Flo woke me up at 7am after a good night’s sleep. I had been very tired the evening before as the 3.30am start into the day did not go down well with me.
Herman was already up and back from his morning run (shame on me) so we had breakfast together before he headed off for work. Breakfast was delicious but I started to feel really unwell. Most of the morning saw me in bed with stomach pains. I am unsure if it was a reaction to the malaria prophylaxis in the morning, the local food yesterday or the crushed ice (aka tap water) in my juice last dinner. Whatever it was, it was most definitely a reaction of my body to something new.
So Flo had to go out without me to procure lunch which he did while I took a nap. He made it to a Vietnamese bakery close by where he bought some kind of sweet treat for me. When the lady at the counter asked for $1, he was sure that he was being ripped off because he’s malae but then he came home with a whole plastic bag full of the treats! More than enough for both of us for lunch. It turned out to be several quartered bananas wrapped in dough and then deep fried in oil. There was probably some honey put on it as well. Sweet, fatty and quite delicious.
I started to feel better after the food so maybe the doxycycline did cause my stomach pains. We took a mikrolet into the city center (I LOVE mikrolets) and walked to the Arquivo & Museu da Resistência Timorense. Something was going on close by as there seemed to be a demonstration of sorts…then Flo fell into a hole in the footpath down to his hip because he was busy looking at what’s going on. Luckily, he didn’t hurt himself too badly, just a few scrapes on his leg. This could have been the end of the trip if he had broken an ankle so we were quite pumped with adrenaline.
The exhibition is quite good but made me and Flo very depressed. Going from a Portuguese occupation to a 25 years Indonesian occupation and the continued struggle for independence…and all the documents showing the USA and Australia supporting Indonesia…*sigh*.
Herman texted that Timor-Leste would be having a qualification game against Malaysia at 4pm in the stadium and that it’s free. We decided to have a nice coffee at the Peace Coffee café before heading to the stadium. A couple of university students were sitting on the neighbouring table and one of them produced tickets for the football game so we got into a conversation. Emel and his friend Maletra (I hope, so sorry about forgetting names so quickly) took us to the stadium with them to try and get us in without tickets but it was so super full that Flo abandoned the idea of getting in.
Instead, we went to a place in the shade and watched on a big screen outside of the stadium. A big crowd had gathered there, too, and you could feel the passion for the game. Snacks of something looking like nuts in small bags were sold by a man wandering through the crowd and everyone watched intently. Whenever a car passed, people began to make this “aaaaaooooooo aaaaaaaoooooooo” sound to tell the driver off for blocking their view.
Malaysia seemed to have the upper hand as they scored first so Flo and I left before the break. I was unsure what the crowd would do when their team lost the game (final score 1-1 with a goal by Timor-Leste in the last minute).
We took a mikrolet back, which was already quite full. Flo and I decided to sit on the ground as we had seen people do in full cars but we were not allowed. Before I even touched the ground, one of the girls in the car pulled me up again and shuffled everyone on her side of the bench to make space for me. Florian got the place of honour which is in front on the passenger’s side. This seat is frequently shared by two men but it seems to still rank higher than to sit in the back.
The three girls in the back started to chat with me curiously but I am afraid that they didn’t understand many of my answers as only one of them seemed to know more than a couple of words in English. We exchanged names and then they wanted to know where I came from, where I was going, what I was doing here etc.
Dili is quite the enchanting place filled with these tiny, lean and slim people (they get at least 7 people on each bench side in the mikrolet) with beautiful smiles. As a malae, as a white person, you get stared at quite often but as soon as they notice that you noticed their stares, they give you the most beautiful flash of a smile.
The mikrolet we took home had a small accident: It collided with a lady on a scooter. The traffic is crazy here but everyone is going really slowly so not much happened. The lady on the scooter just took off again while our driver stopped and had a look if his car had taken any damage. This was already the second accident as we witnessed one yesterday already. While we were walking along the road, a car lost one of these 20l water bottles you get here, it hit the other lane and a scooter drove right into it, going down in a cloud of dust.
Anyhow, everyone drives how he wants to, but at a slow pace and it is not as busy as it will be in denser populated places so this will be a good way to learn for Flo, once we have the bike back.
About half an hour after we were back home, Herman came back from work and took us to a small market for fruit and vegetables. There are vendors with little carts but most are actually sitting on the ground, just spreading cloth and then stacking their produce on it. Flo bought me a whole pineapple that I wanted. I’ll try tomorrow if it’s ripe. Flo was very tempted by the meat skewers that are freshly barbequed and sold there as well.
Herman invited us to dinner again. This time it was a home-cooked meal with some of the ingredients he had just bought.