A Travellerspoint blog

Timorese kids

Wednesday 24th June – 7 months, 8 days

Timorese kids are just too damn cute sometimes.

Example #1

The littlest kid at my new house still hasn’t tired of yelling ‘Malae!’ at me, waiting for me to wave at him, and then waving back. I’m going to have to ask him (or his uncle) his name and tell him mine.

Example #2

Walking to a work meeting at Hotel Ventura this morning, I walked past some kids, who did the inevitable ‘Malae! Malae!’ yelling and waving act. These ones looked particularly excited / friendly, so I thought I’d cross the road and shake hands with them. (Little kids especially seem to like touching me or clasping my hand in passing. I think it’s a combination of interest in different-coloured skin and generally being quite physically affectionate.)
Well, wasn’t I rewarded. Two brave ones ran to the gate: a little girl, about 7 I reckon, who briefly held onto my arm; and a little fella, about 5, who grabbed my hand, kissed it, and ran off screeching with laughter at his own bravery (or hilariousness, I’m not sure which).

  • **

30 kids on the verandah at once was a bit too much, but I am going to miss seeing kids everywhere I go, and the little conversations I have with random friendly kids every day (we do get beyond ‘Malae! Malae!’). Despite all the hardships of being born in this country, Timorese kids have something which I think a lot of Australian parents miss for their own children: the freedom to play and move about, unsupervised, alone or in packs, for extended periods, without getting into much harm. All the time, I see tiiiny little kids confidently trekking on their own to school, or all the way down the road to Tia’s (Aunty’s) place. It's nice. :)

Posted by timortimes 17:25 Comments (0)

Things I won’t miss when I leave Timor

Tuesday 23rd June – 7 months, 7 days

The pollution in the gorgeous scenery (e.g. water = 8% faeces! Ew)

Extremely creepy dudes lounging in doorways drawling ‘Bondia, honeeeyyyy’ at me*

Fire ants in my bed and on my laptop (SERIOUSLY WHUT? This did not happen at the other house! Also, before you wag your finger at me and say ‘Do you eat on your bed?’, I don’t have a table, of course I bloody eat on my bed.)

Roosters that don’t understand they’re not meant to crow 24 hours a day

The rest of the food: Rice with every (bought) meal, lukewarm food, stale food and lack of food generally (no vending machines! No bakeries where you can buy a takeaway muffin! Because much of the population is struggling with getting rice!)

My bak mandi

Indonesian fucking pop music

Ridiculously expensive phone calls

Free and easy attitude to sanitation (i.e. smelly rubbish everywhere)

  • This isn’t all dudes, by a long shot. Far and away, most young and old men who greet me on the street are politely friendly, with exactly the same manner as the women.

Posted by timortimes 17:24 Comments (0)

Things I will miss when I leave Timor

Monday 22nd June – 7 months, 6 days

The gorgeous scenery

Extremely cute chocolate-coloured toddlers excitedly yelling ‘Malae!’ and waving at me

Sammo and Tarzan lazing around at my door (already stolen my heart, sigh)

Chooks squawking around the yard with teeny tiny chicks cheeping behind

Paying $3.75 for a giant, healthy plate of chicken and vegies

My quiet, breezy verandah

Always being warm

Ridiculously cheap massages

Free and easy attitude to everything (except turning the stereo down, but hey nothing’s perfect in life)

Posted by timortimes 17:23 Comments (0)

Choir Camp at Maubara

Saturday 20th June – Sunday 21st June – 7 months, 4-5 days

What-I-did-this-weekend: Went to a craft fair in Maubara (they make peanut brittle in Timor! It was amazing! Kind of mushily crunchy, so I didn’t break my teeth, and not sickeningly sweet!) and stayed at a convent for choir camp weekend. The convent is some amazing real estate – fantastic views over trees down to the ocean and across to the Indonesian island Alor (thankyou for the name Tracey). I think my favourite part of the weekend was when we were all on the back porch after four hours’ hard singing, watching the sun set over the ocean, drinking*, eating and singing along to the accompaniment of choir members talented with instruments other than voice. I played a shell and cane shaker. I love percussion. Why have I never taken up percussion? Remind me to do that when I’m back in Australia.

Close second would be getting up early to see the sun rise over the beach, though.

I tried to take photos of the convent and the amazing views, but my photos don’t really capture it; it was another one of those things in Timor which is more of a site-specific artwork, best experienced in real life.

  • The nuns were totally cool with this. Convents in Timor are often the best / only accommodation in an area, and so they’re used to catering for big groups. I guess this also includes turning a blind eye to any shenanigans guests get up to – within reason, anyway.

Posted by timortimes 17:22 Comments (0)

I love 27 degree ‘winter’ days

Friday 19th June – 7 months, 3 days

As I sat in the shade of my verandah this morning, eating mandarins, quietly contemplating the plants, it occurred to me that this was another one of those moments that I came to Timor for.

It is *really quiet* at my new place.

Posted by timortimes 17:21 Comments (0)

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