Monday, February 21, 2005

Oh Brother!

Still recovering today from my big night out on Saturday night.

I went with some of the teachers to another Fundraising dance, this time at The Junction, the Holiday Inn’s nightclub in town. The way these things work is someone pays to “hire” the venue, and people pay the K10 or K15 cover charge at the desk to that person as they walk in that night. The venue earns money through the bar and from the cover charge – in this case, about K1200 – so, basically it wins either way because the cover charge must be paid by the hosts whether enough people come to cover it or not; it gets free publicity from the people hosting the event; and it makes money through alcohol as well. Not a bad little money-maker – for the bar anyway – I seriously doubt much money ends up with the people hosting the ‘fundraising’ dance!

Anyway, this was a dance to raise funds for my neighbour’s daughter-in-law to return to uni – and this being the neighbour who just gave me the kitten, I figured I’d better go along. And after my night of dancing with the girls at the Firehouse, I figured the time was ripe to test-drive what they’d taught me.

Well, it ended up being a fun night – though when we were driving out the gate at the start of the night, and our organiser leaned over to tell the security guards we’d be back around 2 or 3 in the morning I was having serious second thoughts about whether I should jump out of the vehicle there and then and run back to my cozy little chair and Saturday night Xena! (It was only 7.30 at the time, and I have to say the thought of 7 hours ahead of me was a bit daunting).

They’d organized a PMV as transport for the night, so here I was, hurtling down the highway in filled-up rusty old van, jokes and laughter in pidgin filling the dark air as the pot-holes sent the interior light on, then off, then on, then off…

When we got to the club, it was totally dead – we were the only people in there, and everyone headed straight for the seats. It was only 8 o’clock at this stage, and Lucy said “Don’t worry, when it gets past 10 o’clock it will really liven up”. Ten o’clock!!! That was 2 hours away!!! And even then I’d still have 5 hours to go!

But she was right – over time it slowly filled up, and people started hitting the dance floor. Me, though – I was freezing from the air-conditioning (note to self: next time wear jeans – even if they seem too hot at home!), tired and feeling very aware of once more being the only white chick in the joint. Dancing in the dark with the girls was one thing – but when there’s only about 15 people on the dance floor and everyone’s watching the white meri trying to dance RNB – well, I did a lot more looking than dancing, sadly.

But I did make it out there when they played my zodiac sign song (really got to be more hip and learn the names of songs/bands), and again later when some of the others dragged me up.

But the real highlight of the night was when the door opened and five of the Brothers from the Seminary waked in. They took one look over at our corner, saw me and Lucy sitting there, and ducked their heads immediately, knowing they’d been sprung! It took quite a while for them to work up the courage to face us, and most of them stuck by the pool tables in the other room for the rest of the night, but one of them came over and spoke to us, pleading with me in particular not to tell Neil (the volunteer who works at the seminary) or Pia (who oversees their prac teaching for RE lessons at school) that they were there!

I ended up spending the rest of the night either sitting or dancing with him (with Lucy and another teacher there too), and have to say I had a pretty good time! I haven’t really had the chance to talk to any PNG boys before, Marianville being a girls’ school, and my only contact with PNG men has been either talking with the husbands of teachers (or the few male teachers we have) – who are nice, but generally between 10 or 25 years older than me - or avoiding the few young ones I’ve met in random places (the Motor Registry, the Visa office, a policeman in the markets etc etc) who have invariably asked for my phone number within 2 minutes of talking to me and then refused to leave me alone until pushed off by the return of my protector-at-the-time. And the stories you hear, along with the statistics of domestic violence, and raskols etc etc really make you kinda wary of having any contact with the men at all! So it was really nice to have a positive experience with a Papuan bloke – and one about my age too!

And he was pretty cute…

Another thing to add to the list of things I never thought I’d be doing:
flirting with a Brother who’s snuck out of the seminary for the night!


Post a Comment

<< Home