As I got out of bed on my 2nd day of tour I remember something I only had 2 days left in Timor Leste before I had to leave on Monday. I am grateful that I am spending 4 days in an impoverished nation and putting my money in peoples pocket but I don’t think I could spend a whole week here. It just seems it would be so damn hard to write a blog and update a website with the speed of the internet in Timor Leste
I got to meet the owner Dan today, he comes from Manchester. A few years ago Dan traveled all the way from London to Timor Leste without flying and when he arrived in Dili he fell in love with a lady called Rita and took over the operations of the Hostel. A true story of success.
It’s a shame there are no British embassy in Dili but it’s expensive to run a diplomatic mission. So as a British citizen I guess I could get help from the Portuguese embassy. Dan once got his passport processed by the New Zealand embassy that’s behind the back of the hostel. So it seems New Zealand is the protection power to the United Kingdom in Timor Leste.
I took a Van for 25c to the national Plaza where the Portuguese government t building where located. This is now the residence of Timor Leste Prime Minister. Around the corner from the building is the resistance museums.
The Museum is supposed to give me a hindsight on what happened under 24 years of Indonesian Rule as not many people know what happened in those 24 years as Timor Timur was off access to the world.
Unfortunately the Resistance Museum is closed today. It’s supposed to be open on a Saturday but because Timor Leste is a nation of 98% Roman Catholic it just has to close all its museums over Christmas. Also why the fuck is the government wasting its money on a security guard to tell people to go away. *HOW ABOUT TELLING PEOPLE ON YOUR WEBSITE WHEN THE MUSEUM IS GOING TO BE CLOSED!* Oh wait I just realized your internet speeds are dog shit so you don’t have the guts to inform tourist that your fucking museum is closed over Christmas!
Rule #1 in Timor Leste/Philippines DON’T VISIT OVER CHRISTMAS OR EASTER EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO SEE IS CLOSED!
So with this rejection in mine I walked through the streets of Dili buying food in local supermarkets. It was nice to see food on sales but prices varies from store to store. One of the interesting things is that chocolate is so damn expensive in Timor Leste its imported from Australia and has to be kept in the fridge. Fancy paying $7 for a block of chocolate? I DON’T THINK SO
The Xanana Gusmao reading room has a nice selected of books but too bad it doesn't have a website to say that its closed! Oh well the reading room isn't getting my copy of “Mao’s little red book”
With nothing much to do in Dili I decided to take a Taxi up to the Statue of Jesus. It took about 10 minutes’ drive to get there for a good $10 USD. You can’t barter or bargain in Timor Leste they need the tourist dollars.
The driver asked if he wanted to wait for me. I decided against it because I was going to walk all the way back into town.
The Statue of Jesus can be seen just about anywhere on the coastal regions of Dili. It was given to the Timorese people as a gift from Indonesian government while it was still part of Indonesia. The statue was made that it’s facing Jakarta.
As I started walking up the hill you learn about the 14 chapters of the Stations of the Cross for Jesus crucifixion. Every 5 meters or so there is a chapter and once you get to the bass of the hill there is giant cross to mourn the death of Jesus Christ.
There is a staircase that leads to the beach. But I am not a beach type of person.
It was a really long last 100m to get to the Statue of Jesus but when I got there I felt allot of proud and accomplished I could not have gone to Dili and walked up to the statue. Now it begins the long walk back home to the hostel.
Along the way back into town there are many hotels. I stopped on in to have something to eat and some nice tea. At one restaurant I had a plate of rice and a Ginger beer. Ginger beers always have a thing in my life, it reminds me of a French lady I used to hook up with in the city, id go to her house she would always have ginger beers in her fridge.
I paid $20 USD for a Timorese hat and I brought it off this guy because I felt like he needed the money. It’s worth the price for a cap.
As I walked back to the hostel there was a lack of pathways on the road. I would spend most of my time crossing the streets. I had an awful moment when I stepped on a bag and brown liquid went over my leg.
I was disgusted and embarrassed that something like this could happen. I think in the developing world you really need to watch where you’re stepping because what you put your foot down on can have a huge impact.
I washed my feet in the sea as the local children were warning me about the beaches dangers. The one thing I find disgusting is that people (including young children) go swimming naked in these beaches in Dili. That is one way to attract pedophiles and if someone caught you taking photographs of children on a beach then I guess you could be tried on Child Pornography.
Walking into the nearest supermarket I brought a small bottle of Hand Sanitizer and used it all to clean my shoes and my legs. I have had some blisters on my feet so its one way to stop infections.
After getting back to the hostel my laundry was done and I had a few new roommates from France. But another interesting thing is a met a guy from Israel at the hostel. If your from Israel and your traveling in South East Asia, then you are FUCKED BIG TIME because you wont be allowed into nations such as: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. So I would assume this young Israeli had to spend about $500 to get to Dili from Singapore.
I went for an afternoon stroll through the backstreets of Dili. I witnessed a Catholic mass at the local Cathedral but I couldn't be stuffed joining in as you couldn't see inside the church. This is like going to an Armenian mass in Chatswood, I have to leave home at 7am so I can get a good seat.
There was a new type of monument that I had no prior knowledge about. It featured one guy grabbing another man who had been shot. I think this was a monument to the Santa Cruz massacre.
When I made plans to visit Dili in September, I was hoping I could visit the Saharawi Republic ambassador. But the Saharawi Embassy has no known address in Dili. I was able to find the: Brazlian, Filipino, US, Korean and Japanese embassy but no Saharawi Diplomatic mission.
The Saharawi people have had the same fate as the Timorese but Western Sahara is still not free after 40 years of bullshit Moroccan occupation.
Evening came and I was eating a Wonton soup at a local Sports bar. This is usually the expat hangout around town as there were a few Australians talking about random shit. There was a Timorese bothering me to sell him scarfs but I didn't have the money to buy scarfs and hats off every seller in Timor Leste.
I walked through a shanty part of town in Dili as there was so much undeveloped land. People living in tin houses. It started raining as I walked though the village and I ended up discovering a mosque in town as I saw a few Muslim girls walking down the street.
People who are Muslim in Timor Leste must be of Indonesian decent or related to people who migrated to Timor when It was part of Indonesia. Allot of Muslims have gone back to Indonesia as they are a small minority of 3% of the population and you would fear for your life if you were a Muslim living in a Catholic nation of Timor Leste or a Buddist nation of Myanmar.
The mosque looked like it was brand new but I would say It was built by Indonesians.
Everything tends to close early on Saturday night so I spent another evening in the Hostel talking to an