Back into the swing

Just like Tumbleweed I had trouble topping up the mobile phone on Tuesday on the special $2 for $1 top-up day.  Managed to get two $10 cards in but the 3rd took more than 20 tries and even then, it came through next day without the “double your money” bit.  I couldn’t make calls that day either and all up, it was another Timor Telecom shambles.  It was one of the reminders that one has returned.

Other things I noted on return were :

  • Harbour View cafe is open again.
  • I couldn’t get over just how quiet it was at night when I got back. The chopper work has tailed right off these days and it is more likely you will hear the Merpati flight to Bali than a chopper.
  • There is a new Indonesian restaurant called “Lilis” diagonally opposite from the ANZ Bank. Further south past “Megha” is a new Sri Lankan restaurant called “Sigira” (must check name).
  • Landmark Supermarket is now an agent for Ikea furnishings. There is a small offering on display but other items can be ordered from the catalogue and Landmark will ship it in for you.
  • The National Hospital is undergoing significant re-building.
  • Just about every drain in town is being dug up and presumably street drainage will eventually get fixed.  (Hopefully not like the roof drains at home here which were originally laid sloping away from the downpipes.)
  • The new Foreign Affairs building has pretty much taken its final shape and the site on the heliport for the new president’s palace has been cleared of ISF military gear, including the less-than-a-year-old large warehouse erected by the ISF.
  • The temporary pre-fab visa office at the airport has now been replaced by a more permanent solution adjacent to the entrance to immigration.
  • The guy who runs the t-shirt souvenir stuff at the airport now has an outlet upstairs in the Landmark building and Landmark now has a fully occupied upstairs floor.

A nice little reminder that Dili is still not a retirement option, was the little spike that led to a flat tyre yesterday. Apparently, a handful of nasty metal spikes were laid on Comorro Road last evening to catch any unsuspecting vehicle. A passing UNPol vehicle provided torches and numerous local teenagers popped up out of the dark to help make the tyre change a swift operation.