Saturday Markets

On Saturday morning, Brandon (one of the MAF engineers), Michael (the CRMF aussie) and I head to the markets to buy some fruit and veges. I have been warned not to take too much cash or my camera in case of thieves (we bring Michael's little point-and-shoot) - I attempt to blend in with the crowd, but I'm told that may be difficult...

The markets are a teeming mass of people, with muddy paths, and sellers and buyers continually milling around. The main items are fruit and veges, as well as chickens, clothing and so on.

Some things are actually very plentiful in PNG, and fruit and veges are abundant and cheap. It is said that you can throw anything into the ground at Waghi Valley, and it will grow. In fact, with the shortage of bananas in Australia, I was mindful of picking up a couple of bunches. Two kilograms cost me all of 40c, making me wonder if I should try and pack some in my suitcase. The other commodity that I know I can bring back is coffee. Goroka coffee is world renowned, and rightly so. I have been enjoying many fine cups, and I have managed to have 12 packets of special Goroka coffee flown up via a friendly MAF pilot. It's just all the other commodities and services that they are missing that makes me sigh.

I look around for some souvenirs that I can buy for my family. In the absence of finding any Tiffanies silver or gold jewelery, I found some locally made plastic necklaces. Hopefully they won't be able to tell the difference.

I also find the local equivalent of MacDonalds - boiled pork chunks and sliced cauliflower. If you're lucky, the chef will even cut it up for you. Or was that to cut you up for it. Hmm...

Darts are a very popular roadside recreation (though I also suspect a significant source of gambling).

The way it works is that some young boy stands directly next to the dartboard, grabbing the darts after they hit the board. Given the aim of some of the throwers, I am amazed that there are not more one-eyed Nationals walking around, with various other small holes in their heads.

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