2nd October 2009 - 17 days to go
For the last three weeks, we’ve had power outages in my suburb every day, averaging about 4 hours in length. They’ve been more frequent at work, too (as I write this, we had our longest outage I’ve known of at the Palacio today). The word around Dili is that there are five generators for the area, one died, and there’s no backup, so there isn’t enough power for Dili all the time. Sometimes there are two outages a day; sometimes it’s just half an hour; quite often it’s between 5.30 and 9.30pm, which is no good if those are the only four hours in the day (other than the hour of getting up in the morning) you actually need and want electricity. I’ll get home, be informed the power just went off, lie on the floor sweating and pretending to read a book but actually just being annoyed the power is off, and then when I go to bed – bam – two minutes to 15 minutes after I’ve gone to bed, around 9.15 (because what point is there in staying up if there’s no lights, computer, music etc) the power comes back on. Each time I stumble back out of bed to plug in my phone to charge, consider staying up for about two seconds, then give in and go back to bed.
It bugged the hell out of me at first but then I decided that was just how it would be for the rest of my time here; it was another test of my patience. I still get grumpy about it, but it doesn’t bug me like it did at first. Generally, even if the power’s off for ten hours it comes back on the same day or overnight.
So, this means computer time at home gets meted out and prioritised; which has meant I haven’t had much chance to write blog entries. At this point, I find myself with weird allocations of time. Work has gotten busier, I presume both because I’m leaving and because it’s a busy period with a lot of activities. Home is less busy; because I am the world’s most over-organised person, I’ve already sorted, chucked and posted a lot of things. I still have a few things to sell, and a few things to return; but really there’s not that much left to do.
I spend quite a lot of time trying to entertain myself with the books I have left, working on my thesis, but in reality I’m quite bored and so I’m focusing on the next part of my life. It is not what I thought it would be by any stretch of the imagination and I’m still trying to find a way to work with that. But whatever I do with my own time – because my work life is reasonably clear – at least it will have decent bathrooms and 24 hour electricity and internet like whoa.