Thursday, 11 March 2010

The... No News Is Good News

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.


  1. Pickles! I can't believe they wont let you back in Deans Court. What will you do without the crumble?!?! And I am so sorry to hear about Frankie. He had style. Take care, and best of luck for the last three months in PNG. Big hug from monkey-face

  2. Alas, poor Frankie! I knew him. Highland adventures (namely incarceration in the eerie garden at Blair Atholl Castle) will never be the same. Perhaps he'll finally make it to Skye in the afterlife?

    See you Oxford!