My initial impressions of a daily wet season late afternoon rainstorm were a little off the mark. This has happened on about 3 days per week at most, but when the heavens decide to open up, its full on.
A few weeks back, the entire road surface as far as the eye could see (out of the hotel) was under water, perhaps up to 0.4 metres deep. As expected, this causes problems for smaller cars attempting the deeper parts, but it does not seem to deter local drivers at all.
Cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians just plough on. I just couldn’t bring myself to walk barefoot through this lot at night but many locals do and seem to enjoy it.
I guess the best part is that the temperatures drop to the low-20s (Celsius) and conditions are actually quite pleasant. However, many parts of Dili will be under water and many people will be living in fairly rudimentary wood and palm leaf roofed structures with water flooded right through their living quarters. Many areas have stationary water which lies around for days. It is fairly clear why the mosquito risk is high around here.
But the usual day is around 30 to 35 degrees, high humidity and often the threat of rain that does not come. I have tested with my trusty hygrometer and humidity is at its highest in the morning (often over 90%) but lowers as the day wears on. Then at the end of the day, up it goes again.
And most of the time, there is not a breath of wind.
But the daily reminder that I am in Dili is the instantaneous fogging up of glasses as you walk out from an air-conditioned building to the outside. Although glasses recover quickly, many is the time that classic photo opportunities have been missed (particularly from a air-conditioned car) as it takes cameras over 5 minutes for lenses to clear.