Travellers to Papua New Guinea are reminded to pack a collapsible umbrella. It will be appreciated as shade from the hot sun in the Sepik and Karawari areas and from the intense rays in the Southern and Western Highlands. And of course, it will protect from the regular afternoon rains in the highlands and the occasional tropical storms in the lowlands. Sun, rain and sometimes even wind, the collapsible umbrella is handy.
My collapsible umbrella is beige. I chose it because most travellers' umbrellas are black and I don't want my umbrella to get mixed up with all the other black umbrellas leaning inside the lodge door at dinner time.
Black is the standard colour of travellers' collapsible umbrellas. Papua New Guineans' umbrellas are brilliantly multi-hued and they don't collapse. They are big and bright and strong and they decorate the lush landscape as perfectly as the flowers that embellish a Sing Sing dancer's head dress. They are much more photogenic than basic black or bland beige.