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Photographer's Note

I haven’t had time to fix my hard drive yet, so it may be a while before I can recover my North Korea pictures, but as I was in Papua New Guinea at the weekend, I thought I would post a few pictures from there this week.

The bottle shops in Port Moresby are a popular hang-out place, and there are always a few roadside stalls around them selling cigarettes and betel nuts. This cigarette vendor sells individual cigarettes to people who can’t afford to buy a packet, as well as lighters and betel nuts (the green fruits on his table in the foreground). His teeth are stained red from chewing betel nut, and the red marks you may be able to see on the kerb stones are from people spitting out betel nuts. Most of the roads and sidewalks in Papua New Guinea are stained like this because three out of four adults regularly chew betel nut. The lighters he is selling are 30t and 50t each (about 10 cents and 15 cents US).

I couldn’t stop the people in the background looking and beckoning at me because they don’t see too many tourists with cameras on their streets these days. The security situation is quite bad, and Moresby is definitely not a place that foreigners would go walking around on their own. You can hire a security guard to accompany you for 7 kina an hour (about US$2.30). I hired two to be on the safe side. They actually call themselves ‘guides’, and mine assured me that I would be perfectly safe with them as they were highlanders. “The lowlanders are scared of us because we are much fiercer than them,” they told me. One of my guide’s hands and wrist were tightly bound in bandages, so I assumed he had been in a recent fight. I didn’t like to ask if he had incurred his injury protecting one of his clients!

Usual PP: cropped, adjusted levels, contrast, saturation and USM.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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