+When you walk down the street, people actually smile back at you and say “Bon dia, Senora.”
+A polo shirt, camp pants and sandals are acceptable business attire.
+It rains every day for about four months. But not a little piss like in the UAE, or an all-day drizzle like Seattle – it’s an afternoon downpour that soaks everything and makes it smell good.
+There is greenery on every single corner. It isn’t watered with expensively desalinated water, but with rainwater.
+You don’t have to pay extra for organic food. No one uses chemicals. Anything you buy on the street is organic. All the chickens are “free-range.”
+Fresh fish. Everywhere, every day.
+You can buy pork and alcohol in ANY store, without you or the store having a special license.
+The locally grown coffee is good enough for Starbucks and definitely good enough for me – and it costs $5 per 500 gr, instead of $7 for 250 gr.
+No one drives 160 kph, ever. The highest speed never exceeds 60 kph [that’s about 40 mph for my American readers]. Taxi drivers average about 20 kph.
+You are never stuck in traffic for more than 15 seconds.
+It’s perfectly safe to take your eyes off the road long enough to have a good restful gaze at the sea. And almost anywhere you drive in Dili can be gotten to from the beach road.
+When I look out the window of our apartment, I see misty green hills and hear children laughing. My neighborhood is populated with people who have gorgeous smiles and young men who sit on the wall and play guitar.
+My neighborhood also has dogs, chickens, pigs and goats. My house has geckos. I adore geckos – not only because they eat insects but because they are impossibly flat.
+A host of amazing tropical insects just perch on flowers and wait to be photographed. [I will, one of these days.]
Ze’sopol Carlito Caminha/TiLPA
+The spiders and cockroaches are so big that they are like pets, and you can just chase them outside when they are in the way.
+Mangos seem to be in season every six weeks.
+There are amazing photographers like Carlito and Jonny, whose work is featured in this post [and more to come soon!].