A Travellerspoint blog

July 2009

More weekend

Sunday 19th July – 8 months, 3 days

Because last night was the only time I’ve ever been to a dinner party in Timor and exactly the second night I’ve stayed out until after midnight – OF COURSE today was the day the airconditioning repairdude knocked on my door at 9.30am in order to demand payment (at least that didn’t hurt, it was only $25). OF COURSE. I really should have seen that one coming. WTF is wrong with him? Why wasn’t he at church like a normal Timorese person? AARRGHHHH MY HEAD.
On the bright side – 3 months today until I get on a plane for Darwin! Whee!

Posted by timortimes 01:29 Comments (0)

Weekend

Saturday 18th July – 8 months, 2 days

I asked a friend if he would give me lessons in quick-step the other day, so in a very Dili way we ended up having a dance lesson in someone else’s loungeroom this arvo (because he lives in a hotel and I live in a hovel and neither of us has dance space). I just do so much better when I can dance! It is my happiness in living.

And then somehow I ended up at a dinner party last night; marked, not only by the lovely people and great food and general happenin’ atmosphere, but by the fact that it was the first time I have been to any malae gathering where I was the only Australian. We had a Nicaraguan, an Austrian, a Swiss, a Croatian Canadian, a (forgive me, V) Canadian from Chinese background, a French, an Australian, and a Spaniard. We had a marvellous debate about the stupid and horrible things people from each country have done. Austria won. (Or lost, whichever way you look at it.)

Posted by timortimes 01:28 Comments (0)

Oh and

Armando picked up a new saying in Ireland too: now, every time we ask ‘How are you?’ he answers ‘Not so bad!’ cheerily. I shudder to think what language the delegation to New York will pick up next week... not least because if they bring back any choice swearwords, I am going to be mad that all my effort in politely refraining from swearing at work will have been wasted and I could’ve just been swearing at work all year like I usually do. Bringing Australian culture to Timor! Strengthening ties through language bonding! For reals!

Posted by timortimes 01:28 Comments (0)

Herminio’s adventures in Australia

Saturday 11th July – Friday 17th July – 7 months, 25 days - 8 months, 1 day

Oh Herminio. He managed to travel through Darwin to Adelaide and back without causing any major international incidents, but I was worried for a bit. He was excited to tell me about patting kangaroos, wallabies, seeing koalas, going shopping (he brought me back some Haigh’s chocolate! Mmm) and all the great things that happened to him in the airport. Oh yes.

He told me that Australian people were very friendly to him, all very nice. (I was a little worried he might experience some of the nastier sides of certain Australians but luckily he didn’t, perhaps the fact that he is about the same size as the average Australian twelve-year-old and therefore looks completely unthreatening helps.) In fact he even made a friend in the airport in Darwin, there was this Bronson, he was also waiting for a plane, and we talked mana. Herminio showed me a photo of his new friend Bronson. Bronson had a slightly caged look but he can’t have had too long chatting to Herminio, he had a plane to catch after all.

He also related that when he was in Darwin airport the first time, some security guards called him over and wanted to inspect his luggage. Oh yes, I said, heart sinking, wondering why Herminio was choosing to tell me about THIS particular bit of the travelling experience. Yes, Herminio said, I said to them, It’s ok, you have no need to worry, I have no bomb in my suitcase! Luckily these were guards with a sense of humour, so they laughed, and asked Herminio had he lived in Australia, or been before? Because his English was very good! Herminio said no, this is my first time to go to Australia. No worries! And they laughed again.

Herminio, my colleague, the comedian.

Anyway, one of the researchers he was visiting at the Uni of South Australia, Monica, her family taught him the expression ‘Have a good one’ (usually pronounced ‘Avagoodwun’). So now every time I leave the office – for lunch, for the day, for a meeting – he tells me to ‘Avagoodwun’ and wants me to respond ‘No worries’.

Posted by timortimes 01:26 Comments (0)

If I could choose a superpower in Dili...

It would be the ability to break stereos with my mind. The Uma Kiik is nice because it’s usually quiet – but in the last week I have noticed that there is some household a couple of hundred metres away which has a stereo going, with the bass pumped up so much it makes my head pound even though it’s really faint. Once again, it’s always at weird hours: 7am on a Wednesday, or 11pm on a Sunday.

When I leave, I will miss everyone except the people with loud stereos. People with loud stereos: I HATE YOU ALL.

Posted by timortimes 01:25 Comments (0)

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