East of east
I arrive at the backpackers hot and sweaty as expected, greeted with “malai malai” from the children that swarmed to greet me, guessing that malai, was similar to the term gringo in Latin America, and yes later finding out it means cream or white.
I was overwhelmed at the amount of vehicles that display the sticker UN or some other type of aid organization, the majority of cars here are either driven by expats or are local taxis/ micro lets (city busses)
The first people that I have a conversation with on this adventure I discover have all arrived here via the overland route. A couple from Switzerland, France and another Swiss man. The couple have rode bicycles all the way from Switzerland to here and are now in Australia, this journey took them 2 years, learning they ventured through Iran, the stans and china. I was blown away! My first night in Timor and immediately drawn in wide eyed and jaw dropped till the early hours listening to stories and getting advice from these highly inspiring people. It was great to hear that the overland journey is still well and truly alive and well in all its glory!
Dili itself is an interesting city, very dusty and overcrowded, rubbish everywhere, so much so that it becomes a part of the natural environment. This place is so full of character. I rode a bicycle around the city for the day went to Cristo Rei (Jesus statue) at the tip of the coast and walked up to view the escarpment.
Arte Moris, is a local organization run by Timorese guys. It is one of the most interesting art houses I have been to! These boys live in an old building, they create, teach and experiment with art everyday, live and breathe art, and are all extremely talented. Walking around the place there are sculptures everywhere created out of recycled materials, bamboo, and mangrove roots. Im in heaven ( I think I will be saying this a lot throughout this blog) All the guys here have dreadlocks and I now realize that I am distinguished as an artist because of this, not a day goes by without someone approaching me and saying “Arte Moris”