Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Whale Of A Time

The following pictures are of a Humpback whale cow and calf taken at Bob's Rock yesterday, 17th November at about 1pm. The calf kept breaching while mum kept a careful watch. Mum is the very large light blue object under the water.

I love it here

Thursday, 12 November 2009

I Just Couldn't Resist This

These were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a great sense of humour (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA )
A:Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q:I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane , Cairns , Townsville and Hervey Bay ? ( UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA )
A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe . Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q:Which direction is North in Australia ? (USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK )
A:Why? Just use your fingers like we do...

Q:Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK )
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q:Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q:Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q:I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q:I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q:Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first


Friday, 11 September 2009


There is a core group of long-time foreign residents in Dili who have brought changes to Timor-Leste whilst at the same time being changed themselves. Henry Koby has certainly left his mark on this town. In return he discovered that he had reserves of energy, courage and humour, enabling him to face the challenges of running an enduring tourism business in Timor-Leste on a shoestring. He was the heart and soul of Dili Backpackers in Mandarin, a simple hostel that has welcomed hundreds of pioneering travellers, making Timor-Leste a must-visit destination for any backpacker worth his salt. I remember him welcoming visitors straight off the bus from Kupang, who turned to him in their bewilderment for advice about how to explore this slightly scary outpost on the backpackers trail. He would shake his head, sigh at their unworldliness and, in his usual irascible way, devote hours to answering their endless queries, pretending to be impatient. Henry had endless patience. He was generous with his time. He had a soft centre. He knew the backpackers’ world, showed a genuine interest in travellers’ adventures – and occasional misadventures – and entertained them by offering an acerbic and usually humorous commentary on life in Dili. He consequently became well-known on the international backpacker circuit, featuring in countless travellers’ blogs, and will be missed by more people around the world than we can imagine.
When Dili was hit by the 2006 crisis, many expats who had spent years and fortunes setting up businesses and making lives for themselves in this country watched in shock as Dili burned. Backpackers were still turning up as youths fought on the street outside the gates. These were strange days. One night Henry drove rioters away with a spade as they tried to climb the fence into the hostel. Even though he was greatly outnumbered, he roared defiance at the intruders. They fled. Henry could be fierce.
During this period, Henry found work as an electrical contractor at the Heliport, newly occupied by Australian forces. I met him one day as he cursed security guards at the Heliport as they would not allow him to enter to do his work because he didn’t have a pass because he was self-employed. Dili was full of people with passes dangling around their necks: police, army, NGO’s and aid workers, who had been shipped in to deal with the crisis. But we expat residents didn’t “belong” to an organization. We just belonged to Dili. We decided that we, too, needed an identity as a group, a pass. So Henry became the first member of the LCC – The Local Characters’ Club – open only to those foreigners who had arrived in Timor-Leste before independence, investing our own capital, without a safety-net . The LCC pass had a photo and an official-looking crest. It worked for Henry and he never had trouble getting access to the work site again when he flashed the pass. It was a joke, based on his quirky sense of humour, but there was actually an underlying seriousness to the bond between Local Characters, who numbered only 20 or so. One of the club’s rules was that all Local Characters should help any other member who was in trouble, regardless of whether they were on speaking terms or not. Henry was always there for us when we found ourselves in a predicament. He would grumble, suck his teeth, and pitch in to help.
Henry had a narrow escape in 2006 when he unwittingly rode into a gunfight on his motor bike. A bullet passed between his arm and his ribcage, punching a hole in his T-shirt and leaving just a graze. He often joked about it. When his final illness was diagnosed, and he returned to Dili after months of treatment, he had us laughing as he told anecdotes about his time in hospital and how he tormented the long-suffering nursing staff. He told us that his illness had brought him face to face with death and that he felt serene about the end, whenever it might come; he was ready. He had also gained a new appreciation of life, a sweetness, a gentleness of manner. In sharing these experiences, I believe that he was saying goodbye to us and trying to diminish the grief that we are all feeling now. He was shy, he didn’t like a fuss. He loved Timor-Leste deeply. He told us that he wanted to be here at the end and I am glad he was. He belonged here. But without Henry, Dili has lost some of its flavor. He will be missed and fondly remembered.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Oooh It Makes Me Mad

Overhead in a popular watering hole the other night. One UN Old Hand (i.e. more than 3 months here) handing out her wisdom to a couple of newbie’s:

“I like to collect Tais, but you can also get some really good coral jewellery here. The antique stuff is quite expensive but you can buy some made with new coral so I’d say get that”

It’s fucking illegal to buy or sell coral products here, to try and export it out of the country and to try and import it into either Australia, Singapore or Indonesia. Aside from that doesn’t this idiot watch Discovery, Animal Planet or any of the other many channels that have been telling us for years that coral reefs are dying? That we have a responsibility to help protect them.

30 June 2000

Section 4
Coral Reefs

The coral reefs present in the waters of East Timor shall be protected. For the
purposes of the present regulation:
(a) the intentional killing, damaging, or destruction of coral or coral reef;
(b) the use of explosives or poisons for fishing which results in the killing,
damaging, or destroying of coral or coral reef;
(c) the buying or selling of coral or products made from coral; and
(d) the export of coral or products made from coral,
shall be prohibited.

Well, that got that off my well oiled and muscular chest


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Holier Than Thou?

Re: 'The Dili Insider'

And I quote

“Slander, idle gossip and unsubstantiated nonsense will be ignored”

Bloody hypocrite…


A Long Term Plan



Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Some Good News (at last)

Follow this link for more information:

Voters reject terror of Timor
Tom Allard, Jakarta
May 12, 2009
EURICO Guterres, the pro-integration militia leader who terrorised East Timor as it voted for independence, has failed to win a seat in Indonesia's Parliament.
Mr Guterres' failure to get the lucrative sinecure as West Timor's representative was confirmed at the weekend with the release of the final results of April's legislative elections.
"Because he is a famous figure, it was hard for him," said a member of Mr Guterres' campaign team, Hukman Reny, comparing him to Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho.
"Just like Ronaldinho, whenever he plays, all the backs try to stop him scoring," he said.
With his long hair, beret and incendiary speeches, Mr Guterres was the anti-independence movement's figurehead and was accused of leading murderous rampages during East Timor's blood-soaked transition to nationhood.
Mr Guterres was found guilty by Indonesia's courts of crimes against humanity, but then later acquitted. He has been pursuing a parliamentary seat ever since.
The final tally of the vote for the national parliament confirmed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democrat Party almost tripled its vote and secured the largest share of seats.
It also highlighted the chaotic organisation of a poll where millions of eligible voters were left off rolls, the wrong ballot papers were sent to districts and many had a poor understanding of how to cast their votes properly.
Almost 50 million Indonesians were either unable to vote or failed to turn up, while another 17.5 million voted incorrectly. At almost 40 per cent of registered voters, this so-called "golput" vote was easily the highest in Indonesia's decade of democracy.
Indonesia will vote for its president in July. The deadline for candidates to nominate expires on Saturday.
In the latest development, President Yudhoyono has made overtures to his long-time rival Megawati Soekarnoputri to support his presidential bid. Two weeks ago, Ms Soekarnoputri launched a "grand coalition" opposing the incumbent."

well, bugger me!


Friday, 24 April 2009

A Very Good Cause

“In her shoes productions” proudly premiers the long awaited….

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES a play by Eve Ensler
When: Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th of April 2009
Where: at MOTION in Dili
Doors open @7.30pm show to start @8.00pm sharp
(non-reserved seating- to be finished by 10pm)
About the MONOLOGUES : The smash-hit phenomenon that is The VaginaMonologues is soon to premier in Dili for the first time.. Based on interviews conducted with women from around the world, this poignant, hilariously witty and moving collection of tales gives voice to a chorus of lusty, outrageous, brave and thoroughly human stories. The Vagina Monologues is a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. An award-winning masterpiece giving voice to real women's deepest fantasies and fears, guaranteeing that no one who sees the show will ever look at a woman's body, or think of sex, in quite the same way again.
The PROCEEDS: The Vagina Monologues is performed around the world and each group performing donates a percentage of revenue from ticket sales to V-Day: a movement which benefits non-government organisations that work to stop all forms of violence against women…across the world. This year 10% Of V-Day campaign revenue will be donated to an organisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo working to heal female victims of sexual violence. ******************************************************************************************Please note: V-day Timor-Leste will be donating 90% of revenue from ticket sales and donations to Casa Vida, a safe house offering treatment and refuge to female victims of sexual violence in Timor-Leste. Booking information: Tickets are $15.00 each and are going fast!! Please RSVP ASAP to secure your tickets by contacting:Lucy Kaval at or call her at +670-7472194


Friday, 17 April 2009

Travel Advisory

This is an automated e-mail notification from the FOS Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smugtraveller advisory service.

Travel Advice
from the FOS Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia overall
This Advice is current for Friday, 17 April 2009.

Reconsider Your Need To Travel

This advice has been reviewed and reissued. It contains new information under Safety and Security: Civil Unrest/Political Tension (update), Local Travel (update) and Wildlife (crocodiles). The overall level of the advice has not changed.

We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Australia at this time because of the fragile security situation and the risk of violent (Bikie) unrest. The situation could deteriorate without warning.
If you decide to travel to Australia, you should exercise extreme caution. Violence could occur anywhere (Bikies) at any time in Australia.
You should avoid demonstrations, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent. (Bikies)!
Medical facilities are limited and evacuation may be required in cases of serious illness or accident. Yeah, right.
Because of the uncertain security situation, we strongly recommend that you register your travel and contact details with us, so we can arrest you in an emergency.
Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
1. Organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
2. Subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued.

On this page:


Safety and Security

For Parents

Local Laws

Local Customs

Entry and Exit Requirements

Health Issues

Where to Get Help

Safety and Security
Tourism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Foreign Travellers.
In planning your activities, consider the kind of places known to be tourist targets and the level of security provided. Possible targets includes hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, beach’s and other places of alcohol worship, shops, outdoor recreation events, tourist areas and transport hubs or identifiably foreign (wog) businesses and interests.

Civil Unrest/Political Tension
We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Australia at this time because of the fragile security situation and the risk of violent civil unrest. The situation could deteriorate without warning. Violence could occur anywhere at any time in Australia.
At present, law and order is maintained by the Awfully Fat Police (AFP) working with the local dobber-inners. Additional security is provided by the Nanny State force which consists of Australian Defence Forces personnel. You should check the security situation with AFP. See Local Travel (below) for contact details. During the course of 2009, the United Nations will commence a phased, state by state, handover of policing responsibility from AFP to the local dobber inners.
You should avoid demonstrations, protests, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent. The risk of such events may increase in the lead-up to and on days of national, political or historic(?) significance. From time to time, protesters have expressed anti-Foreigner (wog) sentiments and threats have been directed towards Foreigners and Wog interests.
Violent disturbances and minor disputes can erupt in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane or just about anywhere else with a non white-European population without notice and escalate quickly. Be particularly vigilant, especially at night, in the vicinity of anywhere that sells booze and in areas where there is a concentration of people, such as large markets.

Robbery (in some cases armed), assaults, theft and bag snatching have been directed at foreigners (wogs) in Australia, particularly individuals travelling alone or at night. Foreigners (wogs) have been caught up in incidents of armed robbery and assault everywhere and on nearby beaches. 'Smash and grab' style theft of property from vehicles occurs.
There is a history of gang-related violence, robbery, arson and vandalism in Australia (Bikies). Rocks have been thrown at vehicles, particularly during the early evening and at night. You should avoid armed groups of people, including Bikie gangs, both in the outback and in every major city.
Harassment and violence against women, including expatriate women, has been reported, including near the Bondi Beach.
Concerns remain about criminal activity in the outback regions.

Local Travel
Foreigners (wogs) are advised to check the security situation, road conditions and the possibility of military operations with AFP before undertaking travel. The Awfully Fat Police (AFP) emergency and security information numbers can be called 24 hours a day on 112 or (670) 723 0365. You can also get information from the Security Information Co-ordination Centre within the United Nations Integrated Mission in Australia (UNIMAUS). The centre can be contacted 24 hours a day on (670) 331 2210, extension 5454 or (670) 723 0635.
Driving conditions are frequently hazardous due to poor road quality, too much signage and a lack of brains. For further advice, see our bulletin on Overseas Road Safety. Makeshift barricades are sometimes used as unauthorised road blocks and may appear anywhere in Australia.
Take care if using taxis, ute’s or trucks used as public transport due to the poor condition of many of these vehicles and poor driving standards. There is also an increased risk of robbery.
You should take particular care when hiking or moving about on foot in rural areas. Backpackers should consider themselves warned but they are fair game.
For advice on travel to Tasmania (including King Island), travellers should consult our Tasmania Travel advice.
Piracy occurs in the all areas of Australia.

Airline Safety
Passengers on international flights to and from Australia are only allowed to carry a small amount of liquor (including stubbies and tinnies) in their carry-on baggage. When staff at Australia's overseas missions are advised not to use particular airlines due to small duty free allowances, this will be included in the travel advisory.

Natural Disasters, Severe Weather and Climate
Australia is in an active arson zone and is subject to bushfires.
All outback regions of the world can experience bushfires, but there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive bushfires in the outback because of the many arsonists along major idiot boundaries and booze trenches. See the Bushfire Awareness brochure.
Tropical storms and cyclones are usual in Australia, and they may occur during the wet season, November to October. And watch out for hailstones.
If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of the local authorities.

Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or hunters and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
Swimmers should note that crocodiles have been sighted everywhere and there is every chance that you WILL be eaten. Also beware of: Funnel web spiders, Redback spiders, Brown snakes, Blue ring octupus, White sharks, Bull rays (crikey!), Cassowary’s, Goana’s, Bluebottles, Big Red Roo’s, Box jellyfish, Razorbacks, Wild buffalo and Dingo’s.

Money and Valuables
We want yours! We have a variety of ways of accessing your money and valuables, including, but not limited to: Pokies, the GeeGees, Bikies, Spruikers, Standover and Bikies. Be especially careful in the Kings Cross area of Sydney. Relatively few people in Australia know what a credit is.
The official currency of Australia is the good old Aussie dollar, which is the only currency that can be accepted as legal tender.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original so we can steal it twice. .
While travelling, carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras are very welcome and easily resold.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in an easily accessed place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest police station as soon as possible and we’ll have a bloody good laugh at your expense mate.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.

For Parents
Leave the bloody ankle biters at home. More trouble than they’re worth! Little bastards.

Local Laws
When you are in Australia, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by civilized standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will lock you up and throw away the key. Bloody foreigners. Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help you does not exist.
Foreigners (wogs) who interfere in local political processes or engage in political activity may be subject to fines, detention, deportation and a bloody good bashing.

Local Customs
There are standards of behaviour and dress in Australia. You should take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice. Thongs and singlets are compulsory.
Religious days are closely observed. Loud noise and frivolous behaviour are mandatory during these times.
Revealing clothing should be worn in public places, including churches and markets, especially by the terminally obese.
Public displays of affection are really poofy and will be punished by a bloody good bashing.

Information for Dual Nationals
Australia does not recognise dual nationality. You are either Australian or a wog.

Entry and Exit Requirements
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) are draconian, and rightly so. Bloody wogs.
If travellers can demonstrate that they have a valid reason for extending their stay beyond 30 days in Australia, tough shit. You will not get an extension. Unless of course you bribe someone. Foreign (ie: wog) businesspeople can apply for a resident visa if they can provide proof of the registration of their business. Sorry, we put that last sentence in for a laugh. You still won’t get it.
It is illegal to import currencies other than US Dollars into Australia, above certain limits, unless you are a media magnate

Health Issues
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any Australian medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart because we certainly will not look after you otherwise.
Mosquito-borne diseases: We’ve got most of them but we like to keep it quiet. Insect-borne diseases such as filariasis and dengue fever are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Japanese encephalitis is occasionally reported. We encourage you to consider taking prophylaxis and taking measures to avoid mosquito bites, including using an insect repellent at all times.
A Japanese encephalitis vaccine registered for use in Australia is currently unavailable.
Oh, and we’ve got Ross River fever too. Nasty little bugger that.
Avian influenza. Bloody wogs

Where to Get Help
Don’t be bloody stupid.

Sports and Passtimes
Australians are very bad losers. Two words: Johnny Wilkinson. Nuff said.

If you are travelling to Australia, whatever the reason and however long you’ll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign (Wog) Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate
In Australia, the Department of Foreign (Wog) Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.

This Advice was issued on Friday, 17 April 2009, 13:49:56, EST. by the security head of every organisation we could think of.
After all, job justification is paramount!
While every care has been taken in preparing this travel information for travellers, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees including any member of Australia's consular staff abroad, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.
You're on your bloody own mate!


Thursday, 16 April 2009


The new Nautilus Waterfront restaurant is now open for lunch. Hooray!

The pasta dishes are, as usual, superb. Mrs Sod had the Linguine alla Puttanesca and declared
it ab. fab.

The kitchen is open from noon. Nautilus is on the Beach Road, about 50metres east of Hotel Esplanada.

Treat yourself.


Monday, 6 April 2009

Liberal Democracy?

Been Raped? Victim of incest? Gonna die whilst giving birth?

"Draft abortion laws dropped in East Timor
Last Updated: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 13:35:00 +1100
East Timor's government has dropped an article from the draft penal code that decriminalised abortion for victims of sexual violence or incest following pressure from Catholic lobby groups.The first draft of East Timor's penal code was announced by the government last year. It decriminalised abortion for women if the pregnancy would put their mental or physical health at risk, or if they were victims of sexual violence or incest.The AMP coalition government has now dropped the second set of exceptions.Alita Verdial from the Alola Foundation says the decision may mean sexual violence victims will continue to have unsafe abortions."How about women like this - with the specific case like this - they can also have access to the health services".The penal code is expected be passed by the President soon."


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Police News

Anyone who says that East Timor is turning into a police state should be put up against a wall
and shot!!


Check out my good friends blog over at this link