A Travellerspoint blog

June 2009

The unit

Wednesday 27th May – 6 months, 11 days

Have I written anything about the unit?

Oh, the unit.

The week after the old pair of housemates moved out, I came home to find pegs and freshly turned dirt marking the previously-bare ground on the left of the Barbie Dream House (as you face it).

Barbie Dream House has now turned into Barbie Mutant Nightmare house. The neighbour, an enterprising fellow who runs the odd cockfight in his backyard (also known as my backyard), a billiards table / open air music haunt from his front entrance (we can have music all night, any night of the week) and tries as hard as he can to get maximum rent out of me (‘Can you pay 6 months ahead?’)... is building a unit stuck to the side of my house that takes away a third (the sunny, breezy third) of my verandah. And quite a lot of my sanity.

It was a cute little house, but it looks lopsided and wrong now (because they’re not building it in the same style, for starters). Apart from any of my angst about how I’d get on with the person who moved in (I do remember writing about this now – I was worried I’d get another party person, because apparently it was my old housemate who put the idea in his head, by saying their friend would move in if the neighbour built a unit), I’m just tiiiiiired of builders banging on the roof and mixing concrete (v. noisy business) out the front of my house, approximately 3 metres from my non-sealing window. It’s gotta end soon though… the roof’s on… right?

Posted by timortimes 18:25 Comments (0)

The rainy season that wouldn’t end

Tuesday 26th May - 6 months, 10 days

Seriously. Various people and books told me that Timor’s rainy season runs from November to March – April. Last night we had four hours of solid rain and it sprinkled for a good portion of the rest of the night. Is it going to rain this entire year?

At least it’s less humid now. I can even get through not having the aircon OR a fan on in my room. Sometimes.

Posted by timortimes 18:24 Comments (0)

Considering my options

Monday 25th May – 6 months, 9 days

So I’m considering my housing options. I’ve got two friends of friends who want to check out the room; I’ve got one friend who wants to check out the room and / or househunt with me; and I’ve been offered a room in another house (that would be my friend, the nun).

Sitting on my bed at 6.30pm on a Monday evening, earplugs in but still listening to the dogs fighting, baby screaming*, roosters crowing, motorbikes revving, builders hammering, billiard balls clinking, and worst of all, crappy Indonesian music blaring, I do wonder if it isn’t just best to move out. At two different friends’ houses last week, it struck me just how quiet they were. And how much more relaxed I was as a result. (I haven’t felt bad looking for a new housemate because my bedroom gets much more of the noise – the other one is much better.)

One acquaintance, who said she’ll have a room going in July, said her place is all-around great except for the fact that it has ‘noisy traffic’; frankly, I have dreams about the 7am Barry Drive traffic in Canberra that used to gently wake me up. Oh, to live in a place that *only* has traffic noise!

  • I can now tell the difference between ‘normal baby’ cry and ‘someone is torturing me’ cry. I don’t know why the neighbours slap their babies to make them scream, but they do.

Posted by timortimes 18:23 Comments (0)

The worst day vs. the best day

Saturday 23rd May – Sunday 24th May – 6 months, 7-8 days

My Saturday and Sunday were absolute polar opposites this weekend.

To put it bluntly, Saturday sucked. I’ll keep it brief: I had to work – it was the third day of our strategic planning workshop. I was also worrying about how I’d find a new housemate, would a new person actually stay put until I leave, etc. No fun at all.

Sunday, however, was simply one of the best days I’ve had in a series of extremely non-awesome days (weeks...months... year...). It’s funny, you know, entries about disasters are interesting; good days aren’t usually that funny in the retelling, or at least not the way I write. But it’s so nice to have a good day to write about that I want to share it with you regardless.

I took myself out for breakfast at Dili Beach Hotel, wrote in my notebook, and read a fantastic book while the sun glittered on the waves ten metres from my table.

I bought seven books that all look great, from the book exchange downstairs (The Color Purple, Last Chance Saloon, a Margaret Atwood called Wilderness Tips, Sophie’s Choice, Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father, Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, and Bronte’s Story – MUM you will want to read that last one for sure, I’ll bring it back for you).

I internetted for two hours.

I went for a swim with Angie at the beach in front of Caz Bar. For reference, this is rather similar in calmness to the Evans River, although parts of the ocean in Timor can look deceptively flat but actually harbour very strong currents (as Angie and I found out when we first tried the Cristo Rei beach earlier in the afternoon). I thought, ‘I am swimming at the beach, in May. In Canberra, it is probably 4 degrees outside right now’.

I made roast vegies and chocolate muffins for dinner with Angie. We played swing music (Ella Fitzgerald, and then George Washingmachine – ha) to drown out the Indonesian pop from next door.

It rained solidly while we were making dinner, the electricity and water *didn’t* go off, and I sat on the verandah for half an hour and just watched it rain. I especially love the sound of the rain on the roof (although it is very loud here, due to no insulation).

That was my best day. It wasn’t perfect – I was a little sick and just ignoring it; and of course I still had to find a new housemate. But I am used to being a little sick and I am used to the uncertainty of my housing arrangements, so I ignored that and classed the day A+.

Posted by timortimes 18:22 Comments (0)

Room to let

Friday 22nd May – 6 months, 6 days

An example of how one thing affects another.

X’s family get sick.

X has to leave Timor and go back home.

X asks their friend, Y, to house-sit for 6 months. For free, natch.

Y, being my housemate, goes to house-sit.

I, after one month of new housemate Y, am looking for a housemate... again.

Y is trying to make it as easy as possible for me, and I totally don't blame her for taking the chance to have a home rent-free for six months. Just a shame, that’s all.

Posted by timortimes 18:20 Comments (0)

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