A Travellerspoint blog

March 2009

Public service announcement

Due to dreadful internet, a laptop in the repair shop (cross your fingers for me - stupid one year warranty), one guest visiting this weekend (yay Lena!) and a spur of the moment Easter trip to Darwin (more yay Kristy and Kevin!), posting will be sporadic for the next couple of weeks. However I will be writing entries wherever I can (in my head, in a notebook, on scraps of hotel notepaper, etc) and they'll be posted once I have easier access again. I promise!

Posted by timortimes 17:14 Comments (0)

Shameless request for books

Saturday March 21st - Wednesday 1st April - and we're now up to 4 months and 16 days

To everyone:

Thankyou, obrigada, terima kasih, grazie, gamsa hamnida and doomo arigatoo. I was just wondering how many languages I knew how to say thankyou in without checking – would have been seven but I can’t quite remember the Thai word.*

Actually I was trying to express how grateful I am to you all.

Now comes the shameless part. Quite a few people have asked me, is there anything I can do? It is extremely kind. But I didn’t know if there was anything I could really ask people to do or send from a distance, other than the little things (like earplugs, ha) which I ask various people to pop in the post for me from time to time.

But, then I did think of something anyone can do which I would really love:

Go through your books, pick out one or two that you think I might like (even if I might have read them before), and post them over to me. If you want them back, that’s fine, write your name inside the front and I will send it back; or if you want me to keep them that’s also fine. I will pass them on when I’m done.

Why this specifically? You probably know that I am a bookworm (a speedreading bookworm who can chew through books far too quickly). But Timor does not have a bookstore or a library. It has cafes, bars, banks, tailors, and really strange little shops which stock Indonesian and Portuguese textbooks. It has two book exchanges which are pretty poorly stocked – you pay $3 USD for a new book or $1 USD to swap a book.

But noooo booookstoooore iiiiit kiiiills meeee.

So books are a pretty precious commodity here. I’ve got nothing against new books (I just ordered a few) but it’s pretty expensive to buy me a book and then pay the hefty postage to Timor. So if you just send me something you’ve already read and think I might like, we’re being a tad more thrifty.

If you want suggestions, email me or message me on Facebook.

Posted by timortimes 17:03 Comments (3)

Happy 21st Birthday Sarah

Friday 20th March – 4 months, 4 days

Today is my cousin Sarah’s 21st birthday. I missed her family party at the end of January, but I emailed a message to my mother to be read out at the party. I’ve included the message again below.

Happy birthday again Sarah – I hope your Sydney party is fantastic and that your 21st year is everything you hope.

  • **

Sar is, to me, the eldest of my ‘little cousins’, being a mere six years younger (and now, like the rest, four inches taller).

I like to think I was crucially involved in Sarah’s upbringing, e.g. by helping toilet train her. I recall Sar repaid me for my kindnesses over time by painting my Barbie dolls’ faces with Liquid Paper around the age of four.

Now we are adults, she continues to repay me by popping up in Facebook conversations to offer embarrassing childhood stories about me to other friends.

OK no wait! Sar, it has been a privilege to have you as a playmate when we were little and then to watch you grow up to be such an awesome person. I am so sorry I can’t be at your 21st like you were at mine; working for peanuts in East Timor means I don’t have any spare peanuts to fly myself back! I need to eat them! In any case, I hope you know that I can’t wait to see what you do with your next 21 years.

Happy 21st birthday Sar, lots of love from your ‘big cousin’ Kate xo

Posted by timortimes 21:17 Comments (0)

Taking stock

Thursday 19th March – 4 months, 3 days

In case you haven’t noticed, March is like Birthday Rush Time for me. I don’t know why I know so many Sun Aquarians and Pisceans, although I am related to quite a few of them.

So let’s take stock at the 4 month mark now, because I didn’t on Monday. DAMNNNN four months!!! That’s a third of our time here! That gives me a bit less than eight months to do this thesis, work with Herminio, actually get out to a couple of districts, etc. Sounds strange but remember I am working fulltime, I’m not on holiday here.

I feel like we are pretty settled here now with our routine, which ironically means that I want to see what I can do differently. Or not differently, but simply do. I’d like to go do some of the things we haven’t done yet. We haven’t been snorkeling. We’ve only been out of Dili twice – once to Ailiu and once about an hour to the west. Since we won’t be getting a car we can’t do this too spontaneously, but since we seem to get sick fairly often it’s hard to plan stuff as well, despite our abundance of free time. For example, we were going to ride our bikes down to Caz Bar and have breakfast by the beach last Sunday, because I finally felt well enough and like I had enough energy, but Matt was feeling unwell Saturday evening and Sunday, so we stayed home and I cooked brunch instead.

So I’d like to plan a couple of excursions – maybe we can try for one every couple of months. I’d like to go to Ailiu again; I’d like to go to K41, a beach about an hour from Dili (or 41 ks); and I’d like to just kind of explore. I’d also like to catch the ferry across to Atauro for a couple of days; and I’d like to find out what’s further away on the main island of Timor – apparently if you can take three days off, i.e. have a day to drive there and a day to drive back, there are a lot more districts you can visit.

Fortunately the fact I’m wanting to plan this now coincides with the fact that we are approaching the end of the rainy season (I hope, oh God how I hope). It’s not possible to go out to many of the districts in the rainy season and so I think from April-May to October is the best time to be doing this. I knew it was best to get the worst, rainy season weather over with in our first months!

Posted by timortimes 21:16 Comments (0)

Happy birthday Josh

Wednesday 18th March – 4 months, 2 days

Oh what is this? Another birthday? Why yes it is! Today my cousin Josh is 16 years old. Still young enough for me to mention his age in his birthday greetings, but old enough so that I do it from a distance, because like the rest of my ‘little cousins’ he could now simply raise his foot, stomp on me and squish me like a bug.

Josh, happy birthday, I hope you have an awesome day. I’m sorry the little parcel I sent won’t get there in time – it’ll probably be about another month. When I’m back in December I’ll be making a time to see you and the others. In the meantime good luck with year 11. :)

Posted by timortimes 21:15 Comments (0)

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