Saturday 3rd January - 1 month, 18 days
I had awesome fun today! I went to the tais market in the morning and bought many tais. Ok, two. What is a tais? It is a traditional form of woven material, done by women, usually with gorgeous bright clashing colours (some are more muted). I bought one for a blanket for our bed (they’re pretty light), and another for myself with my Christmas money from Patrick (thanks dude, it is super cool).
I was the only person in the whole market apart from sellers and their families. Although the market is small, probably about twenty stalls, all selling tais, bags, trinkets and silver jewellery, as a malae I really stood out. I felt bad I couldn’t buy something from everyone, but apart from not having enough money, they really all sell pretty much the same stuff.
My favourite stall was the one where the woman running the stall was breastfeeding her baby at the same time as she was trying to sell something to me. Catch that happening in Australia! The woman would be run off the street, there would be outraged comments in the media about how ‘disgusting’ it was, etc.
I also had a lovely chat with a young guy called Linu, in Indonesian, and another with a guy called Carlos. My conversational Indo is fine, broken but fine – why oh why was I not taught BUSINESS Indonesian at school or university, though? It’s all very well to say ‘Yes I am from Australia, I learnt to speak Indonesian at school, yes some schools teach Indonesian in Australia’ but I need to USE this language. Tetum too. (This fact about Indonesian, that I learnt it in Australia, is always met with incredulousness by Timorese – I do hope that it’s because they simply think we are all dummies who can only speak one language and not because it’s further evidence that we colluded in the oppression of their country with Indonesia.)
And then – and then! – I discovered the pirated dvd* store... that is, one that has actual recent releases! I have avoided them disdainfully up until now, because they seem to have such a poor selection. But I spent $9.50 on 6 dvds to catch up on all the movies I wanted to see over the last two years, but missed because I was too busy. So I had a movie afternoon on my own and it was great fun.
- Apologies to anyone who feels this is wrong... I'm afraid that my moral qualms on this are very low, given that I can't easily get legit dvds posted into the country, I don't have any other options in country and I didn't have a large dvd collection to start with.