Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Dili miscellany.

I haven’t written for a while, largely due to work pressures but also thanks to no large focus.

So I’ve assembled a few small things, a bunch of verbal gewgaws.

Some Tetum expressions: oin midar (“sweet face”) translates to “smile”. “La halimar” (“not playing”) translates as “seriously” in the sense of “very” e.g. tasi bo’ot la halimar means “seriously big waves”. Oi-oin (face-facing) means “a variety”. Manas (“hot”) is fun. Rai manas (“hot land”) actually refers to hot weather, but if you are suffering from hot weather, you cannot say “hau manas”. That is either ungrammatical, or slang for “I’m crazy”. You can say “nia manas” (s/he hot) and that translates out straight into our English idiom of “She’s hot!”. Isin rua (“two bodies”) means pregnant; it’s a useful phrase in my office.

The deer who graze by the shore have vanished. I hope Christmas in July did not feature venison. The tents for the night time barbequers also all vanished one night, although the people did not. The wood and bamboo scaffolding round the statue of Jesus is no longer there. Unfortunately, it didn’t vanish. It was simply untied and pushed down the slope.

I see so many things that take my fancy here, it really is a different place. Last weekend, I was just wandering and a family invited me to sit down and have a drink with them. I smiled and declined, as they were drinking Coke and Fanta. Asking for tea might have been too much and asking for water may have been unhealthy, so it was easier to pretend I had somewhere to be rather than refuse hospitality. Nevertheless, it made me feel good.

For those who don’t know, Just Add Water is now a Dive Master, to add to her impressive list of credentials. Solves the problem of answering: “And what do you do here?”, although what she is currently doing is learning Tetum, an activity for which she hasn’t had time to date.

The dry season has started. No, it hasn’t. Yes, it has. No, it hasn’t. Yes, for the moment, it has.
Except it rained last night.

Work progresses, and I’m going to leave that description right there.


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    Greetings from Santa Marta, Colombia

  2. Hello, I have been visiting your blog. ¡Congratulations for your work, good luck with your blog! I invite you to visit my blogs about literature, philosophy and films:

    Greetings from Santa Marta, Colombia