Thursday, November 6, 2014

Back on the ground again

Where has the time gone? Just Add Water and I have been rushing around like the proverbial headless chooks, particularly trying to arrange new accommodation. The market is very tight for reasonable apartments or villas. Between the two of us we've inspected well over twenty and the search continues. The thought of living in a hotel room for a year leaves us both fairly cold.

With the sacking and expulsion of a number of foreign legal advisors and judges (remember, my blog does not make political comments or judgements) I was rather selfishly hoping that some quality stuff would hit the market, but none of my contacts have come forward. At the moment we are paying $US3,200 per month for a 2 bedroom place overlooking a construction site with electricity, gas, laundry, cleaning, water rates and everything else NOT included. There is free internet but you are fortunate to download a single page in a night. Reminds me of internet speeds in 1990!

We're also looking for a car, although we might have a little more luck there. A soon-to-depart aid worker has a relatively good 4WD on offer. Cars in Timor keep their value, and so are relatively expensive but you get your money back in the end.

Less household, more Dili.

I've been on one Hash run (walk), walked the 11 km loop around the Christo Rei peninsula behind the huge statue of Christ, attended Rotary (funny how many of the Hash hoons are pillars of the Rotarian society) and covered a very conservative 50kms on foot in the last two weeks. Just Add Water has been doing well and will go on her first dive tomorrow. Somehow, don't ask me, last night she was complaining of cold feet (literally, not figuratively).

Dili has changed in some ways and not at all in others. I'll go into more detail later, but I'm warm and there's really nothing that compares with a G&T in the tropics. The Dili population, by and large are not as painfully thin as I remember them, but I'll be visiting the hospitals in the districts soon and I expect to see another story. Hunger is a major issue here.

The clever merchants of Dili have come up with a way to market jeans. Given that Timorese women are still very slender on the whole, they buy skinny leg mannequins, squeeze them into the jeans and just leave them unzipped at the front (no way that these jeans are going to fit a western model's figure!).

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