As promised, here is part 2 in our series about what's changed in Timor.
11. Lots more advertising with a Timorese spin
There has always been advertising in Timor, but now businesses seem to be using Timorese faces in their ads.
12. Timor Plaza
Timor Plaza was being built when I lived in Dili, which I must say did make me cringe. But now it's opened, I’ve changed my mind. Every Timorese person I spoke with said it was the best thing that’s happened to Dili. It’s full of Timorese people too, working and browsing the shops and enjoying the free entertainment. They’ve got a cinema, Gloria Jeans, local handicrafts and even fairy floss!
The Masjid An-Nur Mosque in Dili has gone from being white to green.
14. Free outdoor wifi
New seats and shelter to enjoy the free wifi on the waterfront.
15. New bridge
There is now another bridge over Comoro River (although on the day we took this photo, the original bridge was closed).
Oooh yeah say goodbye to some of those filthy $1 US notes in your wallet and welcome Timor’s new coins. They were minted in Portugal and are equivalent to $1 USD. Of course your dirty notes will still be accepted.
Young people on the streets are looking more confident.
18. Lines down the middle of some roads
The new lines don’t seem to stop cars overtaking others even when oncoming traffic is close.
If you don’t hire a cleaner that washes your clothes, you can now go to one of the Laundromats in Dili. We saw one near Gion, the Japansese restaurant. Take the first right after the Australian Embassy to find the other one. These will be handy if you are in Dili for a holiday and need some clothing washed.
20. Signs to encourage people to put their trash in garbage bins
Despite the increase in bins and signage, there’s still unfortunately heaps of litter in Timor-Leste.
21. Clothing markets have moved
A lot of the small ramshackle local market stalls have been moved. You can now find most of the clothes stalls outside the front of Arte Moris. Which could make Arte Moris easier and also harder to find.
22. One More Bar closed
Sad to see our favourite place to get sausages closed.
23. Road signs
Road signs have exponentially increased in Dili, but does anyone follow them?
I can't wait to see what else changes in Timor in the years to come.
Some things change.
Some things stay the same.
Jason and I loved seeing what's changed in Timor-Leste. These are some of the things we noticed:
1. Stadium walls destroyed
Whoever thought it was a good idea to get rid of the beautiful murals on the walls around Dili Stadium should be fired! The only redeeming feature of the murals being painted over is that trees have been planted.
2. Goodbye Timor-Telecom
Hello Timor Telecom competitors…The wait is finally over and now you are free to choose different mobile and internet providers. This can only be a good thing for everyone.
3. Traffic light countdowns
The new traffic light countdowns are great.
4. Santa Cruz Memorial
There is a beautiful new statue on the waterfront. Unfortunately there is no plaque to describe what it is. I think it is a memorial for the Santa Cruz massacre (compare the images above- what do you think?). I have a great story to share about this statue, but you’ll have to wait for another post.
5. Finally cheaper cheese
Kmanek supermarket is now selling cheese at reasonable prices… Well done.
6. Comoro Road median strip
We love that the hectic Comoro Road is now divided with a median strip. The departure of the UN, GNR and ADF has done nothing to unclog the roads though. In fact, there seems to be more cars on the road now.
7. Baggage wrapping at the airport
If you are planning a trip to Bali, consider plastic wrapping your bags.
8. Heineken takeover
Tiger beer banners have been replaced by bright green Heineken ones everywhere.It must be a football thing.
9. Pedestrian crossings
While there are now heaps more zebra crossings painted on the roads in Dili, be warned, the traffic doesn’t stop for anyone using them as crossings.
10. Fancy number plates
Super dopey fancy number plates can be purchased by those with enough money in Timor!
Part two coming soon...
The last time I slept the night at Darwin airport, I promised myself I’d NEVER do it again.
But, here we are again!
So why are we lying on the bright blue lily pad carpet trying to get a few hours of sleep before our flight to Dili?
The same reasons I’ve slept at Darwin airport before!
With the majority of Airnorth flights to Dili leaving Darwin early in the morning, you might also find yourself sleeping on the carpet.
We’ve come up with some tips to make the most of you airport slumber.
If you do have lots of luggage to check in, you could put it in a locker and then go upstairs.
Locker prices are as follows:
Small: $6 for the first 12 hours, then $6 per 24 hour period thereafter.
Medium: $8 for the first 12 hours, then $8 per 24 hour period thereafter.
Large: $14 for the first 12 hours, then $14 per 24 hour period thereafter.
Have you slept at Darwin airport? Share your tips below, we’re bound to be doing it again sometime soon.
* Perhaps the sirens are to do with them upgrading Darwin airport (about time). Hopefully by the time you're spending the night there, they'll be even more options of places for you to sleep.
This is where we're writing this post from.
Jason and I have arrived in Dili!
We’re here to get the latest information for people who want to move or travel to Timor-Leste….
And we're also having a holiday.
Plus I'm also working on a new exciting project that I look forward to sharing with you soon.
So now we put it to you, what do you want to know about Timor?
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers- this one is for you!
If you follow us on Facebook, you'd already know that Jason and I are going to Timor-Leste in September. Yesterday I went to Chemist Warehouse and filled a whole basket with toiletries to take with us. We're only going for a holiday- two weeks- so we aren't taking a bucket load of stuff. But, if we were going longer, I'd probably only buy more sunscreen and moisturiser.
What toiletries we're taking
1. Tropical Strength Aerogard Mosquito Repellent (roll on 50mL) to take in our carry on luggage so we can be protected from mozzies as soon as we land in Dili. Remember that liquid, aerosol or gel products must be in containers of 100 millilitres or less in your carry on luggage
2. Banana Boat 50+ Water Resistant Sunscreen (roll on 75mL) to take in our carry on luggage
3. Tropical Strength Aerogard Aerosol Mosquito Spray (150g) extra repellent to pack in our luggage (yep you can take aerosol sprays on a plane, as long as they are in your checked luggage and have a lid)
4. Nivea 30+ Light Feel Sunscreen (200mL) an extra sunscreen because I’m super white and like to lather myself in the stuff to protect my skin from the Timor sun
5. Olay Sensitive Moisturising Cream (100g) I have sensitive skin and get a red rash on my face if I use other moisturisers, that's why I'm taking my trusted Olay instead of buying a face cream in Dili
6. GastroHealth Daily Probiotic this was a bit of an extreme purchase, but last time I was in Timor, I had gastro for five months. It took me so long to get better because I didn’t take any medication or probiotics when I first got sick. I bought these tablets in case either of us gets gastro again. If we were staying in Timor for longer, I’d take a yoghurt maker with me instead. Yoghurt tends to be pretty expensive to buy in Timor
7. Aqium Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser with Aloe for some of the disgusting toilets we might have to use in Timor-Leste
8. Toothpaste and toothbrushes
9. Hydralyte Apple and Blackcurrant Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets in case we get a bit of gastro on our trip or get dehydrated from not drinking enough water or wake up with a headache after drinking too many beers... These tablets are versatile little buggers indeed! Personally I prefer hydralyte to the other brand gastrolyte
10. Mitchum Deodorant to stop the sweat
What we’ll buy when we get to Dili:
Am I forgetting anything? What toiletries can't you live without in Timor?
Apparently now, the marathon is going to be held on the original date, 22nd June 2013. :)
I would like to official inform you that the Dili Marathon will be held on 22 June 2013 - Aquilino Santos Caeiro
Update: Dili Marathon has been moved back to the original date, 22nd June 2013.
From living in Timor-Leste, you come to accept that nothing is ever on time and things rarely go to plan. I get it….
This morning I read that the Dili Marathon, planned for Saturday 22nd June 2013- yep that’s four weeks away- has changed dates! It’s now going to be held on Saturday 29th June.
And I’m angry.
Why are they moving it?
Well, this is what it says on their facebook page:
Due to the proximity of other Government events in June the Ministry of Tourism has set the 2013 Dili Marathon to be held on the 29th of June. All enquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Tourism at the following email address: email@example.com
You can just imagine it can’t you, it’s the end of May, staff at the Ministry of Tourism, finally flip over there calendars to look at June (that’s if they even own a calendar or a diary) and think: ‘whoa what a surprise, we’ve got a lot of events in June don’t we…. Hmmm… Well, we better move some around then.’
BUT HELLO, it’s four weeks away from the marathon!
You can’t change the dates this late.
Not when you’ve got people coming from overseas that have paid for plane tickets to be there on the 22nd June.
Is anyone in this situation?
As per their suggestion I’m going to email Aquilino Santo Caeiro, I suggest you do too! I’ll keep you posted.
We’ve had a lot of people asking us: when’s the 2013 Dili Marathon?!
Well the date has just been released, so get your running socks ready, your ticket to East Timor booked and your countdown training calendar set because…..
The 2013 Dili Marathon is on: Saturday, 22nd June.
Easter is a special time in East Timor. Two words to sum it up would be, theatrical and reverent. You can read my experience of a Good Friday church service here. When my Mum came to visit me in Timor, her trip also coincided with Easter, you can read what her experience was like here.
Now another Easter has swung around, and if you're like me, you're probably thinking about what chocolate eggs you're going to buy your loved ones.
I love chocolate, but do we really need to eat any more?
What if, you could give a gift of a different kind, that had an even sweeter reward than chocolate.
Well you can, Oxfam is currently taking donations to eliminate malnutrition in East Timor. They are also a sponsor of this site, and we couldn't be happier to advertise their great work here on Unofficial East Timor (see below).
Oxfam- help stop hunger in East Timor
This is a guest post written by the three manas! But before we begin, I bet you're wondering, what does "manas" mean? Mana is a Tetum term of respect meaning sister (older). Tetum is the language of East Timor. During their visit to Knua ba Labarik (an early childhood centre in Timor) Lester they became known as "The Manas".
Last week 1500 women, men, girls and boys gathered for breakfast at the Brisbane Convention Centre to celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) . On IWD each year people gather across the globe to,
"… review how far women have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilise for meaningful change." unwomen.org.au