Yeah, I did briefly sneak out of Dili a few weeks back to complete my dental stuff, but am now genuinely on a break with no other reason than to do something different and try a new set of batteries.
Bali sounds great but it has fascinated me just how different it feels from earlier in the year when compared to Dili, Bali was like going to the big city. This time it felt stranger to be going to another Asian country, with similar (perhaps cooler) weather and seaside nearby. The food and beer is cheaper, the shopping options infinitely greater and no security issues (that I am aware of).
The Bali beaches are wider (but darker and finer sand) and it struck me as curious that one would even want to hire a deck chair and umbrella to go to the beach. And spend all day turning away watch vendors, wood carving vendors, pedicurists, manicurists, foot massagers, fruit sellers, bracelet floggers and the odd beggar.
You get none of this on a Dili beach (or I don’t). I can cycle down to the Christo Rei area in Dili, park myself outside “Sol e Mar”, order my fruit juice and camp on the beach with barely a soul to bother me. I once thought the same thing about beaches on the New South Wales coast of Australia where I used to be almost offended if I (& accompanying group) did not have an entire beach to oneself.
I noticed a few brave souls daring to pooh-pooh convention and stretch out on their own towels – such reactionaries.
Anyway, Dili can do similar things if it tried. The city beaches are no good but over the other side of Christo Rei, the beaches are better, cleaner and there is no-one around. But I hope I never see deck chairs on the beach – leave that to hotel pools.