I don't think many people consider visiting Timor-Leste. I feel privileged for being here, but at the same time it's sad that so few of my friends share my enthusiasm about the place. I think it takes a certain type of person to really enjoy him- or herself in Timor-Leste.
I know that a lot of my friends would hate it here. The food isn't that good, there isn't much to do in a conventional sense and it's all a bit backwards. I'm much more interested in being here and working here than in Thailand. The stories I've been writing have been far more challenging and exciting than a lot of the work I was doing in the Land of Smiles. I feel as if I've moved on from that stage in my life, especially with regards to work.
I've written another travel story about Timor-Leste. It's the kind of story that will either make you want to book the first flight to Dili or else put you off traveling to Timor-Leste altogether. Here is the first paragraph:
Any trip that begins with the trapping and binding of a huge pig can only be destined for fun times. It took six of us to haul the beast onto the back of the pickup truck that was to be our chariot. The pig was a terrible travelling companion, but the buffalo we acquired along the way was even worse. Somewhere along the line there was going to be a feast, liquor and dancing, but before that there was only the tight, meandering road through the hills that would take us perpendicularly south from Dili into mainland East Timor.