Saturday, 23 July 2005
Further along: the rail you can see is of the highlands highway. I walk up here on the way to the markets; it would be slightly quicker walking down on the track, but as ever there is a cost to the good things in life – here, getting hit by a dart.
There is quite a long row of boards, 20 or so I guess; some on poles, some just on the ground. You pay a kina or two for a few throws, and you can win a few more kina or a beer. They sketch out one of the borders of the kakaruk market, which is the more rowdy/disreputable market, where people bet, play darts, sit around chewing buai, drinking beer, smoking dope. When the state of origin matches are on, it is packed – even the day before and after. Whiteskins don’t really go there – or if so, it’s only briefly, a walk on the wild side (I’ve only walked through with a png friend; another volunteer up from lae recently went and hung out there for a few hours, though as a too guy it’d be a bit different; and, different again, other people I know shudder at the thought. Whatever your attitude, a whiteskin there is a hilarious novelty, you’re the centre of attention and welcomed with drunken cries and offers.)
When VIPs were here recently for the gun summit, the dart boards were moved much further down the hill so that you couldn’t see them from the road (and Jerry Singirok commented on how clean the town looked). Now that the visitors are gone, the darts have crept back up.