Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Sunday Morning Stroll Through DILI, Timor Leste

I am in DILI, Timor Leste now and since it is a Sunday, I decided to take a stroll down to DILI town armed with my digital camera. Timor Leste was formerly called East Timor and they were under the Portuguese rule for many years. Later, the Indonesians governed this island nation and in the year 2002 after some violent objections from the Indons, they became independent. So, it is a "New Nation" so to speak and the UN people could be seen everywhere. I arrived here yesterday and when I did my shopping for some food and groceries I found the prices to be exorbitant. So this morning I decided to go where the locals go for their marketing and also to have a good appreciation of the city. A bicycle would be the best option but since my trusted Dahon is not with me I had to walk.The Comoro river which flows from the mountains down is dry most of the time. In fact Timor Leste is quite dry but there could be thunderstorms for a short period.This man is bringing his products to the market. Petrol here is .90 USD per lit so transportation is pretty expensive. Not many locals own cars. Motor bikes are quite normal.This 100 cc motor bike's engine must be overworked carry so much more than it is designed to do.Little vans called "MICRILETS" forms the main public bus transport system. I have seen people packed like sardine (about 15) inside one of this. The conductor is the guy who stands at the door to collect money and also to push more passengers in! In the local street market all types of food could be purchased. The moment they know you are a foreigner, the price goes sky high.I know it because I crept behind some locals bargaining for some tow foo . They got 6 tow foo cubes for 1 USD and I only got three. When I questioned the seller, he said to get six just cut the tow foo cubes into two! Three times two equals six!

I also dropped in to Landmark Plaza owned by Mr Tan from Singapore. Here one can get most of the items required but at a price! If he cannot make more money here why should he sacrifice the good life in Singapore to stay here!

A Boy Scout from Timor Leste. He was doing a public service at the local church. I spoke to him and he told me he is 15 so that puts him to be a Senior scout. I shook hands with him..using my LEFT hand to tell him that I had been a scout too.
Today is Sunday and I am surprised that a lot of Timorans are dressed in their best for the church service.
Instead of ice creams, this little kid had a local donut for coming to church. He cried after I took his picture. He must be scared of me!
If you have a tyre puncture the shop has to start a fire to heat up an old car piston. A small patch of rubber is then forcefully melted to mend the puncture. A smart idea.

Don't throw away your old shoes. There are alot of road side cobblers around here.

Sometimes when there is excess meat, they will come house to house to sell the meat.

This boy has six eggs to sell and the whole morning nobody wants to buy from him. Six eggs cost USD 1.50!

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