Thursday, January 17, 2013

Something to make you boil – bike mirage – jandals/thongs + roads + speed – running in the cool rain – new picture theatre – faulty ATMs - cleanup

My legacy from swimming in the sea, just in front of a village, after the rain, during the recent Atauro Island visit, was a growing crop of sores that popped up, but neglected to get better, until I visited the local Dr.                

Antibiotics came first and then, five days later, a lie on the surgery couch while the boils were cleared with tweezers. Most uncomfortable and it felt like a series of metal bee stings that went on for about 30 seconds for each of the 15 locations needing attention. I coped by reminding myself that this was a lesson about not getting into water polluted by the rains, even if it does look OK.

On Saturday last, I went for a H3 run near Tibar and got rather sweaty. At the finish of the run, another hasher said he had the solution to a quicker and healthier recovery; using a ‘Mr Muscle’ squeezy bottle filled with iodine. I stripped my singlet off and got a good all-around spray (torso) and then spots on my elbows and legs. It stung, but kept everything clean and relatively dry – very important in the tropics.
One of my coworkers said he’d seen my stolen bicycle, so I made sure I (finally) reported the November theft to the local police (still without any computers since the UNPOL took them away just before Christmas). With a signed and stamped form in hand, I went to the car park where the bike had been seen and…. found an old clunker that had the same three basic colours as my lost bike, but no more than that. Very disappointing. “Oh, that wasn’t your bike then?” No it wasn’t and no points for observation skills.

On my way to the above Hash run, I rode my bicycle. Just past Dili Rock a local guy over took me on a scooter. It was a twisty ‘S’ bend section, between a vertical cliff and the sea. He went over the center line and lost control on the dirt and stones (also on the center of the road), before hitting an SUV behind it’s rear wheel arch. The SUV didn’t stop. The rider, still doing about 30km/h, put his jandal (thong footwear) down on the road, where it immediately gripped and the thong bit tore his foot open between the big toe and #2 toes. The rip was about 5-6 cm long. I had decided to carry my med kit with me, so I immediately moved him onto the verge before shock set in. Laid him down and put his foot up on his back pack. Out came two bandages and I pulled his foot back together and then sealed it from the air. By the time I’d finished, another four vehicles and 20 people had stopped. The onlookers picked the guy up and stuck him into a van before, presumably, taking him into town to the hospital. I continued on to my running event.

Wednesday night a bunch of us did ‘The Daisy Loop’ from Beachside Hotel, over the Ramos Horta road and then back around the coast before clambering up a trail to the Christo Rei steps and down the other side before running back to the hotel for drinks. It was overcast, raining and a fresh wind was blowing onshore. Such a nice change from the heat.

There is now a functioning movie theatre at Timor Plaza. They were showing ‘Life of Pi’ last week, four times a day. The main money spinner is meant to be masses of Bollywood stuff, but I think that the $5 ticket will be a problem with the local population and there are not enough Malae to make up the numbers.

For the past four-five months there have been problems with the ATMs that connect to the ANZ branch. Lita’s one hasn’t worked since August and Leaders has been out of action for at least four weeks. Last weekend, they took the whole thing away. There are two ATMs at the main ANZ branch, but the one on the right has no money to dispense, least ways it doesn’t give you anything when the final button is pressed. The staff haven’t fixed it, but it still appears to be OK. Those in the know, don’t bother, but queue for the other one, while a new person gets caught on the old one. Maybe I should tell them it is faulty and to fix it? Like I did some months ago. The new ANZ branch opened at Timor Plaza before Christmas, but the ATM has never worked there while the one at Tiger Fuel hasn’t accepted ANZ cards for weeks and the staff have no incentive to get  the fault fixed nor are they interested in the problem. So the only place I know of a working ATM now, is one of the hole-in-the-wall ones at the original ANZ branch. A coworker has just reported to me that the last ATM has stopped working - what does this mean? Should we panic, change banks or use the barter system?
UPDATE: I just heard Saturday 19th that, apparently, the ANZ manager looks after both Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea (PNG). Sooooooo, the Timorese are in control here right now. I'll have to find out what is going on this week and/or get all my money out and store it somewhere more accessible.

Last Friday was the first of the ‘Clean up’ mornings for Dili. This was publicized on radio, TV and newspaper and meant that everyone was to be out on the street from about 09:00 to 12:00 and clean up their area. Now we have large piles of rubbish on the sides of the road; waiting to be removed.

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