Saturday, August 20, 2005

Daniel returns from Ainaro

Wednesday 10 August 2005

Today I purchased six DVDs at a cost of $2 each!

Mind you they are pirated, but I do not believe that it is possible to buy the real deal in Timor. Daniel started our collection last week by buying three for $2.50 at the “official” DVD shop near his work: Supersize Me, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. However, we are having problems with our laptop. When we try and play a DVD, our computer will often freeze and we have to take the battery out and start again.

We purchased the laptop second hand before we left Australia. It is a four year old IBM ThinkPad. We’re pretty sure that it’s the laptop and not the DVDs. I managed to complete watching Supersize Me on Sunday night, which was a much-needed distraction. On the whole, the film was entertaining but I do have a problem with the sweeping categorisation of all overweight and obese people as being that way because they eat too much junk food!

I rarely if ever eat such food but am considered obese on the BMI much to my and everyone else’s surprise! Having also spent a considerable amount of time reading about health and nutrition including the recently published The Obesity Myth, I am critical of the film’s underlying assumptions about why people are heavy (genetics is a factor for many overweight people). Saying that, I do agree that supersizing is contributing to rising obesity levels and that advertising of junk food directed at children must be prohibited as it has been in Sweden (or is that Denmark?). Jamie Oliver’s School Lunches program, which aired on Australian television earlier in the year, was a salient call for the need to introduce healthy lunches in our schools.

The problem however in Timor is that children don’t get enough to eat and the fact that so many are malnourished highlights the inequitable distribution of the world’s resources. The only obese people I see are “malae”, although there are overweight Timorese, which does reflect their genetic diversity.

The DVD’s I purchased are as follows: The Island, Bewitched, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Just a Question of Love: a French film whose lead actor was nominated for the Cesar Award’s Most Promising Young Actor for Confusion of Genders; The Bear in the Big Blue House Dance Party, a creation by the Muppets folk and as shown on the ABC; and a collection of seven animated films: Madagascar, Pinocchio 3000, Robots, The Incredibles, Racing Stripes, Shark Tale and Team America: World Police. (Given this last DVD seems to be aimed at children, it is amusing to have Team America included as this is from the creators of South Park and had at least an M rating when it was released in Australia.)

The power cuts out at work at around 3pm like clockwork. Then when I get home it regularly cuts out at around 7pm, 10pm and again just after midnight. It generally stays off anywhere from one to two hours at a time. Thank goodness for the generator!

Although I am struggling to live here I do very much enjoy working with my Timorese colleagues. They are brave and funny women. I shall endeavour to gain strength by their example.

Daniel arrived home late this afternoon. I am very happy!

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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