Wednesday, May 04, 2011

No road rules, a car I can't drive, a place I don't know and no street lights, sure I can drive in Dili.

Sunday afternoon once we had finished our tour of Dili, Mick drove us back home, and we had dinner and again quite a few drinks. He is such an amazing man, I honestly don't know how he is still so together, after the shit he has seen. He told us that he still has nightmares and wakes up in cold sweat many nights, not many would admit that.

We talked until about 3am about the craziest stuff that he had done, the things he has seen, but also about Mat and I, and what we want out of life. He is really into supporting, mentoring and helping people get what they want from life. For me he was talking about this person and that he knew, how he will hook me up, or 'get the connect' as he puts it. Mick is so interested and so invested in people.

On Monday Mick had to catch up with the 'pres' (Talking about José Ramos-Horta) to discuss business things, he works day to day as an advisor of sorts to the president.

Mat and I went and hung out at Bairo Pite Clinic (Dr Dan's) for most of the day. Not sure if I had mentioned earlier that at the clinic there was also 2 brittish med students. Anyway we became quite good friends with Charlie and Seb (sebastian) it was Charlies last day on Monday, Seb has another week then he will be leaving too. They had to do a placement as part of their studies they could choose to do it anywhere in the world. Apparently many if not most just stay in England, but they wanted to do something more worth while. Mat needed their help with getting the stories right for the photos he had taken of the patients, like names, condition, where the were from etc, so we sat down with charlie and Seb and went through the images.

After Bairo Pite we met up with Mick and went back home for a game of touch footy on the beach. Monty next door was having drinks for a friend of his so we all went around, had a few drinks and all sat around talking, playing guitar, singing an having a good time. I hadn't yet had a drink and they realised that they didn't have enough beer, mat and I needed to go to the supermarket anyway so we got roped into a beer run.

Let me get it straight when I say Dili has no road rules, from what I can tell the only thing everyone seems to do it beep their horns a lot! I think the rule is beep if there is people or animals on the road obviously to make them move, when passing, turning, merging, when your pissed or just generally when you feel like it you beep your horn. Ok so that would be fine, driving with no rules on right of way or speed or driving in a lane, if I was driving a car I knew and in a place I knew.. Nope no luck there. So I ended up driving a massive land cruiser, that was manual (I haven't driven manual since like august!) had basically no power steering and one headlight was a bit stuffed. Also in a totally unfamiliar place, at night when the street lights were out.. It was a pretty slow and steady drive but all in all wasn't too bad! Dili diving is something I don't think you could ever get used to, Mick said they also like to change the direction of the one way streets on occasion, really not helpful!

Once the party had died we went back home and ended up talking with Mick until about 2am again. We went to bed when Mick started falling asleep midway through a sentence. He had planned to drive back to his hotel but I wouldn't let him so (after me offering him his own bed a million times) he opted for sleeping on the daybed on the porch. Mat got a mozzie net and attached it to the roof and we made him a cosy little place to stay. I'm really glad he didn't drive home.

Tuesday morning we were up at about 6 again because the sun had come up so Mick was awake. He had a super busy day so he left pretty early and we went back to sleep for a bit. In Timor there is a crazy amount of differing street food, but the best ones are the kids that actually walk around with a cart of whatever they are selling. I'm pretty sure iv talked about the egg boys before? Anyway you see heaps of young boys walking around with tray of hard boiled eggs. These are probably Mats favorite, but this morning before the egg boy there was another kid who came past selling pancakes. They walk up and down the beach past our back fence and we always get it when it is hot and fresh because we are right next to the path down to the beach. it was the best breakfast ever! I had a couple that had something like home made nuttela and a couple with what looked like chocolates sprinkles. Soo good! Egg boy came past the house too so mat was happy..

We ended up having a slow morning then headed into Dili to the Internet cafe and then for lunch. We didn't want to do too much or go too far away as Mat was waiting on a phone call back from Aida, one of the doctors/midwives from Bairo Pite. They were planning on going to the district overnight so he could photograph a district birth, but it got to 3pm and she still hadn't called so we figured she wouldn't.

After lunch we grabbed a taxi to Santa Cruz, the cemetery that I mentioned in the last post. It was really strange being at that place, knowing that so many people died so horrifically right where we were standing. The massacre happened towards the end of 1991, so it's getting close to the 20 year anniversary, and yet you can still see subtle signs of what occurred there. Some of the graves closest to the fence of the cemetery still have chips and marks from where the bullets hit them, the concrete wall it's self was rendered by the Indonesians almost immediately after to try to cover it up, but there is places where the render has fallen away from the original wall again to reveal the incredible amount of bullet holes. Walking back towards the centre of Dili down the road the protesters had taken in 1991, the walls are littered with names and some just simply the date the massacre occurred. Again you see the spirit of the Timorese, and their ability to get on with life.

While walking back from Santa Cruz we came across a couple of guys training their fighting cocks, it is a huge back alley sport here. A well bred cock can set you back $50-60, then you have to spend a year or 2 looking after, feeding and training the thing. Remembering that a good average wage in Dili is about $5 a day, it's crazy how many people can't afford food and yet they have a fighting cock. A typical manu conflictu translation to 'Chicken conflict' lasts no more than 15-20 seconds, and 9/10 times ends with the death of one bird. These people spent so much time and effort on these fights, and you can lose everything in 15 seconds. I really don't agree with cock fights yet it was crazy watching these 2 massive birds go at each other.

It's just ticked past 1am as I'm writing this, I have been in bed since about 10.45 and just can't get to sleep. If I do I keep getting woken up by the stupid fucking rat that is frequenting our place. It has eaten a whole packet of rat sack and still isn't dead. If that wasn't enough, I went to the toilet before and we now also have a massive huntsman in the bathroom, it is the biggest spider iv ever seen, it would actually be as big as my hand. Yuck! I hate bugs and rats and basically anything creepy crawly!!


So I spent most of the night chasing the eat around the house, they stupid freakin thing is getting more bold and more confident, apparently it bit Rich on the toe 2 nights ago. Last night it ran across the bed right up my body, from feet to shoulders, scared the shit out of me. Then a bit later on it ran across our feet again too.. Man I hate that stupid furry peice of shit!

This morning Mat has gone into Dili to meet with another contact. So iv spent the morning finishing writing this entry, watched a couple episodes of west wing while sitting on the day bed watching the waves roll in.

Hard life.

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