A Travellerspoint blog

January 2009

Book Review: Beedle the Bard

How I came by it: Matt brought it back as a birthday present for me – which he was so excited about that he wanted to give it to me a week early. I let him, although I normally am the kind of person to insist that I won’t open gifts until my actual birthday.

This is another fundraising effort by JK Rowling. I really liked it, overall. The stories are cute and quaint; and I’m the kind of fan who’s in desperate need of a further Harry Potter fix, so I really appreciated the extra tidbits about Rowling’s creation; and she takes pains to try and redress the gender imbalance of wimpy females in fairy stories, AND she writes pointedly about this in her introduction. On the downside, I think she kind of missed the mark a bit with The Warlock’s Hairy Heart on that point, but hey, we all live and struggle under the patriarchy, so JK gets points for trying from me.

Posted by timortimes 20:34 Comments (0)

Happy 27th Birthday to Me, la la la

14th January 2009 - 1 month, 29 days

Two things I really wanted for my birthday that I didn’t seriously think would happen: (a) a car (b) a hot shower.

Turns out dreams really do come true!

Our housemate lent us her car for the day, so we went for a drive out of town for a bit – not to anywhere in particular, we just drove to the west, kind of along the coast. I think my favourite parts of the drive were the nap in the middle (Matt took photos of this – extremely unflattering) and driving along singing to a Josh Pyke song. La la la.

So, not a car for me or us, per se, but certainly a car *for the day*. Yay!

Now to (b). I’d booked myself in for a two hour massage (US$30, at the ‘expensive’ place in town – huh – looks like I finally found something cheaper in Timor than in Australia). It was a good massage but I still kind of think getting to have a hot shower after the massage was the best part (I didn’t know I would get it, either, it was a bonus).

Other than that, I ate out for breakfast (at One More Bar with Matt) and dinner (at some place right on the water on the other side of town, with Matt, Brie and Kitu, our housemates), Matt gave me some lovely books, a hammer (no really) and a Timorese dolly (I’ve named her Dolly, she is the cutest thing ever), my family gave me cash (thanks guys!) and some friends indicated they’d sent parcels, which I expect to receive … some time. (Ah well, we all know about the crappy postage system).

Yay age 27!

Posted by timortimes 20:32 Comments (0)

Breakthrough at Work

13th January 2009 - 1 month, 28 days

So, I haven’t written much about work. That’s because, up until now, work has been slow. Not because there is nothing to do – on the contrary, there is way more than my counterpart, H, and I could do, if we undertook all the projects people expect the Timorese Office for Gender Equality to undertake.

Work has been slow for me because the point of my assignment has been to ‘build capacity’ of my counterpart (colleague) (for those unfamiliar with public service and development industry jargon, this means work with and teach my counterpart, not simply do stuff myself). I’m not meant to go in and be a workhorse for a year, I’m meant to actually help H work out how to plan, develop and carry out a research program so that (hopefully) he can keep going on his own after I leave.

However, when I arrived in December, I could tell that poor H already had enough work and plenty of people telling him what to do, so I pretty much spent the month tagging along to meetings, watching how people worked together in the office, how work was planned and prioritized, etc.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that today I managed to have a conversation with H about all his work, and how we need to plan what he has to do, because otherwise we will take on too many things. So yay for progress!

EDIT: In the last two weeks we have done sooo much that it deserves another entry of its own, so I will do one another time. Yay for H!

Posted by timortimes 20:31 Comments (0)

Readers

Yes, I know I haven't updated for two weeks

Apparently there are quite a few people reading this blog! Hello everyone who is reading this! It is encouraging to know that people are interested in this, to find out what Matt and I are up to. I really like writing and I love the format of blogs, so I would write this even if nobody were reading it.

I *am* sorry that I have to do it like this - uploading 20 entries every two weeks - but that is what it's like in a developing country. Nobody has internet at home (it costs US $3000 to get a line installed), I've detailed the internet cafe situation before, and my work internet is usually the best but (a) there's a virus on our computers which eats my work half the time, because they don't have appropriate levels of antivirus, security etc software and (b) our internet has simply been dead all week until today.

Now if only I had a comment function that *worked* and titles that weren't ALL IN CAPS LIKE I AM SHOUTING OH THE INELEGANCE OF IT ALL … oh well!

Posted by timortimes 20:26 Comments (0)

Things we do in Timor: watch MASH

Besides reading, we watch an awful lot of DVDs. Now I know this is normal for many other people, but back home, I rarely watched tv and any time I spent watching dvds was pretty much procrastination from some other activity I should have been doing (most notably, uni work or packing). So it is still like a treat for me – that I can have every day! OMG!

I think the stand out winner for what we watch most often will be MASH. Is that anyone else’s guilty pleasure? It sure was mine, until I found out Matt liked it too. After we had that conversation – ‘I see the full dvd set of MASH is on sale ... all eleven seasons...’ ‘Oh, do you like MASH too?’ ‘OMG I LOVE MASH’ ‘OMG ME TOO’, I believe there were declarations of love anew all round.

So anyway, there are around 24 episodes per season. Not only is it great (well apart from when I want to throw things at the computer when the men all sexually harass the women for laughs – God being a feminist is hard on your sense of humour) but there is LOTS OF IT.

Having now watched the entirety of the first two seasons, I am tempted to write an essay on Character Motivations of MASH. I am dying to know what these characters are like in their home lives... and I am particularly interested in Major Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan's character.

muahahaha awful essay a-brewing!!! See this is what happens when I take a semester off from uni...(although it's really summer holidays still at the moment)... I end up making up crazy assignments for myself!!!

Posted by timortimes 18:42 Comments (0)

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