When I first arrived in Dili, I was booked by my company in a hotel close to the city seaside area prominently marked by Pertamina wharf.
After the first weekdays of adjusting to a new work environment, my first weekend had to be spent adjusting to the new surroundings.
Armed with a very little information found on the web, with no idea on the name of the streets, I spend my first weekend on this new city doing what I do best- walk relentlessly.
Avenida de Portugal is the name of the parallel street along the coast of Dili. It has to be the most famous street for expats known for its long line of Embassies, hotels and bars. But also, it is the best place for a good introduction on what to expect in Dili more or less.
Assuming that you don’t have any idea about East Timor history, the presence of UN marked vehicle, NGOs and US AID banners are more than enough to understand what could possibly happen in the city and what were the measures taken for its recovery.
Somewhere at the back of a park are locals enjoying a swim. It is not the best or the cleanest part of the shore but might be the most accessible for them. It feels like I was disturbing an intimate family affair when I decided to take a few snaps.
No particular direction in mind, I just walk straight up to the point where I am on the verge of fainting due to the very humid afternoon. Passing by Dili Port and in-front of Palacio De Governo, I rested under the bay side bench and admire the island of Atauro across and the continuing view towards Cristo Rei.
With more time at hand, I walked further at the back of Palacio De Governo and entered the Rezistensia Timorense Arkivu & Muzeu (The Timorese Resistance Archive & Museum) to understand more about East Timor history and the struggle they faced towards the achievement of the country independence in 2002.
At daytime, it is a pleasant place to walk with abundance of sunshine but at night time better stay indoor or go home at reasonable hours even if you have a car. Don’t walk at night or you will fall into one of open manholes since there are no street lights at all.
In the future, whenever I browse this post I will always remember that feeling of not knowing what to expect, the feeling of once again adopting and adjusting to a new environment.