At lunchtime today, I got a call to inform me of a boat burning down in Dili harbour. I grabbed the camera and zipped down to find a 15m long wooden vessel well and truly alight. I took a few snaps, observed the hundreds of interested observers, the traffic schemozzle near the government buildings and eventually got bored and left.
I am told it burnt down towards the waterline and then at 3:45pm, the heavens opened for perhaps the first humungous dump of the wet season. At 6pm I was told it was still burning.
The rumour mill says the boat was offloading smuggled diesel and an accident happened during the process. Dili rumours are fairly notorious but usually 80% turns out to be true.
It certainly was great entertainment watching the plumes of dark black smoke (no carbon credits earnt here) rising to meet the looming storm clouds above. The black smoke would seem to support the diesel theory.
The absence of any form of vessel capable of delivering water to put out a fire on the water was noted. But even the land-based bombeiros (ie firemen) require a little financial incentive to attend to land-based fires. And no, there is no marina in Dili.
Anyway, it was all better than the TV.
Unrelated to burning boats, but I’d just like to say thanks for keeping this blog. I’ve been reading it for the last year or so (first out of curiosity due to the initial announcement of my posting to TL, and now out of increasing desperation for on-the-ground information as the date approaches), and it’s been a great source of news and the occasional chuckle.
Thanks. Now and again, I get a bit bored with it or something strains my sense of humour. Then someone kicks me because they regularly look for what’s new. But I guess it has become a bit of a habit – a bit like brushing your teeth. I just can’t get to sleep unless I have brushed my teeth before going to bed.
Talking about brushing teeth, you have reminded me about toothpaste – the subject of my next post.
BTW Today and tomorrow are public holidays here in TL.
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