Our Doorbell in PNG

Our front door sans doorbell

Our front door sans doorbell

Okay. Technically, technically, we don’t have an actual doorbell.

But we do have something that works just as well! Here in Madang, most properties, either resided in by expatriates or nationals alike, have a chain link fence surrounding it, oftentimes accompanied by barbed wire. Both are meant to discourage theft.

Some properties, like ours, also hire guard companies to protect their property further. Guard companies here are as prevalent as Starbucks back in the US. Okay, that’s a hyperbole, but the point remains.

However, putting the functionality aspect of the fence aside, the question is raised: how do you visit your friends when they’re fifty feet or so on the other side of a chain link fence? How do you let them know you’ve arrived?

The answer is, you knock.

With this.

The locks on our fence

The locks on our fence

When someone comes to our gate, say our national friend Julie, they simply reach their hand inside the fence, grab hold of the locks, and bang them against the fence until someone hears.

See? It’s a doorbell.

Our guard, Alex, ready if someone knocks

Our guard, Alex, ready if someone knocks

Whoever hears first–usually our guard, though sometimes it’s one of us–will go out there with the key, unlock the gate, and let the visitor in.

If it’s someone selling something or begging, they use the same system.

Sometimes one of our neighbors will just wait at the gate for one of us to come out and chat for a few minutes. It’s the equivalent, I think, of calling someone or texting them just to say hello before moving on with their day. It just requires more…walking.

If you’re driving in a car and would like to come inside, you just honk a couple of times, friendly-like, and again, either the guard or one of us, will open the gate for you.

Our front gate

Our front gate

DSC_0614

 

So now you know, if you come to visit us unannounced, how to ring our doorbell.

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