A Travellerspoint blog

February 2009

Happy 26th birthday, Vic: You would have loved it

Friday 20th February 2009 - 3 months, 4 days. Or, looking at it another way, 5 years.

Dude, you totally would have loved the developments in gadgets and the net in the last 5 years… iPods, Facebook, phones that do a thousand things, you would be into it all, I know it. I also kind of like to guess what new music you would be into, since we liked some of the same stuff and certain songs remind me very much of you. You know I am in exile from JJJ this year, being overseas, it makes me wonder what I’m missing.

I also know you would hate this sappy stuff, however I am sappy, so people have to deal with it. But, because this is for your birthday, I won’t say any of the usual stuff that people might say in this situation, but something else, which surprises me and is a bit odd, but again that’s me.

I’ve found out that grief doesn’t go away… you don’t get over it… you get used to it. Also that you being gone – well it simply feels like that, that you’ve been gone for rather a long time and dude, isn’t it time you came home to see us all now? Not that I’m there – I’m here in East Timor! – but everyone misses you. I miss you heaps and I can only imagine how much more everyone else does.

If only you could come visit, eh? but I’m sure you’re having an absolute blast whatever you're up to. Happy birthday Vic, I always remember, I can’t and won't ever forget.

Posted by timortimes 19:33 Comments (0)

Happy birthday to the awesome Amanda!

19th February 2009 - 3 months, 3 days

Doll! I miss my girls and you are a CHIEF GIRL that I miss. Haha. I miss random dancing with you on the side of the dance floor, I miss snarking about things with you, I miss flopping limply on the couch during a workshop break with you moaning about how tired we are, I miss your excellent cooking, I miss YOU! Happy birthday!

Posted by timortimes 16:50 Comments (0)

Things on my mind at the three-month point

Monday 16th February – Wednesday 18th February - 2 months, 31 days – 3 months, 2 days

Errr holy shit how did we get to three months here? Yes I am going to say this every month because it is quite amazing to me. At the moment the main things we think about are how much we would like to have a car and how much we also enjoy not having debt. My new coping strategy is to, whenever we are walking somewhere and I am tired, think about how much I enjoy not having a giant credit card debt or loan to pay off. Mmmmm all that lack of debt, all those dollars in my bank account.

Posted by timortimes 22:04 Comments (0)

Because why wouldn’t Matt also get sick?

Sunday 15th February - 2 months, 30 days

Good: I seem to be better and now have only to try not to push myself too hard. As I’ve been saying, this is difficult when we have to walk everywhere.

Bad: Matt seems to have some of the symptoms for dengue. Oh dear! I’m sorry Matt! Trust me if willpower alone could stop mozzies biting, I wouldn’t have a single bite on me. (Dengue fever is passed on through being bitten by a mozzie which has already bitten an infected person.)

Back to work tomorrow for me, I guess, and I’ll be doing the grocery shopping, nursing etc as well while Matt suffers from itchy hands, strange stomach cramps, etc.

Posted by timortimes 22:03 Comments (0)

My difficulties with having a paid cleaner

So here we have a paid cleaner, I think I have mentioned that before – she comes in a few days during the week. We’re obligated to pay for a cleaner – she’s part of the family who own this house – it’s the done thing by malae. Timorese expect that if you rent a house you will also pay for a cleaner, usually a relative of someone who owns the house.

I have difficulties with this. My first problem is that although I argue to myself – hey, somebody is getting paid here to do a job – well, she’s not getting paid very much. And is the person who actually cleans getting the money? I don’t think so. I think the money just goes to the family. Of course, in a society where the family unit is more important than the individual, perhaps this isn’t such a worry – it probably pays for food she eats or something. But, I still find it difficult. Especially because we just happen to be white and she just happens to be black. And it is always a she who cleans the house.

My second problem is much more selfish. Basically, I find it difficult that we are obligated to have a cleaner – who doesn’t clean in a sense of what I understand a cleaner to do – and does other things that I wouldn’t expect or want a cleaner to do. I’d expect a cleaner to sweep and mop our floors, clean the bathroom, and perhaps the kitchen, if it was empty enough. Instead, the cleaner occasionally sweeps and mops the floors, makes our bed, occasionally changes the sheets, washes up, and – most regularly – rearranges the stuff on the table in my room, and my underwear drawer. Oh, I nearly forgot the washing. They do our washing, which is great because we don’t have to buy a washing machine, but is not so great when our clothes go missing, they don’t do the washing for a week or when our clothes become inexplicably stained.

Seriously, I don’t need my underwear drawer tidied. And I can never find my damn torch because it is always being tidied away.

The final, tiny, lame difficulty? The insistence on leaving the broom and mop outside in the muddy puddles in the backyard, where they also get wet in the rain. I just don’t get this one. I’m considering buying another mop and broom to hide in our room so that I can have clean, dry ones to use myself.

And then I ask myself, again: why the hell do we have a cleaner I feel uncomfortable about having if I have to hide cleaning products so I can clean parts of the house myself? Why?

Posted by timortimes 22:01 Comments (0)

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