Dang in Madang!
Posted on July 11, 2016
Dang We are In Madang!
You are f*&&^king crazy. You are stupid…Your f&^%in crazy! The end of a 2 hr conversation and a relationship with my now ex-girlfriend. To be honest, this girl, or lady rather, was the best relationship I had ever had. A skydiver, a traveler, and student pilot that looked stunning. We got along great, every waking moment with her was superb. In fact the only girl I had considered to marry…at some point. Not now or the near future but at some point I am sure.
However, it seemed the timing was off. I was avoiding the relationship. I knew that my time was limited in the States and it had been nearly two years since I had been gone, on a world trip. The wanderlust and passion for helicopters meant my time in the US of A was limited. So the last thing I was looking for was a relationship. It happened, partly due because of my three month delay leaving the country with a delay from companies promise and contract signed months before my departure. But also because you cannot help it when you meet someone, sometimes.
The fact was; this women was amazing, a true gem, but she was five years older and had the divine responsibility of a lovely little human being to take care of. So if this were going to continue, it meant significant sacrifice for my childhood dreams. So for me, the timing was off, I was not ready.
I remember leaving her at the airport in absolute tears, it hurt to see someone you care about like that. It was not easy. We had decided to keep things going for the 1 year long distance which I was ok with… Until, I had received an email about my next opportunity in the Himalayas after my 1 year contract was up in the South Pacific. A childhood dream, reoccurring- waking up, flying to the summit. This would mean, I would not be back to the United States of America for another 3 months making the total stay 15 months away. This would not be fair to her at all, what-so-ever. Combined with insinuations for helping with her rent while I was half way around the world. The only thing of mine at her place was my Batrobe -batman bathrobe.-
It was time to set her free. So I did, and she was not happy. It begin with a rhythm of emotion. First; sad, sad, sad, and sad. Then; sad, sad, sad, and mad. Followed by; sad, sad, mad, and mad. Ensued by; sad, mad, mad, and mad. Finally, the tone was set at; mad, mad, mad, and very mad. Women, you have to love them, their emotions are what makes them so great and also so terrifying during their scorn.
Love Hurts. Madang is worse.
When the split happened, I was in Madang, Papua New Guinea. “Dang I am in Madang.” A place where the R&D fishing company’s main canary is located. A Filipino company, that decided to put the canary in a place that absolutely hates Asians or rather people that look Asian. Most of the business is owned by the Chinese, but the local people do not make the distinction between Asians. A history of violence and robberies has plagued Madang for years. The compound of R&D Company is like a prison. They keep you in the grounds surrounded by security. And you have to receive permission to leave the compound but only during daylight hours and there is no women.. Well there is the prison like substitute. I was trapped in this place for 10 days during boat service… (FML).
One afternoon at the local resort getting good food. Most of the R&D company office workers came in, holding hands, etc. All males, they explained which ones were the ‘females.’ Which was obvious, the flamboyant ones. “OMG, they are plugging each other. Gross!” I have nothing against gay people but I prefer not to see it in the PDA format… while eating my food.
After this disturbing meal, I went to grab my hetero-partner in crime, Pato, the mechanic. “Bro, we need to go to town or something, this place is like prison – in more than one way…- ” So we went to the resort and ran into a worker who was a local man. He was young, with talented charisma and an outgoing personality. His name was Raymond. “You guys must come to my village, girls, drink, etc etc.” Raymond explained excitedly. The front desk man warned Raymond if anything happened to us, his job would be lost as well. The front reception desk looked terrified for us which was a little concerning.
Anyhow, we started walking at night in Madang -actually outside- near where all the cars get robbed and burned. So we walked through this village with everyone starring at the white-r dudes (Pato is kinda brown). I leaned over to Pato “I think there is a 50% chance we are going to be kidnapped and raped tonight Pato!” He looked at me not terrified, nor was I, we had wanted something different after 9 days in this godforsaken Filipino ‘feel-a-penis’ camp. The local people had only been nice to me and Pato for the week we had been there. Plus I always tipped, everyone, an American thing I guess.
In this village, there were traditional huts and Raymond had changed into the village attire. His uncle had a little shop with cigarettes, and what not. So I bought cigarettes and 12 beers for everyone. This purchase was expensive but I knew that this money would go a far way for them. As we sat in the middle of the street with chairs, a crowd of people surrounded us. They sparsely gathered just beyond the illumination of the single bulb light that was illuminating the 5 people in our circle of chairs. Imagine a televised poker game, were we are chatting and a crowd of shadowed people surround us silently just beyond the light.
We had a conversation, about many things. I was fascinated with Raymond because of his English and charisma skills. I asked “you go to school Raymond.” “yes, sir I do.” Raymond explained he goes to school and the value of it. However, he has to pay for it. He named off all of the courses he would like to take but could not afford right now. “Well, Raymond, how much is each course?” “200 Kina -60 USD” I told Raymond when we had time I wanted to visit this University to ‘possibly’ help. I had done this for my tour guide in India, a 20 year old kid that had good English and great potential.
I heard some sort of female yelp coming from the silent hidden crowd. “Raymond. What was that?” “Oh sir that was my Mother, she is happy” Raymond had said.
The next conversation was brought up by Pato. “How do you say thank you?” Pato is such a friendly and polite guy, so he naturally always finds out how to say ‘thank you’ every place we had been. Raymond, got silent and looked directly at Pato “GUAMOKK.” At this same time in the little circle of conversation, a little white puppy, not more than a month old had stumbled goofily into the middle of our circle and plopped a seat in the center. Admittedly, I got a soft spot for Dogs. I picked up the little fella. At first, she was a little uneasy, but with a little petting she conformed to my lap and arms and fell asleep ever so gently snuggling in.
Raymond, looked at me and petted the little puppy. “GUAMOKK” Means thank you but no words in English can describe the sincerity of it. He described it as “all that is pure and good.” And every time he said it, it was with strong eye contact and a deep change in his voice. “All that is good to you too my friend.” I said pointing at his village. We had gotten into a discussion of all that is good ‘thank you,’ BUT what about the other side? The dark side? The violence that has plagued the region and terrified a compound of man-loving Filipinos. “Oh Mr. Mike, those are not us, THEY are those of ENVY.” He looked directly at me with deep sincerity and conviction and the tone of the entire conversation changed. The entire group stopped all conversation. You could feel the energy. “Those that have Envy, they hate, they take, they kill.” It was fascinating he used the word ENVY so much and knew the meaning. Raymond then explained that this disease of ENVY can happen to anyone, an evil that takes hold. “We do not speak of it.” He explained some things that had changed in his very own cousin. We then talked about structure of the developing country. The police, and discernable enforcers really do not do their jobs nor protect the people. Additionally, the people do not tell on their own people, so punishing crime is hard. The lack of structure and enforcement, could not stop the evils that have plagued the city, the ones that are jealous and envious. “The taste of the poison apple of desire.” It was interesting to see this view point, after a week in a place where everyone smiles and says “Good day” “Good Night.” Even the animals are friendly, in this town, or village, the stray dogs were very fat and friendly. Dogs are direct bi-products of their environment I would like to believe. I think I have concluded the worst port, the most dangerous port in the fishing ground has very good hearted and peaceful people, in general.
The hardest part of going home this evening was leaving my new furry friend. By the time the conversation was over, this adorable little puppy was sprawled in my lap snoring. Raymond’s family came out of the dark and they offered the puppy to me “take a piece of Papua New Guinea with you Mr. Mike.” I looked at the little fella as I tried to pick her from my lap and her struggle to let go and stay in the warmth of my lap. I thought “I want to take this little girl with me, on a boat, raise her, love her, and give compassion to man’s greatest friend.” However, logically bringing a dog on the boat would not fly. Also, what would I do after a year, I could not take this thing to the top of the world with me. I gently set the pup on the ground as it grasped to my hands, I gently pet her until she let go and fell asleep in the center of our chair gathering in the center of the light. “Raymond, I cannot take this pup with me on my journey, as much as I would LOVE to.”
As we walked away, I looked back at the little white puppy sleeping alone, serenely in the road. ALONE, gently breathing in the spotlight of one of the village’s few lights. It hurt, honestly, I kept looking back as we walked away. I thought of the love for my former girlfriend, one that will always be there. A lonely path for me now. We walked back in the most dangerous stretch of road during the night and did not get mugged, the villagers made sure of that. I did not think anything of the outside world or the pending dangers that could occur. I thought of the peaceful puppy as it got smaller and smaller and smaller until disappeared from my vision in the dim light of the now distant village. I thought of the one time in the dim light of a car I had with this girl, passionately admitting, and looking into her eyes. It was the first time I thought “this could be my wife.” But now that memory had faded, and it had gotten smaller and smaller and smaller.
Next day we left Madang, PNG.
Time to fly!
Last edited by mrocksma on July 11, 2016, 7:46 pm