Monday 24th August – 9 months, 8 days
OK. Sports – not really my thing. But the Tour de Timor thing is (I believe, after listening to Ramos-Horta talk on Radio Australia about how peaceful and stable Timor is now*) an event to showcase Timor, not just a bike race. Symbolic, like. It was also a chance for the national police forces to have a go running something (instead of international / UN police always being in charge).
So I happened to get into work early on Monday morning and (naturally) the net was not working. Neither was the aircon. So I thought I’d get some air on the balcony while waiting to see if the aircon could be fixed.
And, oh my, lack of aircon has never been so fortuitous before. I walked out onto the balcony right as the Tour de Timor riders rode past the Palacio do Governo (they’d started from the President’s palace, which had just been hastily finished and spiffed up in the last week – actually, it wasn’t quite finished, haha).
And I’m a sook, and I have super heightened emotions this year, so tears did come to my eyes when I watched everyone riding by, including the Timorese riders. I can’t imagine how tense the country must have been ten years ago this week, waiting for the independence referendum; and then the violence and destruction afterwards... I have heard other malae say this week that some Timorese people have said to them, they don’t feel that the parties and big events is what the 30th of August is about; it’s a time of reflection and remembering what came before. I get that.
But it’s nice how everyone can come for a (gruelling) bike ride and parties to celebrate, too.
- SEE Mum, Dad, all those times I have told you I think Timor is really peaceful and stable, well now the president of the country is backing me up!