A Travellerspoint blog

How Australians assert their identity in East Timor

Ages ago, my friend Julia and I were chatting while we were walking back to work from lunch, and I asked her permission to put the following exchange up on my blog.

We were talking about the animosity between Portuguese and Australians, and it led to this exchange (paraphrased):

Julia: It’s weird, you know. It’s so strong, even if you don't feel this way back home, you really identify as an Australian here.

Kate: Which is weird, because it’s not like we have that much to unify us. I mean... apart from things like good education, good health, clean water...

Julia: *and the desire to crush Portugal*

Julia and Kate: laugh uproariously

Posted by timortimes 19:41 Comments (0)

No, really

This had been happening the last few weeks, before the horrid events of the last week. This is what made me think maybe the neighlords weren’t that interested in my presence:

They were sending their littlest kids to shit in the front yard.

Posted by timortimes 19:38 Comments (0)

Transport around town

Thoughts to add to list of ‘things to do / not do’ when I become a disgustingly well-paid consultant*: never move overseas without enough money to buy a car if that is the most common mode of travel. I know I’ve talked about this before, I’ve just been thinking about it again while trying to get around town to look at houses. Dili is DIFFFFFFICULT without transport.

I suppose I could have afforded a scooter, really, it’s just I truly am scared by the traffic around town. I didn’t think that my total lack of confidence in my ability to operate a scooter would be a good combination with the insane traffic here, which includes enormous scary white UN 4WDs driving at breakneck pace.

I’ve got no excuse other than I never tried. In my family, I am the odd one out, with my dad and brother riding motorbikes since forever, and my mum on her scooter (you are terribly impressive, Mother).

So, I’m a big sook. (No surprise there.) Too afraid to try to learn. But, I’m afraid and I’m alive. I still reckon that this is better than getting mangled by a UN vehicle.

  • In the development industry, everyone, without fail, hates consultants. I notice, however, that consultants themselves never say they hate their jobs. Another reason I want to be a consultant when I am finally old enough for people to believe I have the experience.

Posted by timortimes 19:34 Comments (0)

My new place probably didn’t need a paint job

When I checked it out earlier this week, it had white walls (inside and out), white tile, an aqua curtain on the single window, and faded blue fancy railing on the verandah (one of those quaint things I love about Timor, faded ornate railing from the Portuguese times).

New neighlords, among other moving-you-in kindnesses, were keen to paint it for me (remember when current set of neighlords wanted to paint the bedroom in the Barbie Mutant Nightmare House, after I’d just moved in? What is this obsession with painting houses?). I said ok because I didn’t need to move in until the weekend and figured the paint smell would probably dissipate by then.

It occurred to me yesterday that the cute white-with-faded-blue colour scheme might turn into pink bedroom with yellow bathroom and orange verandah with green railings, with a brand new shiny purple curtain, by the time I get back with my stuff on Sunday. Ohhhh dear. Oh well. As I’ve said before, eccentric colour schemes of Timor don’t grate on my soul. I just use them as material for another blog entry, hah.

Posted by timortimes 19:32 Comments (0)

My new place needs an amusing nickname

I’ve already done this on Facebook, I know, but I have to ask here as well.

What amusing name should I christen my new place with?

Chez Hovelle?

Uma Feto Ida? (One Woman House)

IDP Corner? (IDP = Development jargon acronym meaning Internally Displaced Person – yes in terribly bad taste, but that’s Capricorn humour for you, murky as anything)

Something else hilarious I haven’t thought of yet?

Whatever I choose, I am thinking of having woven into a tais, so I can have, like, a flag / banner for my house.

Posted by timortimes 19:30 Comments (0)

(Entries 71 - 75 of 276) « Page .. 10 11 12 13 14 [15] 16 17 18 19 20 .. »