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Old 09-09-2012, 02:18 PM   #59
bokad OP
Difficult Child
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Wherever it is warm.
Oddometer: 395
6 July 2012
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East Timor (Timor Leste)

On crossing in to East Timor it is immediately obvious that they are MUCH poorer than the Indonesians on the other half of the island. The main highway hasn't been repaired in a long time. Sometimes it just drops in to a giant hole or off the edge of a cliff. The houses are made of dirt and dusty sun bleached pieces of wood. Not boards, pieces of wood. The fences are similar improvised construction. There's less scooters and more people walking without shoes. The whole place just feels dusty, left behind, and poor. Not unpleasant, or squalid, but definitely poor. You know you've crossed a logical divide in to another place.

What does poor look like? We drove on a daytrip to visit a colonial fort. On the way out we passed a lady sitting by the side of the road on a very rickety chair. There was a very aged table in front of her. The sort of thing that looks like it would just collapse to dust if you leaned on it. On that table were three fish that she was selling. She sat there, in the sun, swatting flies away off from the fish and getting covered in dust from every car that passed. When we returned a few hours later she was still there but with only one fish. This is subsistence living. 50% of East Timor gets by on less than $1.50 a day. Of course, some get by on much much much more.

East Timor isn't exactly poor. There's alot of money, it's just in very few hands. Actually, the country has $10 BILLION in a national slush fund. Their cut from an offshore oil field that the Aussies pump for them. There's only ~1 million people in East Timor so that comes out to $10,000 for every adult and child. $40,000+ per family. I bet you could make a real difference in some people's lives with that. I'm sure it will be distributed in a way to benefit all, right? Keep in mind this is money from a public resource, owned equally by all citizens.



You feel it as soon as you cross, East Timor is much poorer than it's neighbor.


You feel it as soon as you cross, East Timor is much poorer than it's neighbor.


You feel it as soon as you cross, East Timor is much poorer than it's neighbor.


Fresh fish!
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