I have’nt experienced Christmas outside the Dili environs since 2004 and I can’t even recall ever venturing out for Boxing Day* sales in the western world since Moses was sailing amongst the bullrushes. So why did I do it this time ?
It was embarrassing. I bumped into people, tripped over imaginary and other tiny objects. I had lost all ability to negotiate crowds without retiring to the roadside gutter. I excused myself in department stores and knocked stuff off shelves. I had lost the devil required to negotiate the sales, the urge to buy something (or anything) as long as it was on special. And the one thing I bought, failed to work when I got it home. I even wore jeans that I had not worn in 3 years. The crutch hang down near my knees … and the belt didn’t have enough holes. Too much Dili good living had stripped off enough “condition” to reduce me to a waif-like state (compared to when I first arrived). I dared not venture out in my Dili shorts, t-shirt and sandals for fear of terrifying the well-dressed locals.
I felt defeated. Would I have felt the same if I had negotiated the hordes (buying blue jeans) in Colmera. I don’t know. Did I really need to buy anything anyway ? Seems I am not the man to buy the world out of economic hard times … nor to be used as a role model for the fashion industry.
And a tip for fellow bloggers, this time of year is murder for blog spam. The rate of inane, machine generated drivel comments has gone up 50 fold over the last 2 weeks.
* For the uninitiated, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day renowned for huge cut-price sales, Test matches at the MCG and the odd horse race. All may involve drink to some degree.