Walking with a shadow
Dili Travel Blog› entry 40 of 86 › view all entries
Iâ€™ve been off for the weekend and I have to admit I did nothing that can even be remotely described as physical. I chilled up in the Esplanada Restaurant for Saturday and Sunday listening to my music whilst doing my thing on the net. I have today and tomorrow off as well but now that I am fully rested I think itâ€™s time to shake it up.
I got up this morning in time for our 7.30am haka practise. We only have two more weeks until our medal parade where we must perform it in front of 140 guests. Iâ€™ve missed it since my break because in my opinion days off are all about sleeping in.
Today we ran through a couple of blood
curdling challenges and felt satisfied enough to leave it at that.
I headed out of the Esplanada at 10am. Itâ€™s a 10km walk around the coast to the Christo point so Iâ€™d be getting there in the heat of midday, not really the smartest way of tackling this but Iâ€™m a bit like that â€“all or nothing! I think itâ€™s a typical Leo trait.
About 2 minutes after I started from the
hotel a Timorese dude ran up behind me, began to befriend me and then proceeded
to tell me how he has no job, no money and a wife and kid in Baucau. Now, to be totally frank that sort of tactic
just gets my high blood pressure boiling.
I told him that was very sad and wished him good luck in finding a job.
I hadnâ€™t missed a step but then neither did he. He went on to introduce himself and ask me my name and what I was up to. When I told him where I was heading he pointed across the bay and asked if I was heading up to the statue. I confirmed my intention and he asked if h could join me. I wasnâ€™t convinced he would stick with me but in the back of my mind I knew it would depend on how much of a sucker he took me for.
After 15 mins of walking and talking weâ€™d
reached the city. I told him (actually
forgot his name the moment he told it to me â€“one of my weaknesses) that I had
to get a SD card for my new camera so I had to cut into the centre. I strode across the road and he skipped along
behind me. Iâ€™m head and shoulders taller
than 99% of Timorese and I stride like my butts on fire when I have purpose, my
new best friend wasnâ€™t happy and kept telling me I walked fast. I didnâ€™t think heâ€™d be with me after my first
Three stores later I found a card I wanted and headed East with new determination, unfortunately I still had my chum on my heels.
When we made it back to the beach I stopped to look at a monument. Iâ€™d driven up and down this way many times but I had never been down here on foot so I was seeing many new things set back from the road. It gave a chance for chum to catch his breath but when the sun had been beating down for about 45mins and I opened my new bottle of water and took a couple of gulps he mentioned again that he had no water and no money.
told him he would need some water because our walk was going to be long and
hot. I also told him I was going to have
lunch when I got to Christo Rei so he should bring something himself. He answered with more of the same but offered
to carry my water bottle. I told him it
was the only thing in my bag and by the end of the day it would be empty so I
was happy to carry it myself.
I knew then that he was not going to leave me and that I would be obliged to buy him lunch but he was personable enough so if he stuck to the job he might earn it.
It was cool watering along the sand as sea
breeze swept over our perspiration. I
stopped several times to take photographs and walked back and forth over the
beach to see what was happening at the roadside or down by the water. By the time we got to
One of the main activities in Dili on the
weekend is to head here to the â€śPortugueseâ€ť beach, so called because this is
where the beautiful people hang. The
Portuguese men attached to the riot squad spend all week popping steroids and
pumping iron so they can wander up and down the beach in their speedos loving
Kiwis donâ€™t do speedos at any time so
several deployments ago we had found a nice beach further around the point from
the Portuguese beach and everyone calls this one â€ś
As we walked along Portuguese beach I decided not to have lunch until we had been up to the statue and back. My chum had become very quite by this time so I knew the heat was getting to him. As we climbed the steps he hung back in the shadows. I had only drunk about a quarter of my water so I gave him the bottle before he tumbled over the railings and off the cliff.
We were standing at the top at 1pm.
Inside the Sol & Mar bar and restaurant I bought us each a drink and some lunch. There was not a word of thanks from him.
As we sat there I saw a taxi go by. After weâ€™d eaten we started back towards town but I had already decided I was going to catch the taxi when it came back out from the point. I waved it down and confirmed the standard US$2 fare to Esplanada before getting in the front and enjoying an easy cruise home.
My chum had been going on about a job so I
had suggested he should leave his cv at all the hotels on the chance a position
would come up.
A few minutes later when I was chilling in the cool clear water of the Esplanadaâ€™s pool my new chum walked though bold as brass and started looking around at all the rooms. I told him guests only were permitted back here and that he was not to be here without Romeo or heâ€™d be risking the job opportunity. It made no impression on him at all and he sat down on one of the pool loungerâ€™s behind me and asked me if I had a pair of shoes. Ha had also mentioned several times today that his were broken.
After I told him I was not giving him any
shoes he sat for a few minutes before leaving.
How did my walk to Christo Rei end up being all about this guy??!