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The text message said it all

Day 1

sunny 32 °C

‘At hotel. Going to
have tea on beach. My
workplace is a palace
overlooking the beach
and AVI raised our
salary. And the toilet
works!! Xo’

A few people said to me over the last few months, ‘Don’t have any expectations and you’ll have a great time’. It was still very hard to imagine what it would all be like today, while I was hanging around airports (I made two new personal records: it took an hour to check in at Brisbane Domestic; 30 seconds to go through customs at Darwin). So far there are trees, dirt, kids in very clean school uniforms, quaint hotels, many landmarks and buildings and streets I can’t remember the name of (even though I am pretty sure we just circled the same four blocks tonight), a loooong beach, thunder and a smoky smell in the air. At the moment, Australia doesn’t seem very far away. Everyone’s texts make me feel loved :)

Our room in the ‘nicer’ hotel was kind of given away, by that hotel, so we’re in a little shoeboxy thing in another hotel, but this one has airconditioning too and there’s a shared kitchen. Oh, and the toilet works (touch wood).
The beach restaurant was a gorgeous little palmfrondy shack that opened out, oh, about four metres from the water’s edge. The pad thai was recommended, so prawn pad thai it was. OMG OHS and king waves here we come. But, gorgeous in calm weather.

It’s thundering now but we had a nice apocalyptic sendoff thunderstorm in Bris Vegas yesterday arvo that kicks this one’s arse. Heh.

Those who know about Matt’s and my ability to take on far too many activities will laugh when they hear that we have already been begged to take up the following activities:
• Trivia night – every second Tuesday
• Choir – in practice for Christmas carolling! – every Wednesday
• Salsa – every Thursday
• Walking
• Soccer (this was a women’s one and I tried to explain how much they really didn’t want me)

We’ll see what ends up happening. I am particularly keen on choir. Matt mentioned our swing dancing tonight too: another wait-and-see. We need Deb’s recommendation! Where is this other guy who is keen on lindy hop?
Oh and due to the pisspoor exchange rate (Timor-Leste is on US currency) AVI have revised their volunteer payments. I would like to take this opportunity to thank AVI for giving us the best news one can possibly hear on arrival in a new country on low low wages. Other than the toilet’s superior functionality, of course.

Posted by timortimes 21:27 Archived in East Timor Tagged living_abroad

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