Friday, January 13, 2012

Informal Monday: things I like

An informal book vendor at the Waigani Market
Monday this week turned out to be the brightest day there was after the gloomy Christmas and New Year break in Port Moresby. And it was rather pleasantly informal, as storyboard noted, saying hello to one and all here and there, knowing of course that what would follow would be Friday 13th, meaning today. He’d anticipated then that the weather would hold out till this morning. But if it didn’t it would have to be another Black Friday and that would be it.

He was nonetheless elated in spirit when he walked around the vicinities of Waigani: the campus strolls during the best part of the morning, the Rainbow Stop N Shop at lunch, and the Waigani Market later in the afternoon. The whole day lasted as such, one which would qualify as Louis Armstrong’s idea of a “wonderful world.”

Around the vicinities of the Waigani Market itself storyboard stopped by at various stalls from cigarettes and betel nuts to the good old lamb flap huts that run parallel to the second hand clothing racks. But there was one area of the market that caught his eye. A display of books next door to the second hand clothing stalls and the main garden produce market. It was perhaps a little isolated but looked convenient enough as it is set along the main pathway that joins the Waigani TST and Stop N Shop shopping centres. A man bought a book there for K10 and storyboard could not help but marvel at the sight.
Now the idea of selling books at market places seems new somewhat but an economically plausible one. Everyone wants to and has to sell something at certain odd spots at one time or another, in order to eat at all at the end of the day. We will bring you more on informal book vending later on in our articles.

Noticing how remarkably informal that Monday afternoon was storyboard ambled about a bit then decided to let the lazy afternoon wear away slowly. Two of his buddies around the area, the taxi drivers, walked over for a chat. Barry and Mausgras as they are known complained a bit about the scarcity of clientele due to the holiday period but storyboard kept assuring them that by evening there would be customers, consisting of mothers doing their dinner shopping and needing to get home in time.

Storyboard suggested the three walk over to the Banana Club and the two protested strongly. “Where’s the money?” Mausgras kept blurting. “We didn’t make a single toea in the last few hours.”

“I agree,” comforted storyboard, “Let’s just talk about the weather and perhaps some poetry?”

The two laughed. And it was well that the afternoon should progress that way, since by that time a lot of the University crowd was arriving at the market and shopping centre to do shopping, while away the remaining hours, or simply walk over to the club for a bit of palaver.

Some bade each other belated New Year greetings and a few spoke with regret of UPNG’s losses over the holiday period. Malaria became the subject of conversation then, and it was amazing to note how this dreaded harbinger of ill-health had advanced over the years. It came in many forms, exclaimed a few academics in passing, evolving and re-inventing itself minute by minute it seems. One moment it’s diarrhoea, at another some complications with the urinal passages or the entire circulatory system of fluid transmission throughout the body. We have to be extremely careful of the little mozzies that we consider harmless.

 A few fashionable and rich looking ladies walked by and storyboard and his little crowd of bystanders obliged them with slight bows of greetings. Mausgras nudged storyboard and chuckled why don’t you compose some poems about those lovely ladies? Why not? shrugged Barry and others.
Storyboard's buddies Barry and Maugras.
It is a lovely Monday afternoon and thank God it ain’t Black Friday, all agreed, none more so than the great St Nativeson, quite possibly loitering nearby and not far from us.


I like the way you see things
Reading, writing, looking up
With a reserved smile
And that sidelong glance
That gives the world
A reason to hope

I like all things bright
Colorful and beautiful
Like the wave of your
Bright hand in the sun

I like the weather
That promises warmth
And tenderness
And I like the way
You touch my heart
Caress my sorrows
Heal my wounds
And build me up again

Everything that you offer
Adds up to things I like

By James St Nativeson

P.S. When Friday 13th did arrive this morning it appeared cool as Monday!