So I have some sad news for my friends who knew him… Frankie the Fiat is dead, I was not present obviously, but I hear it was painless, no nasty operations to prolong his life, just a sudden breakdown and that was it, gone to another place. So this means no more hazardous driving through windscreen fogging, no more hill-starts, and no more part time Back-to-the-Future style dashboard. I will be investing more than 100 pounds in a car upon my return, but don’t worry carless (Carlos [Ed.]) Scotland-based friends, it will most likely be a banger with more hangups than horsepower, so see you at the garage.
Otherwise, I have just been rejected from going back to Deans Court, the postgraduate feedery which got me here in 6 months and could have had me finishing my PhD with wildly overanticipated speed. So I will have to add flat-searching to my internet duties. I will miss the old place, especially as the hoodie looks like it will never arrive here in Goroka, sent not far from a year ago. To those who remain there of my crop, your sadness will be inconsolable I know, but I will be in St Andrews, I promise.
In local news, coffee season fast approaches, my time going regularly to church is nearly up (I am not alone here), and I am back where I belong, in the dirtiest place I have ever been: the betelnut/gambling market known in the local language as Atuwakuka, but more popularly as The World Trade Centre. I was recently caught up in a major disturbance in this market which was the result of the rape of a daughter of a leader from a different local group by a group of young men believed to be based at that market. I cant go into details, but it was a significant event by Anthon and Goroka’s estimation, and not without fight-or-flight moments. Glamorous, no, but news. Aside from this episode (which bore more than a passing ethnographic similarity to the repurcussions recorded by a certain Professor Geertz) I really enjoy my time there, and also with my other emerging informant group, security guards. I am also after beggars, but we will see how that works out.
I am feeling the pinch as time runs out, as the dry season pretends to appear and then hides again, and as nearly all conversations begin with asking about when I go back, I am acutely aware of my impermanence, and its immanence. But, I am determined to return, and will book my tickets straight after my first return meeting with my supervisor, for another 3 months of [insert 3rd worldy adventure stereotype. Ed.]... Just to be sure, humourless PC lunatics, this is a joke at the expense of other blogs and articles concerning this place, often published in national newspapers, which make my brain bleed like a course of leeches.