Should you find yourself at the end of the line in Dili one day, you’ll likely need a place to stay. There are only a few flights per day to and from the place, so if you land you’ll have to at least spend the night.
I highly recommend the Esplanada Hotel. It’s owned by a nice Australian guy and right across the street from the beach. It’s recently been renovated with nice clean and functional rooms. Mini fridge and satellite TV if you like that sort of thing. Most of the channels were news channels, though, so kind of a downer if you’re trying to escape the plagues, war and terror.
They’ve a great open air bar and restaurant open from dawn until about midnight. It overlooks the beach and there is live music most nights. The staff is very nice and they try to please. They have a hard time though anticipating and think outside the usual.
For instance, I went to the restaurant to listen to the band. Being in the tropics with reggae-like music playing, I fancied a Rum and Coke. So, when the waiter brought over a menu, I waved off the menu and just told him, I’d like a rum and coke.
“Okay”, he said.
He came back a few minutes later with the menu opened to the specialty cocktails section. “What kind of drink did you want.”
“Oh, it’s probably not in this menu. I just want a rum and coke.” And away he went.
Minutes later another waiter came over, again with the menu. “What do you want, again?”
I kind of laughed. “A rum and coke. Do you have rum?” He nodded. “Do you have Coke?” he nodded. “Then there you go.” And back to the bar he went.
Would you believe another waiter came over? Yes, she did. This time with the other two waiters to back her up. “Sorry, mister. One more time. What you want?”
I almost broke down and ordered a froo-froo drink from the menu, but I bit my lip and persevered. I’m sorry to say, I reverted to the age old tool…. Louder and slower. “A Rum and Coke. Do you have Rum?’
“Do you have Coke?”
“Do you have ice?”
I smiled “Do you have a glass?”
Smile and a nod.
“Mix it all together. That is what I want.” She and her henchmen again went a way to confer. She returned with a great result. So good, in fact, I ordered a second.
Look closely at this photo. What does it mean? I posted it elsewhere. It is hung all around the hotel and I’d been puzzling about it for days.
I asked friends for help in interpreting. Response ranged in topic from men and women, to the Beatles, to Elvis, to Zombies to inflatable dolls.
As I was checking out, I nabbed the assistant manager/maintenance guy and let him know I’d been wondering about this sign all week and he pointed out that they were Fire Exit signs.
“Yes, yes. I got that. But, what does it mean? What is going on in this picture?”
“I don’t know really. A few months back the building inspector made us re-label all our exits and he picked out these signs because he thought they were quite funny.”
Which reminded me of another fact I learned earlier in the week. 70% of the population of East Timor is under the age of 25 years old. These children are raising themselves. You have to love a building code inspector with a youthful sense of humor.