Another 'Xanana' republic
Trip Start Oct 27, 2004
35Trip End Aug 17, 2005
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Travel throughout Asia can often become tiresome, mainly because of touts and the 'same-same' -ness of all of the main tourist haunts. It can also be really difficult to meet genuine locals who wish to befriend you because of the barrier between tourists and locals. Tired? Come to Timor Leste.
The only way I can describe this story is through a little anecdote...
Our visa had been filled out incorrectly by immigration
A few days later, sat in Edwin's (Edwin is a travellers legend in this neck of the woods, just look in the 'thankyou' section at the start of the Lonely Planet guidebooks) cafe in Kupang, West Timor, we met our friend Ricardo. Ricardo had been staying in the Dili guest house with us and was due to leave about a week after we were unceremoniously told to bugger off with our visas. Just before he left Dili he had been in conversation with Neil, another guest house long-termer who was trying to put together a documentary on the country. Apparently Neil had been in an interview with the Minister of Immigration the day after we left and mentioned our problem, the Minister told Neil we should come to his office to have our visa sorted out. When told that we had already left, the minister asked "Why didn't they come to see me?".
What a cool country!