Domestic Supply Situation

Central Dili is becoming much safer and I expect the expat supermarkets to resume normal operation shortly. However, if they do not, it is not because it is inherently unsafe, it is because their staff have safety problems back at their homes. These supermarkets are built like Fort Knox anyway.

There is no problem with beer or gin supply or in fact, bogroll supply. The bogroll situation at home has been rectified. The gin bottle is nearly empty and we are back to beer and courtesy of astute planning, there are 2 slabs in reserve.

The Dili Club has been open at least since last Wednesday. Phil has no problem and he feels (as I do) expats are not a target at all. He is limiting his hours and pizza home deliveries not for safety reasons, but because he does not have enough staff. Most have headed for the hills.

I now have no problem regarding access to supply of stuff. The Cool Storage supermarket has been open throughout, even though one has had to knock on the front gate. Until the local markets get going again, fruit and veg are the main issue, but paradoxically, over the last few days, street-side stalls have popped up in suburban areas outside houses, so it is actually easier now to buy fruit & veg.

With the mass exodus of so many expats, I would guess the supermarkets are struggling to move stock and are concerned about perishable items.

The general expat safety problem has passed, although I would limit night-time activities when there may be more likelihood of not seeing my skin colour. However, I guess it is a bit like “riots in Redfern … 3 course dinner in Neutral Bay” – parties in both areas are oblivious to the activities in the other. (Note : this is a Sydney thing. For Melbourne, try Springvale and Carlton.)

At the moment, moving about in the daytime in central Dili is OK. But in the current political climate, one has to be aware that things can spiral out of control extremely quickly. The gossip mill is lightning fast and the spread of information amazes me even though the details are often exaggerated.