Dili Billy

Never before have I written a whole blog post and not published it, but that it was I just did for the post about Dili. I’m finding it really hard to describe it in my usual style. I’ve a feeling that it may be because this is a serious place. I’ve had more challenging discussions in the last week about life, death, what we should and shouldn’t do for people, cognitive dissonance, racism, giving, politics, right, wrong, responsibility, accountability, controls, organisational behaviour, narcissism, corruption, bribery, visas, language, education, free will, guilt, and interventionism than I think I can handle. I’m pretty sure my head is going to explode unless it feels the freshness of a motor propelled breeze soon. Not just any motor propelled breeze mind you, but one from a very specific Dark Blue Kawasaki KLE 500.
The work is great, the free accommodation is perfect, the expats here are mostly intelligent and thoughtful and the locals are wonderful. Especially considering its estimated that 25% of the Timorese population were murdered during the US and Australian sanctioned Indonesian invasion and occupation of Timor Leste just 4 days after it became a sovereign nation for the first time, more than 35 years ago.
I think there are two things that I’m really struggling to cope with at the moment:
  • My new found understanding of some of the things that are claimed to have occurred during the brutal and horrific Indonesian occupation of Timore Leste, of which mass graves continue to be discovered. In particular, Australia’s involvement in condoning and sanctioning the invasion is particularly hard for me to understand. Lets not even start on the debate about natural gas and oil reserves that Australia claimed as their own following the conflict.
  • The accomodation, although nice, is located in the suburbs. I have been transformed from Jakarta urbanite, living on 3 hrs sleep between night and day and a nanna nap to being isolated and cut-off from the (albeit limited action) with no transport. As a result I’m really really really really looking forward to hopefully having my bike this weekend.
And although on reading this post it sounds like i’m hating it here, I’m not. I have a real affinity for the place and to be honest, the ignorance was bliss but now that I know the part that my country had to play in this country’s suffering, I’m not sure I could walk away without something to show, something to balance my soul when I think ‘please forgive us’.  

Doing what he said without even knowing it.

I feel compelled to draw attention to this quote provided by L in a comment on another post. The reason I was compelled to do so was because without knowing it, this explains exactly why Jakarta was so fascinating:

“Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart through the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul.”

Carl Jung

For those that still doubt the relevance to their world, especially those living a cosy, secure life, I suggest otherwise if you consider that your world is a purely pyschic world, as Jung did:

“All comprehension and all that is comprehended is in itself Psychic, and to that extent we are helplessly cooped up in an exclusively Pyschic world.”
Dili has its own challenges, its own way of confronting the senses, the conscious and I assume the unconscious and i’m still grappling with the right words to describe it. More later.

On Dili

I arrived in Dili on Monday, and whilst i’m reserving judgement for now, first impressions (besides the UN helicopters, UN lear jet and numerous UN police vehicles) are that as per expectation, the situation is over-hyped by the media.

I’m liking it so far, but sense perceptions are still working on the locals, in Dili they are not as bright or friendly as the indonesians up front, but I have heard otherwise in relation to rural areas.

I’ve been working since I arrived, so laptop fatigue is setting in and there is no internet connection at home. Bike will apparently arrive at Kupang on Monday, so currently making plans to go pick it up and ride it back.