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Late nights - & mornings - in Moresby


 Gay 2 
THERE IS A THRIVING night life culture in Moresby. It is sometimes dangerous and always lively, exciting and entertaining.

If you want to experience it for yourself, you could do worse than visit some of the late-night discos, clubs and drinking establishments, some of which manage to stay open until late in the morning - despite licensing restrictions.

Best to go with some local friends. Luckily I had a few ex-Simbu rugby players and a raskol or two to chaperone me on such outings.

The Shady Rest Hotel was close to where I lived, so my wife and I occasionally wandered down there on a Saturday night looking for entertainment.

Gay 1 One such weekend we stumbled across the famous Gay Night - a beauty contest for cross-dressers, aspiring transvestites and gays. Somewhat to my shock, and feeling like a fish out of water, I was asked to be one of the judges.

The contestants paraded in front of the appreciative audience in a variety of gorgeous costumes, performed various dances and acts (quite decent I add) and then waltzed around the judges to be scored.

The variety and creativity of the costumes was amazing, considering they must have been put together on a shoe-string budget but worthy of the Sydney Mardi Gras.

It was difficult to make a judgment based on the various parameters we were given by the organisers: poise, beauty, costume and dance movements were some I remember.

I was offered a discreet bribe by some of the contestants and their fans - which kept me in free beer for the evening!

The music was loud, mostly 80's style disco, and the judges were encouraged to try a few dance moves with the contestants. (I got a few cheers, mostly out of politeness).

Gay 3 It was great fun, and something of an eye-opener. You don't find this in the tourist brochures.

We judges saw all the beauties strutting their stuff most professionally, conferred earnestly and totted up the scores.

Then to rapt silence the winners were announced - the silence immediately replaced by raucous screams, congratulations and a few teary thank-you's.

Then it all melted into a retro disco evening - complete with revolving glitter-ball and some great dancing.

Gay Night is usually frequented by local celebrities - singers, sports stars, politicians and media personalities.

An evening not to be missed.


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Peter Kranz

Rose had a gay friend. She took him in for protection when he was being persecuted. He said "Don't call me Jack! I am Jackie!"

In return for food and shelter he/she did the housework and cooking.

Jackie came to visit us once. He was very shy and hid his face from me. "Yu wait man nokan savi mi."

But he was at the Shady Rest. That's him in the photos above.

Can you really support legislation against such lovely people, who through no choice of their own are born the way they are?

Jackie was as gentle as the day is long.

Peter Kranz

On the same night, Stanley Nandex was sitting in a corner nursing an SP.

I recognised him and asked if I could take his photo. He said "No, please, no."

I respected his wishes and withdrew.

For all you foreigners out there who wont understand, Stanley Nandex was the best kick-boxer in the world. And a PNG man to his heart and boot.

Peter Kranz

I am not gay and have never been tempted to be, but I think we should respect the rights of those who are to live their lives freely and without prejudice.

So I ask the politicians in PNG (some of whom are gay and bisexual) to repeal the anti-homosexual laws. They are an affront to human rights.

Peter Kranz

There's a bar upstairs at the Shady Rest Hotel with a big poster on the wall boasting of all their home-made cocktails. Names which I cannot mention for decency.

Just one or two would put most people under the table.

But there's a challenge, drink all 12 cocktails and you don't have to pay.

That's enough to make any red-blooded Ozzie tie his straps tight and have a go.

I calculated the amount of alcohol in all the drinks involved, and reckoned it was equivalent to two bottles of vodka.

I respectfully declined the challenge.

But it's still open if anyone wants to die trying.

Reginald Renagi

Ah, Peter, I know you have learnt a lesson or two since your arrival in this Land of the Unexpected.

Spending some time at the UPNG campus would have also given you some Mosbi experience, but you know well I was only ribbing you, mate.

But still do take care and always be prepared for the unexpected on any weekend.

And, Peter, like Martyn Namorong's street-people's insights here, I always enjoy reading your light-hearted (good tasteful humour) of daily events of the lifestyles of our simple everyday people.

Keep humouring us...

Peter Kranz

These are the X-men and X-women of PNG.

Peter Kranz

I should write some more stories about these lovely people. They all came to my wedding.

Pastor provided security.

Business Manager paid the fees and stopped the graft.

Street-Wise Meri found transport in Morata on a Sunday afternoon when we were stuck as the taxi didn't turn up (we arrived in glory on the back of a 3-ton tip-truck).

Bodyguard-Sis saw off three raskols who tried to gatecrash.

God they were great!

Peter Kranz

Reg - I learnt to go out with friends who I could trust.

'Pastor' - the reformed raskol from 2 Mile, who everyone was scared of (but he was a great bloke and enjoyed trading on his past heritage and was as honest as the day is long).

My sis-in-law, the 'Business Manager' (who was strict as school mistress and who I always entrusted my money to before going out).

'Bodyguard Sis' (who no man could ever get the better of and when roused was better than Stanley Nandex)

And 'Street-Wise Meri Sis' - who knew more about POM nightlife than you ever wanted to know. She could find SP at 4 in the morning on Easter Sunday!

Peter Kranz

Reg - Yes, I learned my lesson. The incident happened when I was pretty new to POM. I'm a bit wiser now, but I thought it was a funny lesson!

However you can always be unexpectedly surprised.

On another occasion I was befriended by some young Tari men at the Junction bar. Feeling a bit intimidated at first, I soon warmed to them. They asked me to come over and meet their old uncle - who was about my age or older.

We had a great chat. He well remembered pre-independence times, and after a while I asked if I could buy them all a drink. The old Tari uncle said 'no, we haven't talked to you just to get drinks. I will buy you all one!' And he did.

We had a great time.

Some of the real characters you meet in Moresby happen to be the older ones.

Reginald Renagi

Peter, K400 is a lot of sratch to take out for a night in Pom city. You can get wasted for that amount in some of the unsavoury night spots in Mosbi on any weekend nights.

Here's a few tips for you and other new 'white men' in town.

Try to budget for the night. K50 is an absolute minimum, and K100 is just to make you feel a bit comfortable if you are going to shout a beer or two.

Spending it in buying drinks at the bar is like as if you are trading (that's what you are really doing with your time so use it as a 'stop-loss' order) when ordering the amber liquid.

When the K50 is gone, you know it's time to hit the road.

But never tell anyone you are with that you are leaving to go home. They will shout you a 'one final last one for the road'.

This will not stop because you will also be shouting them back (but more so you than them, as time goes on).

Pretend to go to the 'john' and, when your table companions are not looking, sneak out and drive home.

Don't pick up anyone in the carpark asking you for a ride home. You may never get home that night.

K100 is probably about all you need for the night if you don't want to appear too stingy.

K400 is a lot of money. It is not necessary to carry that much money unless you want to throw a party and 'shouting the bar on the house' for all to have a good time.

This is equivalent to two fortnight's pay for the lower income PNG worker.

So its very tempting for anyone wanting to rob a silly white man alone at a bar.

Never go outside to the car park or somewhere alone with any woman of the night, no matter 'how lovely or young' they may look.

And Peter, nothing is free even on the streets.

So the good readers here are just wondering what you did give to the lovely young lady for she will not just take K400, and scoot.

Never be that gullible again mate.

Peter, you were plain lucky you did not get gelded that night, or you would not be still that 'Simbu Stallion' writing on this blog today!

Peter Kranz

This story is more about me than anyone else.

I'd been told that you shouldn't carry too much money around at night in Moresby.

So I got some money out from the ATM, hid my wallet and ATM card back in my house; put 40 kina in my pocket for the raskols to discover, and stuffed 400 kina down my underpants - thinking no-one will ever search there.

Well it was late one Saturday night (before I was married I should add, in case Rose is listening). My 40 kina was intact, but a lovely young lady started making advances.

She took me outside and rather unceremoniously put her hand where no good woman would ever place hers without suitable invitations.

She pulled out 400 kina. She got up and said "It's amazing what you wait men have in your underpants", then disappeared.

Enough said.

Peter Kranz

The guy wearing the leaves surrounded by admirers is Moses Tau, famous singer.

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