Saturday, November 05, 2005

Private and public

This morning we ate a western breakfast at the Esplanada Hotel; one of the finer dining and living establishments in Dili (based more on prices than quality). We were seated at the front of the restaurant, which overlooks the sea, and I spotted the First Lady of Timor, Kirsty Sword Gusmão, her three young children, a nanny or two, and an entourage of security men disembark from a 4WD with plastic floating devices in hand. They were clearly there to use the hotel’s pool. As the First Lady is Australian, I was not surprised to see her using the pool, as most Australians want their children to be confident swimmers. However, upon our arrival we noted the sign at the entrance to the hotel: “Dear Customers, we regret to advise that the pool is no longer open to the public due to overcrowding.” Clearly, not all of us are members of the public. Still, the fact that the President’s home does not include a pool is worth something when most other Presidents and their equivalents around the world would have one.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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