This is an example of silly things that happen in Timor which seem perfectly reasonable to Timorese people and incomprehensible to malae.
On chatting to the two English teachers staying in the guesthouse, I discover that they have had electricity (from the generator) only for the last three nights, although they’ve been living there for two months. Why? I ask. Couldn’t you ask your organisation to pay for the petrol?
It was supposed to be included in our rent, they say ruefully, but the manager in Dili says he’s giving the owners enough money, and the owners here in Same say no, they aren’t getting the money.
A Portuguese army guy turns up to live, though, and all of a sudden the generator’s running every night.
Seriously, what can you do in a situation like that? It’s ridiculous.