It has already been driven home that Dili is a small town from an expat point of view. The reality is that most expats operate at significantly higher standards of living and incomes than do local Timorese. As a natural consequence, one tends to share similar experiences with accommodation, restaurants, shopping locations etc.
There seem to be about 10 restaurants frequented by expats on a regular basis. And although there are a number of others, food safety concerns tend to limit the patronage outside these ten.
As for your typical supermarket shopping, if you are after the one stop food shopping experience, you are limited to a handful of supermarkets which stock Australian, Indonesian or Chinese sourced stuff.
So whenever you go out to do any of this stuff, one invariably meets someone you know or will know sometime in the future.
And I can now say that I know 2 people (of the 20 on board) who were on our incoming flight from Darwin.
But perhaps the scariest moment was when someone who I met for the first time yesterday said “I hear that you are having problems with your house … I heard that the shower cubicle is so small, you can’t bend down to pick up the soap”.
I was speechless. I had made the (sarcastic but true) soap comment to someone quite far removed from the speaker above. Note to file : don’t gossip in Dili.