A Travellerspoint blog

January 2009

Affectionate embarrassment - Happy Birthday Mike

Friday 30th January - 2 months, 14 days

So because I am in Timor, I am far away from more people than usual (ok... everyone, except Matt), and I can’t celebrate anyone’s birthdays with them. Because I’m also doing this blog this year, I thought it would be fun (in that embarrassing-other-people manner of fun, haha) to note people’s birthdays with their very own blog entry. I will try to make up for anyone I have missed.

I admit I also think it is kind of an interesting thing to do, to tell people what you appreciate about them. I think most people see you differently to the way you see yourself – at least, it’s usually that way for me, ms oblivious – and I hope that nobody suffers too much embarrassment from having me write about them here. If you are uncomfortable about anything I write in an entry about you, let me know and I’ll take it down.

So here is the first one I’m doing…

Happy 27th birthday Mike!

I have been privileged – or unfortunate enough, ha – to know Mike for his entire life, because our parents were friends when we were born and have maintained that friendship to this day (indeed, our dads were friends before they met our mums). The 16 days between our birthdays have been made to account for differences in personality, maturity and now encourage insults about numbers of wrinkles. I count Mike as my official ‘oldest friend’, although really he and his family are more like rellies, in that they have always been around, and I couldn’t escape them if I tried! Not that I want to… I’m just trying to illustrate the relationship between our families.

It is really something to know someone for your and their whole life. While Mike and I sometimes clash (he and my brother get on better, at least), I know that like my brother he would help me any time I needed it.

Happy birthday dude.

Posted by timortimes 21:07 Comments (0)


Thursday 29th January - 2 months, 13 days


Holy hell how did we get to two and a half months??!! That is ten weeks!!!

No content today kids, only incredulousness. I'm too crazy from lack of intarwebs.

Posted by timortimes 21:05 Comments (0)

Dancing is the best thing ever

Wednesday 28th January - 2 months, 12 days

Well, well, well. Guess who got asked to teach a beginner swingdancing class last night with about two minutes’ notice?


Iraj, the ‘mad keen lindyhopper’ we’d been told about prior to coming to Dili, has been teaching swing classes on his own since December, and we’ve been meaning to go for a while. I think he asked us last night because he was tired! It was so fun. There was a decent ratio of guys to girls at the beginning of the class, although by the end we’d picked up a few extra girls. Also quite a few people we knew were there, including C and M, lovely girls (C is from New York and M is French) who I work with regularly as they are also in gender equality – C in the UN and M in the Ministry of Education.

We had a lovely compliment on the class – Muriel said we teach well together, which is nice considering we haven’t taught together much.

I had such a great time. Favourite songs (I have Shoo Fly Pie in my head), watching (new) friends dance, chatting hard at the side of the room with another (new) friend and, of course, dancing with smooth-stepping Matt – it all combined to give me a familiar kind of happiness. Lindy hop… it’s a way to find yourself at home anywhere.

Posted by timortimes 21:03 Comments (0)

Slight crisis of confidence at work

Tuesday 27th January - 2 months, 11 days

Midday: I suck at my job.

3.25pm: Changed my mind. I don’t suck at my job. It just *looks* like I suck at my job when my slow-and-steady, attempting-to-build-trust volunteer/researcher attitude is contrasted with the gotta-get-it-done consultant attitude.

My ANU lecturers would be proud of me (because they are trying to produce better consultants, as well as better development workers, public servants and volunteers), I think we will both get our jobs done in the end, and my way will be less stressful. However, I do wish I was better at promoting myself.

Any advice on talking myself up and making myself look extremely good? I think my work backs it up, I’m just not the greatest at showing that.

Posted by timortimes 21:01 Comments (0)

Mail, Australia Day and Kezza's birthday

Monday 26th January - 2 months, 10 days


I got mail today!!!! Yayyyy!!! Thankyou Jules and Meg! I am not sure why your parcels took a mere two weeks to get here, but I don’t care. (Let’s see if Kristy’s and Amanda’s turn up. Hmm.)

Australia Day

While I love my country, appreciate any public holiday (although I’m working this year) and do actually think Australia is the best place in the world, I’m uncomfortable with Australia Day, because it is really off to celebrate our nation by commemorating the invasion of Australia. I had a particularly uncomfortable moment last year on the plane between Sydney and Canberra. Picture this: me, two Americans and an Aboriginal guy (about my age) sharing a row of seats. The Americans are interested in us both because we are Australian and both from Canberra, where they’re headed for a conference. Because it’s Australia Day, they want confirmation of what it is and what we do to celebrate. I look awkwardly at the poor Aboriginal guy, who is looking stony-faced, and I say ‘Well it’s kind of a celebration of the invasion of Australia. It *is* our national day but Aboriginal people tend not to think it’s so great.’ Because, what do you say? It *is* our national day, but man, it’s insulting to Aboriginal people, and it’s embarrassing for those of us who think we should have done something about this by now.

This Australia Day, I love that Mick Dodson got Australian of the Year, and good on him for deciding to accept the award and take the opportunity to point out (yet again) that a more appropriate date could be found.

Unfortunately, since the 26th of January is so conveniently situated for a nice public holiday (around the last week of the school holidays), I don’t think it’s gonna change any time soon.

Also – woe – I’m missing the Hottest 100, completely. Last year I was on the plane back from South Korea for part of it, but I still made it for the end of the Hottest 100 in the afternoon, damn it, despite the jet lag! Guess I’ll have to read the list online tomorrow.

Kerry’s birthday

Australia Day always makes me think of my friend Kerry, because it’s her birthday. Kezza and I (yes I called her Kezza) were in primary school and high school together, that is until her family moved to Mackay when she was in year 9 and I was in year 10.

I lost contact with her some time around 2000-2001, it was early uni for me, I can’t remember when. I’ve tried to find her or her other family members every now and then, with no success.

I hope that she’s ok wherever she is, and that I find her again some time.

Posted by timortimes 20:59 Comments (0)

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