke my heart that she had kids relying on her and her ability to stretch that K50.

I’d told the cashier to charge it and that I’d pay for it. It was only about K3.50 more but that seemed to have made that mother’s night.

Every day it flys over my head how fortunate I am. To be who I am and do what I’m doing. I’m a young single man, who is able to take care of himself and those around him. No babies or baby momma, not even a girlfriend as I write this.

I’m out here with as limited drama and hardships as possible because of the work put in every day. And that means sometimes I don’t fully empathize with those who are struggling in our city.

Those of you who still have it within your power to make a better life for yourself, you better get to it.

It’s hard out here in the streets of Port Moresby.

Mediocre efforts will have you struggling for the rest of your life.

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