A funny old day. I’ve been working for the press for the past 3 days so most of what I may have to say here would be old news anyway so I think I’ll just tell you a couple of personal stories.
The TV company I am working for at the moment is not exactly the most viewed network in Australia but their news is certainly the best. There are 3 of us. The correspondent, the cameraman and me. Today, the award winning correspondent I am working with told me that at 4.15pm we "have to be at the airport to pick up the flak jackets and helmets’. “No worries” I said, ‘how many are there?” – “Two of each” replied my colleague. You do the math. Moral: Get a binding contract or some good insurance if you live in East Timor.
Went to Alfredo’s step-fathers house in Dili this afternoon. Alfredo’s body is there at the moment and tomorrow, at 10am, he will be buried. He is going to be buried in the grounds of the house and not in Maubisse as previously thought apparently because the security risk would be too great if the funeral cortege had to pass Xanana’s house, which it would. When we got there about 400 people were already present to pay their last respects. The biggest percentage of these 400 were young boys. The whole affair was very low key, sombre and dignified. The boys accounted for themselves impeccably.
I would also like to say that from a personal point of view the f-FDTL and the PNTL have reacted to recent events with the greatest of professionalism and restraint. If you had asked me on Sunday what their reaction to events of the following morning might have been my answer would have been very very negative. Sometimes it is an absolute pleasure to be proved wrong.
Is it really Wednesday? It actually feels like Monday night.
I love the curfew. I am getting a good nights sleep. The dogs are not barking at drunks walking past at all hours, the boys are not across the road imitating guitar players with crap singing voices and I can sleep sound in the knowledge that I won’t get burgled. All we need now is for the curfew to be applied to barking dogs with a shoot on sight clause and I might be able to forgo my afternoon nap. Heaven forbid.
Right, going to bed now. Big day tomorrow. We’ve got the funeral, something I can’t tell you about, a beef stew delivery, a hotel change, preps for Rudd’s visit on Friday, various pressers, a trip to the airport to pick up the flak jackets that customs wouldn’t give us today (even though neither of them is my size), the weekly shop to do (life must go on) and lots of well oiled stories to tell each other.
What I would leave you with though, for the avid Timor watchers, is to make sure you read the Sydney Morning Herald tomorrow for a very interesting story about the events of Monday morning.