Sunday, February 10, 2013


Photo: A big catamaran ferry berthing at Gare Maritime terminal, Centre Ville.  

mercredi, août 8, 2012 (Wednesday, August 8)

Today, after class, I went to Centre Ville and walked around the place.
In fact, I started at the seaside and observed the boats and buildings beside the sea.

(Note: See that last post in this series is for Thursday, August 9. This post should have been before the last one. Sorry.)

I thought if I was lost among the shops, I can always walk to the seaside and get my bearings from there. (And of course, growing up beside the sea, I wanted to just walk next to it.)
I noticed a huge catamaran, the biggest I have ever seen on the western end of the Centre Ville.
I was later told those big boats usually ferried people to and from Nouméa and the outer islands like Lifou and Maré to the east of Grand Terre. (Grand Terre is the island Nouméa is on.) 

Photo: Looking back to Centre Ville's CBD from a jetty at the Port Moselle Marina.

As I walked around the shops and later at the sea front, I noticed that the place was much cleaner than Port Moresby.
There was hardly any rubbish on the footpaths. No empty shopping bags, papers and betel nut skins or spittle. (People do not chew betel nut in New Calédonia.)
There were rubbish drums everywhere. They were beside shops, parks and even at the sea front area. The drums were made of steel and were bolted to a frame firmly stuck into the ground. And they were all painted green.

As I waited for my host to pick me up, I noticed that it was cooler in Nouméa in August – as it was in Brisbane.
It was 19˚C in Brisbane when we left on Sunday. That was cold. But here in Nouméa it as about 21˚C and that was also cold for someone who left Port Moresby which had an average temperature of 26˚C in July/August.

I noticed that at 3.00pm, the sun was bright but it was already getting cold. I later realized that most school children – teenagers – had their pullovers on them when they walked to school or when they walked home, even when the sun was up in the clear sky.
(As for me, I brought along a pullover in my small bag in the others afternoons and wore it over my shirt when the sun was going down. It sure was much colder here than in Port Moresby.)

At about 4.30pm, my host turned up. We went to her workplace and picked up a client (Céline) and dropped her off somewhere outside Nouméa.
Before that we went to a couple of squatter settlements and dropped off bags of washed laundry.
In one area, there were many Wallisian families.
The host said many Wallisians and Kanaks lived there. Now, Vanuatuans were also occupying the settlements. (I read recently that there are about 28,000 Wallisians living in New Calédonia, while the population back at home is about 15,000.)

It seems Nouméa was a place of opportunity and the many islanders who had some form of French influence moved here for better opportunities. 

No comments:

Post a Comment