Just another face in the crowd…before and after the elections

By Abu Nawas

Its been hours since I got back from the HLM after a hectic day of buai trading. Yes its been subdued somewhat for the rest of the working class, but for me its business as usual. Buying and selling buai is a good business, an informal one, but a good informal business. I do make money from it and thats no joke.

As soon as I got home, I plonked myself on the patapata beside the house under the okari tree, and have been sitting there for hours, it seems. Well hours indeed because it is now 10.30pm, and the crickets and bugs are no longer singing, as they did, when the day was drawing to a close and eventually turning into twilight beckoning the dusk that brought the nightfall.  I was delightfully charmed by the bugs and crcikets and the little creatures of the evening that were out in numbers singing their hearts out, announcing triumphantly, that soon it will night again and that the darkness will prolong its obligatory stay for another 8 hours untill dawn, when once again it will prompt these ochestra of sorts, to come out, and sing to announce the beginning of a new day, another new day of polling in the General Elections.

I sat  in absolute silence, deep in solitude and thought and heard them all through out, and wondered in comic silence if they knew that the General Election is on in PNG and in particular Port Moresby, especially the Moresby North West Electorate, the polling is still on, have been delayed from yesterday  due to late arrival of the ballot papers and some other minor hiccups….or even if they knew what General ELections are all about.

I was startled only by the drop of the ripen Okari nut breaking away from its position on the branch falling and bouncing off the wooden planks on patatpata, waking me from my thoughts and when the realisation sank in, the corners of my lips curled, forming a little wry smile, instantly feeling guilty of allowing myself to think that even the tiny creatures of the night might know about the difficulties of the human race to lead and preside over themselves in what they call the General Election. Silly bugger, I curse myself, and did a slap action on both my cheeks in mockery and jest.

I continued sitting there, occasionally shifting position to break the  stiffening muscle from forming cramps on my legs and torso, still in silence and solitude. Two houses away I could hear the melodic sound of the guitar softly strumming, accompanied by beautiful singing. In my solitude, surrounded by the dark night, the singing almost did sound like  angelic voices from heaven. My neighbours down the street are having a “haus krai”. I wondered if they had voted and if they didnt whose is to blame them. The most important for them is to mourn the loss of their loved one. The General Election sucks.

I could hear the West Papuan Rugby Union coached humming a West Papuan gospel song on his verandah. I turned to look and I saw him carrying his grand daughter who has by now fallen asleep on her bubu man arms. It has become a ritual for the ugly slob of a monkeys uncle since his bubu girl came to stay. I was wondering whether he had voted at all or as well. It was too far for me to see if his finger had a purple stain on it, despite strecthing my neck and doing a 360 degree turn, I could not see it. I decided I will ask him tomorrow or when ever. Tonight I just want to sit in the dark and keep to myself. This General ELection fever and hype and excitement is getting to me, and is draining me mentally. Funny it should have that effect on me when the only thing that is required of me was just to from up at the polling booth and cast my vote. It sucks.

As I sat there, I remembered some one telling me earlier in the day, the the roundabout at the Admin College, Ensisi Valley is beginning to fill up with cars and people. I guess inside the college somewhere thats where the tally room is going to be and thats where the counting will take place. I shuddered with annoyance, not quite understanding why people will mill around the road slowing down vehicles, causing traffic jams and countless other traffic infringements.  Are General Elcection simply pest or are the people becoming pest on Election periods.  Dogmatic support of their chosen leader seems to make them show their loyalty in ways quite unkown and certainly not familiar to western society or an Asian one for that matter. All these faces in the crowd are becoming like pests. General pests and elections sucks.

What will the General Election bring to me? What will I get out of it? If someone other than Powes Parkop wins the NCD Regional, will he stop and wave to me, talk to me if I am stranded on the road with a flat tyre and offers to fix it for me? I know Powes did once. Will I be an important person or just another face in the crowd when they zoom pass me in their Land Cruisers with blacken and blacked out  windows.? If I went to City Hall and made an appointment will the Secretaries treat me like a long lost soul and offer me a cup of coffe and biscuits and politely tells me to wait, saying graciously”the Governor will be with you shortly?” Or will they get the Secuirty Guards to drag me through the door and throw me outside and yell abuse at me for wasting their time and the Governorrs time?” Will he be forever busy to see? Oh bugger it I thought to myself. You are just another face in the crowd, do you think the Governor will see people like you!!!….get real and get a life.Well then I thought, General Elections sucks.

Okay, I have sat here long enough. Its time to have a shower, cup of coffee, the usual buai, and since I dont smoke, maybe another buai and I will hit the sack. This Election sucks because too many unneccesary people want to become leaders. It sucks. I am just going to sell my buai, just another patron of the HLM, simply just another face in the crowd, here today, not remembered tomorrow. Well I know most people like me, are just another face in the crowd, doing their bit to make the world go around, and I too am part of the merry go around. Enough Mauswara, time to sleep. I hope when I wake up it will be all over. just another face in the crowd really sucks. Cheers

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