Dili Travel Blog› entry 60 of 86 › view all entries
Christmas breakfast was my usual toast, juice, coffee and a Doxicycaline tablet. Then I left to head into work. The town was quiet but the sun was out and it looked like it was going to be a pretty good day.
The office was stuffy but I had been given another of those urgent jobs last night and had plenty to keep me entertained reviewing the revised NOPs I had submitted back in October. I carried on with the work as well as doing all those administrative tasks that have to be done on a Friday.
At lunchtime I headed back for the Christmas lunch special the hotel manager had arranged.
Lunch was a buffet so when we'd loaded up plates we headed back down to the pool to eat. Everyone was pretty relaxed, there had been calls home and we'd all received gift boxes from the Returned Services Association that everyone was chatting about. The boxes were filled with goodies from NZ like marmite, toiletries, confectionary and christmas mince pies.
Some of the guys had taken the whole day off, others doing the Sunday half day thing. I had been troubling over how I was going to tell my staff I expected them to work as required but at it's worked out I didn't have to because I am alone - one staff member on leave, one redeployed out of NTU and the new man not due to start until the 27th. Nice! In the end I turned off the computer and headed out the door at 1630hrs, 30 minutes early.
I was in the hotel pool by 5pm.
Once I was out of the pool and dressed I took a couple of beers poolside where we had gathered to enjoy a few. The bbq was rolled out and I volunteered to do some cooking with Ivan and Kai. It was hot and there was lots of food so we didn’t get it all done until well into dark.
During the cooking time everyone was becoming more and more drunk, then Ashley, the hotel manager came out and gave us a little Christmas token. It was a good time to do our own Secret Santa thing. I had stressed for a few days over what I could buy with $5 for a guy I didn’t know at all. In the end when he opened my gift there was suitable satisfactory comments and that was the end of that.
For my own gift someone had got a picture frame and put a photograph of a PNTL Transito in it.
Under his white motorcycle helmet and behind his mirrored glasses I was unable to see if it was one of my traffic chiefs but across the top of the photograph was printed, “Employee of the month.” Across the bottom was, “I am happy to be service to you Mr
Everyone thought it was pretty funny but I was not surprised at all, I hear that from my PNTL colleagues every day!
Other fun gifts were such things as bras, a pot plant, electric mossie bats and a Rastafarian tea cosy, complete with dredlocks, for the guy with the shaved head.
By this stage food was necessary to undo a little of the alcohol damage. After eating we went upstairs for a pub quiz. Most of the other guests had left so we were able to take a corner of the bar and arrange ourselves in our teams. The girls had all decided they were going to stick together so the pre-arranged teams had lost all meaning. I ended up being in the smallest team but after a slow start we managed a good 2nd placing. We were surprised and delighted, more-so when the quiz-master brought out a big bag of confectionary for our second placing.
By this stage it was after 11pm and well past my bed time. The last thing I remember was hearing some of the guys talking loudly out by the pool, I guess there was still some Christmas spirit in them!