I can’t believe I live in a country where:
-Ash Wednesday is a public holiday.
-Dogs sleep for hours in the middle of the street.
-It’s perfectly acceptable to say to a woman in a job interview, “We heard that you’re pregnant. Are you? How far along are you? Will you work up until you deliver?”
-Flowers grow like weeds. In fact some of them are weeds. Anyhow, the most ordinary yard is like a botanical garden. [The header photo is a collage of common snapshots from our yard.]
-There’s lots of violence, and more than a few machetes, but no guns. The strongest gang graffiti is things like “Piss” and “Asshole” and “Black Spider” – twice.
-The word for “a lot” in Tetum, the local language, is “barak” which is the same as the Arabic root for “blessing.”
-When it rains, the foreigners run inside and the Timorese run outside. For Timorese, rain = time to swim, play on the beach, and go for a run in flip-flops or barefoot.
-The waitress says “I haven’t seen you in such a long time” when it’s Tuesday and you saw her on Friday. And she means it. And she’s right. It is a long time between Friday and Tuesday. At least in Dili.