A Travellerspoint blog

And the rains came down

It’s rained twice this week and once last week – it’s raining now, that’s what prompted this – do you think the wet season might have begun really, really early?

It’s weird to have come here to greet the rain and then have the rain see me out.

Posted by timortimes 18:26 Comments (0)

Suspended due to technical difficulties

2nd October 2009 - 17 days to go

For the last three weeks, we’ve had power outages in my suburb every day, averaging about 4 hours in length. They’ve been more frequent at work, too (as I write this, we had our longest outage I’ve known of at the Palacio today). The word around Dili is that there are five generators for the area, one died, and there’s no backup, so there isn’t enough power for Dili all the time. Sometimes there are two outages a day; sometimes it’s just half an hour; quite often it’s between 5.30 and 9.30pm, which is no good if those are the only four hours in the day (other than the hour of getting up in the morning) you actually need and want electricity. I’ll get home, be informed the power just went off, lie on the floor sweating and pretending to read a book but actually just being annoyed the power is off, and then when I go to bed – bam – two minutes to 15 minutes after I’ve gone to bed, around 9.15 (because what point is there in staying up if there’s no lights, computer, music etc) the power comes back on. Each time I stumble back out of bed to plug in my phone to charge, consider staying up for about two seconds, then give in and go back to bed.

It bugged the hell out of me at first but then I decided that was just how it would be for the rest of my time here; it was another test of my patience. I still get grumpy about it, but it doesn’t bug me like it did at first. Generally, even if the power’s off for ten hours it comes back on the same day or overnight.

So, this means computer time at home gets meted out and prioritised; which has meant I haven’t had much chance to write blog entries. At this point, I find myself with weird allocations of time. Work has gotten busier, I presume both because I’m leaving and because it’s a busy period with a lot of activities. Home is less busy; because I am the world’s most over-organised person, I’ve already sorted, chucked and posted a lot of things. I still have a few things to sell, and a few things to return; but really there’s not that much left to do.

I spend quite a lot of time trying to entertain myself with the books I have left, working on my thesis, but in reality I’m quite bored and so I’m focusing on the next part of my life. It is not what I thought it would be by any stretch of the imagination and I’m still trying to find a way to work with that. But whatever I do with my own time – because my work life is reasonably clear – at least it will have decent bathrooms and 24 hour electricity and internet like whoa.

Posted by timortimes 18:23 Comments (0)

Happy Fathers’ Day, Dad

Sunday 6th August – Fathers’ Day

I’m skipping a few days (will catch up later) to make a special trip in to the internets to say Happy Fathers’ Day to my dad, the staunch, the wonderful, the terribly talented with his hands. I meant it when I said I needed you to make a fence for my house when I buy my first property!

Lots of love,

Kate

Posted by timortimes 23:48 Comments (0)

Just a thought on government nepotism

Monday 31st August – 9 months, 15 days

Every-bloody-one in this country is related; I don’t see how they can *avoid* nepotism, or the appearance of it, even. Especially when you realise that the people with money and power only form about 5% at best of the population anyway.

Posted by timortimes 23:47 Comments (0)

‘Tour de Dili’, Independence Anniversary Referendum

Sunday 30th August – 9 months, 14 days

Well. The day of of the tenth anniversary of the referendum for independence, and all the aftermath. I didn’t manage to find out about any of the official events in time, but I wouldn’t have gone anyway – besides the usual difficulty of transport, I’ve been to plenty of long speeches here. It was enough to be in Dili, East Timor on this day.

So I took myself on my own tourist walk around Dili, to contribute some more tourist dollars to the overpriced Independence trade expo and take photos around town. It felt a bit like when I was walking around Same exploring. In other countries, you would be able to get a tour guide who could recite bits of information about this statue or that building and sure it would be interesting; but here I kind of like that you can wander about at your own pace, see things and put your own stories together if you know a bit about the history of Timor and Dili. You can take more time here, skip a street there, stop for lunch when you want. And I love that sense that you’re not seeing something cleaned up and sanitised. Portugal and Indonesia have not been erased.

I had some good finds. I found another crazy Mary shrine, another crazy Portuguese statue, twin buildings which illustrate an important part of today’s anniversary and the aftermath and cleanup – one beautifully (ok, Dili beautiful, which means lots of bright blue paint) redone and one burnt out. I found an actual bus stop! (Microlet stop.) I also got some pictures of things I’ve been meaning to get for a while, e.g. four dudes hanging out the door of a jam-packed microlet. That should be made into a saying – ‘Fuller than a Timor taxi’ or ‘More stuffed than a microlet’, something suitably lame like that :D.

Lots of people spoke to me – everyone is so friendly and I know this, yet am still surprised. Bondia Missis! How are you? Sister where are you going? Good morning! Mister, mister, foti! Mister, Mister, LARI LARI!

You get good pictures just wandering about the street, people do ask to have their photo taken. My favourite today were the group of little darlings throwing rocks at an enormous swarm of hornets. They paused to swarm around me and demand photos, so I took a few, and then they resumed chucking rocks at the hornets... and this time they were successful... ‘Mister, Mister, LARI LARI!’, that was ten little boys sprinting down the street and urging me to RUN RUN! to get away from the hornets. I guess they liked me.

Posted by timortimes 23:44 Comments (0)

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