I’ve settled into Dili life pretty quickly. In most ways, it’s not hard. There’s lots of services catering to the big expat community and I found somewhere to live pretty quickly. Still searching for transport, but using taxis in the meantime. Once you know where the main supermarkets are, you’re pretty much sorted for supplies. I’m still figuring out everything at work, but things are coming along. I’m meeting people around town as it is a fairly social place.
But every now and then I think…. woah. This town is strange.
1. Yesterday I went to a cafe for lunch and looked out the window to see 15 white UN landrovers all lined up in the carpark. Today’s peacekeeping and stabilisation mission was clearly lunch.
2. A reasonably good road I have to drive along to get to work has been completely torn up, when there were only a few damaged sections. Instead of just doing the repairs bit by bit, they’ve torn the road up in large chunks during the wet season… then it rained. So now it is muddy and takes cars double the time to navigate and the mud will probably hinder the works. It’s like, the worst plan ever for repairing one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
3. It can take three or four days for a significant news story to make it into the local papers. Nobody here really uses Twitter… because the country is so small word of mouth is faster than logging on to the internet and trying to load Twitter. It’s just like there is an effective national news agency. It’s called ‘gossip’.