A Travellerspoint blog

September 2009

Happy Fathers’ Day, Dad

Sunday 6th August – Fathers’ Day

I’m skipping a few days (will catch up later) to make a special trip in to the internets to say Happy Fathers’ Day to my dad, the staunch, the wonderful, the terribly talented with his hands. I meant it when I said I needed you to make a fence for my house when I buy my first property!

Lots of love,


Posted by timortimes 23:48 Comments (0)

Just a thought on government nepotism

Monday 31st August – 9 months, 15 days

Every-bloody-one in this country is related; I don’t see how they can *avoid* nepotism, or the appearance of it, even. Especially when you realise that the people with money and power only form about 5% at best of the population anyway.

Posted by timortimes 23:47 Comments (0)

‘Tour de Dili’, Independence Anniversary Referendum

Sunday 30th August – 9 months, 14 days

Well. The day of of the tenth anniversary of the referendum for independence, and all the aftermath. I didn’t manage to find out about any of the official events in time, but I wouldn’t have gone anyway – besides the usual difficulty of transport, I’ve been to plenty of long speeches here. It was enough to be in Dili, East Timor on this day.

So I took myself on my own tourist walk around Dili, to contribute some more tourist dollars to the overpriced Independence trade expo and take photos around town. It felt a bit like when I was walking around Same exploring. In other countries, you would be able to get a tour guide who could recite bits of information about this statue or that building and sure it would be interesting; but here I kind of like that you can wander about at your own pace, see things and put your own stories together if you know a bit about the history of Timor and Dili. You can take more time here, skip a street there, stop for lunch when you want. And I love that sense that you’re not seeing something cleaned up and sanitised. Portugal and Indonesia have not been erased.

I had some good finds. I found another crazy Mary shrine, another crazy Portuguese statue, twin buildings which illustrate an important part of today’s anniversary and the aftermath and cleanup – one beautifully (ok, Dili beautiful, which means lots of bright blue paint) redone and one burnt out. I found an actual bus stop! (Microlet stop.) I also got some pictures of things I’ve been meaning to get for a while, e.g. four dudes hanging out the door of a jam-packed microlet. That should be made into a saying – ‘Fuller than a Timor taxi’ or ‘More stuffed than a microlet’, something suitably lame like that :D.

Lots of people spoke to me – everyone is so friendly and I know this, yet am still surprised. Bondia Missis! How are you? Sister where are you going? Good morning! Mister, mister, foti! Mister, Mister, LARI LARI!

You get good pictures just wandering about the street, people do ask to have their photo taken. My favourite today were the group of little darlings throwing rocks at an enormous swarm of hornets. They paused to swarm around me and demand photos, so I took a few, and then they resumed chucking rocks at the hornets... and this time they were successful... ‘Mister, Mister, LARI LARI!’, that was ten little boys sprinting down the street and urging me to RUN RUN! to get away from the hornets. I guess they liked me.

Posted by timortimes 23:44 Comments (0)


Saturday 29th August - 9 months, 13 days

I’m aware that more people are reading this blog now than I can really keep track of, so I’m going to have to stop using names of friends in Dili, I think. Anyway, I spent this afternoon at One Dollar Beach* at a fabulous picnic with a bunch of, I believe I can identify them as, lovely AYADs and others. I’m sad my friend’s going :( but the nice thing about friendships in Dili is that the friends I’ve made here are people I would want to know anywhere. So lovely girl, I’m sorry you’re going, I really appreciated that you were there with hugs or the right thing to say at a couple of crucial moments over the last 6 months. But I’ll see you again, I’m sure. :)

Anyway, about the afternoon. Apart from the constant bumping-into-people-one-knows Dili is a bit like Canberra in that you attend as many farewells as all other social events put together. It was a fabulously relaxing afternoon, with a marvellous spread, we have some talented salad-making cooks here (all the more talented because of the situation with limited ingredients). We stayed until sunset and it was a magical, with silvers and purples and pinks.

I really appreciate the friends I have in Timor.

  • Beach at the back of Christo Rei, or the Christ Statue. I really prefer to think of it as Christ’s Butt Beach.

Posted by timortimes 23:41 Comments (0)

Probably not necessary

Friday 28th August – 9 months, 12 days

Turns out I did know someone in the Tour de Timor – another volunteer. And another friend who went to watch the finish said the crowd control was a tad overzealous – i.e. hitting and forcing the crowd back when they weren’t particularly doing anything more harmful than milling around. Oh dear. Not just Timorese forces either.

Posted by timortimes 23:40 Comments (0)

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