6 February 2014
The end of a long first week.
There are so many new things to learn about and to see. What with jetlag and the heat, it all takes some adjusting to. Where should we live? How do we get to work? Where are the shops? What about the food?
So, we have looked up about houses and apartments on the internet and the same for trying to find a car to buy. Janet, one of our new Australian friends and a fount of knowledge, helped us find a tame taxi driver who speaks a
bit of English and is very reliable. He picks us up in his yellow taxi (all the taxis here are bright yellow) and takes us where we need to go. We have found Timor Plaza where there are lots of shops – basic, but you can get everything you need. We are still in the hotel, so we’re not into cooking for ourselves yet and eat in the hotel or in the nearby restaurants, of which there are far more than I thought.
The food is great – typical Asian with a touch of Portuguese, so lots of rice, noodles and vegetables and then say chicken with tomatoes. There’s loads of sea food, which is excellent. Timor-Leste produces lovely coffee. There are little Portuguese bakeries and a number of cafes, simple but delightful because of their scarcity value.
I have started work, which is promising to be extremely interesting. However, both Ian and I are still finding it hard to keep awake in the afternoons and to sleep at night. The jetlag is really quite tough to overcome.
Still the routine isn’t too bad so far, setting off for work at around 8am – it only takes 10 minutes to get there. Then lunch at 12. Everyone takes 2 hours for lunch as most people go home and eat. We have set about exploring the restaurants around the Ministry of Finance. Everyone has been very kind at giving us advice on where to eat, who has good coffee and where to shop. The work day finishes between 5 and 6pm. I suspect that we will find that working hours creep up once we have settled in. For now I am happy to bask in the sunshine as I walk to lunch and to go home early compared with London and Moscow working hours.