An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Your Trash Is My Treasure

I have mentioned before about the second hand clothes stores in this country but hey I will mention again. They are fantastic.

For those Australians who throw away perfectly good shirts into the St Vinnie's clothes bins, they should know that it will most likely be picked up by some hard pressed volunteer working in some Pacific country. These places really are a gold mine.

I have been doing some shopping around the local establishments over the last few weeks looking for some likely threads for the Goroka Coffee Ball, which I will be heading up to this weekend. To start with I really wanted a white suit as the theme is 'Hot as Hollywood'. Casablanca style was what I was thinking but this seemed a harder task than I thought. Not many suits end up in the second hand shops, let alone white ones that would fit.

So plan 'B' was enacted, which I won't give away too many details about, but I managed to find a funky enough shirt and the matching important accessories to give me that current Hollywood chic look - or so I hope.

But back to how good these second hand clothes stores are. I am sure the locals would not have the foggiest idea that most of the shirts that end up here would originally be selling for well over $50 in stores back home. A lot of good business shirts, Pierre Cardin, Country Road, Trent Nathan etc would be well over a $100 and you can pick them up in excellent condition for K1 - K2.

They do tend to up-price some of what they think are the better shirts. At the weekend I grabbed a Mambo shirt with one of those Reg Mombasa designs in perfect condition for a staggering sum of K3.50. A similar shirt was acquired in Madang when I was there, there the prices seemed to be inflated it cost me K4 (approx Au$1.80).

At the end of my stay I plan to ship a crate of stuff home. I know what will be padding it out.