A Travellerspoint blog

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)

Did I mention...

That I have my flights back to Australia booked? WELL I DO. You might be able to tell that I’M A TEENY TINY BIT EXTREMELY EXCITED about this. Cheap phone calls and internet! Friends! Family! Forgetting the exchange rate! Woolworths! Salad! Pharmacies! Dancing! Canberra doesn’t even have mosquitoes or open piles of rubbish! I can’t wait to come back and be a disgustingly privileged Australian woman and do such dangerous things as wear singlets in public and drive my own car places on my own!

While I’m counting down the days excitedly (3 months and 9 days as I write this!), I do also hope that the realisation that I don’t have that much time left here – combined with house being mostly in working order – will actually help me make the last three months much more enjoyable than the last three. Given what I’ve been through this year, I don’t want to invite the wrath of the universe and jinx myself by saying that (do you hear me, universe?), but I do like to have hope.

Posted by timortimes 01:25 Comments (0)

*shakes head*

Friday 10th July – 7 months, 24 days

Armando – one of our two directors – told me today, with a lot of giggling*that indicates he doesn’t quite get the seriousness of the situation, that he got tired of pulling his laptop out of its case at security gates in airports, so in Heathrow airport last week he just told security that he didn’t have a laptop, even though he had two in his bag. OF COURSE, they noticed and made him go back.

Sometimes it is interesting to see my Timorese friends’ and colleagues’ reactions to things they’re not used to, and sometimes it makes me want to put my head in my hands and moan...

  • Herminio and Armando don’t laugh, guffaw or chuckle, they giggle, there’s no two ways about it.

Posted by timortimes 01:02 Comments (0)

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