Yumi go lo Arawa na kisim PMV by bobfoto

Yumi go lo Arawa na kisim PMV

This is Toyota Country. You have two choices when it comes to travelling south from Buka to see the land of the Meekamui, open back Land Cruiser like this green one, or Land Cruiser Troop Carrier, like the 9 seater I was in. I believe because of my skin colour, I scored the shotgun seat, and rode in the cabin with the driver for the 4 hour journey. At the many stops, I tried to offer my seat to others, but they simply refused, they said I was doing a good job with rotating the tapes around and waving at the local school girls, they thought I was good value up front.

The tape bit was hilarious. On the southbound journey, our driver had a new fancy MP3 player plugged into his cigarette lighter which meant we had the same 7 tracks playing over and over and over and over again for the 4 hour journey. I never realised "America" were so popular in Papua New Guinea!!! FFS!!!

But on my return journey, I was the Tape Master Looker Afterer Guy, as we went around a bend in the road, the 5 tapes would slide across the dash of the Troopy... there must have been more right handed corner, because the tapes would always end up at my side of the dash. Occasionally a song would play, and the driver would take his eyes of the road and look at the tape deck, then look at me and then at the tape deck and then back of me. He would then hit me on the arm. This was obviously all the signals I need to believe he thought that song was shit and that I needed to change the tape over. So I would rummage around on the dash and take a lucky dip, I would find a random tape and play it. The driver would listen, look at the tape deck, look at me, smile and give me the thumbs up. I had chosen well.

One time crossing a river like this, there was a young boy listening to a portable tape deck.... a boombox if you will. We stopped the Troopy mid-stream and our driver said "yu harim wanim ya?" and the boy would hold the speakers into the cabin. It was some cool Island Reggae. Nice stuff. The driver smiled.

The boy said "Wanim yupela harim ya?"

The driver cranked the stereo.

The boy smiled.

They exchanged cassettes.

We drove on.

The boy's cassette was good, I was sitting back relaxing with the Island tunes, thinking everything was okay.... almost dozing off I was. And then, again mid stream, a song that was totally different to the others... it was a mess. The driver stared at me, glared at the stereo. I knew I had to change cassettes, but I was dozing, I was too slow, the driver stopped the vehicle once again in the river. He ejected the tape, held it in his hand, looked glaringly at it and then threw it through the open window into the river...

I made a mental note, do not piss off the driver.

Photo taken 6 August 2008 heading south to the Meekamui. Title reads: We catch a bus to Arawa.

Meanwhile The Seven find more relaxing ways to travel in Bougainville.

http://365project.org/theseven/365/2012-08-07
nod
Would love to have the freedom to travel around the world.... :-) Yes, don't piss off the driver (and especially if it's a woman). haha
August 7th, 2012  
@nod - I have a photo of said driver coming up, and no, not a lady. Thanks Nod.
August 7th, 2012  
nod
@bobfoto oh.. I mean in my experience :-)
August 7th, 2012  
@nod - In my experience, never let a lady driver run over a Python.
August 7th, 2012  
Awesome writings there
August 7th, 2012  
This is a great clear photo and an even better story if that could be so!
August 7th, 2012  
@swilde - Cheers Sue, thank you :)

@maggiemae - It was so Maggiemae, it really did happen!
August 7th, 2012  
wooohooo
August 7th, 2012  
@houdiniem - toot toot.
August 7th, 2012  
Another cool photo and story
August 7th, 2012  
Too fun. Love the story.
August 7th, 2012  
@beckys @jannkc - Thank you Jann and BeckyS :)
August 7th, 2012  
Love the narrative - great shot ...did you get wet feet taking this shot!!
August 7th, 2012  
I should start doing that, too - too bad you can't yank out individual songs from your mp3 player ;).
August 7th, 2012  
Great greens in this.
August 7th, 2012  
You are ONE interesting DUDE Jason. Love the stories and the pictures.. I am sorry but I was just trying to imagine the look on your face when he threw that tape out. Too funny. Have you or are you in the process of writing a book featuring your photos and stories? SAVE me a maiden copy my friend...
dar..
August 7th, 2012  
It is interesting how you learned to communicate with them. Every day sounds like an adventure.
August 7th, 2012  
fantastic shot, per usual - hysterically funny narrative. so, copper, gold, guns and old tapes in the river bottoms. onward!
August 7th, 2012  
Whatever next ?? Love the photo of the ute in the creek.
August 7th, 2012  
I think I'd be holding on tighter! Love the sway on the vehicle and the water racing past...such atmosphere.
August 8th, 2012  
@michelle58 - Nah, this shot was taken from the passenger seat of the Troopy. You can see a little of the window tint in the top right hand corner... I couldn't crop it all out.

@jannaellen - This was before I had an iPod, and I decided to just go with the flow, and try to blend in. I was travelling in mufti.

@onie - I thought so too!

@adifferenteye - I was flabbergasted when he just launched the tape out of the window! I could not believe it. I was shocked and stunned! And I do think a book is in the making. This project is the proofreading!

@tthompsonca - Bougainville was an amazing place that really taught me how to adapt and really use my personality and charm to get a little magic happening. I have a million stories from Bougainville, it was just so alive!

@catsmeowb - we are getting closer to the Meekamui.

@tonydebont - Arawa is next.

@filsie65 - There is close to 40 river crossings like this between Buka and Arawa, and these drivers do it up and back every day. The water is just another changing part of the highway.
August 8th, 2012  
@bobfoto I want to hear the story about the lady driver and the Python... :)
August 8th, 2012  
The visuals.. I am laughing... You really should write stories, you have a wonderful way at descrbing things..
August 8th, 2012  
Yet another cool story.
August 9th, 2012  
@jtrudell - November. I reckon.

@michelleyoung - Thanks Michelle, it might get a bit more serious on the weekend eh?

@kjarn - Thanks Kathy A :)
August 9th, 2012  
:D thanks for the laugh!
August 23rd, 2012  
@agentzuckerguss - You're welcome!
August 24th, 2012  
NEVER piss off the driver.... that's good anywhere, eh?
September 3rd, 2012  
@hellcat - yes.
September 3rd, 2012  
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