Where’re you boys goin’?
National or War Museum.
Ah, War museum actually.
Okay boys. War museum. At Gordon?
You boys been on Kokoda?
As a matter of fact yes.
When did you finish?
Wrapped up yesterday. Were up there for nine days.
It’s good you walked Kokoda. Australians and Papuans are brothers. Australians came to Papua and died for us. We are all brothers.
Mmmm, yes we are. But Papuans died too.
Yes, and they keep dying. Like that plane accident last year. Australians and Papuans are still dying together on the track. But the pilots were being stupid. No one should have died.
(The museum is located in an industrial estate and is closed).
No matter boys, you can still walk through and have a look anyway.
Let’s wait until it’s open (we read somewhere it is open tomorrow). Perhaps you can drop us off at some markets.
Okay boys, I’ll take you to some markets. (He drives into town to Sunday only markets which he must have known was the case but it dragged the fare out. He then suggests he will take us to Boroko Market. As we wind through the suburbs we see woman being assaulted on two separate occasions. He keeps driving).
There is too much of that in Moresby these days. There are signs everywhere telling people it is wrong. That women are not to be hit. They teach it in the schools, to respect the women and children. But it is everywhere. Look at that police station. Does it look like a police station to you? It is so run down all it tells you is that there is no respect for the police here. And that they have no money. This country is such a mess I am ashamed of it. And it is not only the police. It’s all the foreign ownership. Look at those shops. They are all Chinese owned. The problem with this place is the Chinese. They come and take all our money. They own the stores, employ only Chinese. They charge high rent. Our people are left out in the marketplace on the ground.
(Leading question alert) Are they recent Chinese migrants?
No, no, no. They have been here for centuries. But that is the problem. They have always been the problem with this place. All these buildings around the market square, they are all Chinese. All the money stays with the Chinese. All the goods are Chinese. These people take our jobs and leave nothing for us. (The anti-Chinese sentiment became a tirade and killed the conversation. It was a disconcerting insight into similar irrational and outspoken sentiment that used to exist in our own communities – and may well linger in places).
Here you go boys. Have a look around these markets. But take care. It is very dangerous for Australians to walk around here!
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