Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bikes - bread - bumps - big secrets and yoghurt

Wednesday 21st Aug 2012

  • · One (much newer) bike
  • · Best Indian restaurant discovered
  • · Turkish bread
  • · Local speed bumps
  • · Visa
  • · The Marmite Conspiracy
  • Yoghurt

There is a new bike in my lounge now. I picked it up from the ‘Palm Springs’ gated community on Sunday and will pay for it next month A mighty fine piece of machinery that is really close to getting a ‘Tubus’ carrier installed. The rear disk brake sticks out in an odd way that gets in the way of the carrier attachment. While I have found local workers keen to give anything a go, I am concerned about going back to the bike shop to find an unexpected adaption or a new bend or two added to one or more components. Kind of like 'getting what you asked for but not what you wanted'. This will more likely be a success with some careful thinking first। Anyway, the weight & performance are excellent and I might be ready to go for a bigger weekend ride soon. Maybe this weekend? I’ve already replaced the off-road tyres with my ‘Schwalbe’ road ones. They are reputedly so tough that they won’t puncture unless they a meet the perfect thorn/spike/nail/other.

I have been told that ‘Haris’, Indian restaurant, next to the ‘Dili Club’, off Comoro road and opposite ‘Leader’ super market, is where everything is delicious. I guess Hari cooks from basic ingredients and that makes it quite an experience. Be prepared for a 30-45 minute wait, or dial ahead with a lead time of 20 minutes or just order drinks and talk while waiting।

The Turkish café by the ANZ is closed as Antonio has taken 5-6 weeks off for a battery recharge, so no more bread for a while. Fortunately the grape vine has put me onto another Turkish place, almost next door to ‘Food-L-do’; both in the new strip of shops on Comoro road, but closer to the new Ministry of Defence complex (where they raise the flag in the morning). Hmmm, if you don’t know where any of those places are then it is a wee bit confusing? Comoro road is the main drag from town, out to the airport and beyond to the western areas. Anyway, this other Turkish place does a nice coffee and I was given a free wee crisp biscuit sprinkled with icing while I waited for the new loaves to come out of the oven and cool a bit. A nice Sunday afternoon. I actually dropped in while taking the new bike home.

My local street has no name that I know of; well it isn’t shown on any maps I can find nor are there any signs. The locals all know where they live, so maybe there is no need? I haven’t noticed any problems with ‘through’ traffic, not that this would be considered a rat-run, even during rush hour on the Comoro road 200m to the south. This might be something to do with the general narrowness of the road, its broken surface, children running around and dogs relaxing in many locations. Dili dogs are not used to moving once settled, so people tend to drive around them. Two days ago, I came around the corner into the home stretch, with another 300m to get home and there were four new judder bars (UK = Silent Policemen) built across the road. Wet concrete mounds, which everyone on two wheels skirted (don’t know what the cars did). Today The concrete has set and the 20km/h speedsters have been put in their place. A local decision and no problems with the council…come to think of it, I think we don’t have a council, as that would mean people paying rates and there is enough of a challenge dealing with the Government.

My visa hasn’t been signed off yet as minister or other important person has to do the actual signing। Fortunately I don’t have to leave & re-enter the country yet (go to Bali for the day and then return for another 60 day tourist visa is the trick) maybe later this week or the next?

Move over:

  • · 9-11 was an inside job and
  • · Did we actually land on the moon?

Most Kiwis are aware that the Marmite factory in Christchurch was heavily damaged during the big earthquakes last year. This has meant that the supplies of Marmite have dried up and the population has turned, reluctantly, to Vegemite and Promite. But I have shocking news from Dili! Over the past two weeks I have discovered large supplies available in two super markets. I crawled in with my camera to get evidence, but was discovered by staff and not allowed to continue unless I had checked in my hat + bag and also accepted a shopping basket. A malae (foreigner), recently arrived, dropped a dollar in my basket – sometimes a low profile isn’t the literal answer. My next step is to alert the embassy and see if the issue should be escalated. As all conspiracy theorists know; if I am fobbed off, it simply proves their complicity and guilt. Maybe I should buy the Marmite jars in bulk and use them to play the ‘Tower of Hanoi’ puzzle until eating time?

Hari makes and sells yoghurt, but I am finding it hard to get hold of a suitable plastic container to keep the product in – local shops want to sell me thermos flasks or their plastic containers with lids, in a size that we would call rubbish bins.

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