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Nightlife in Dili bustling after independence DILI - It is 9 p.m. in Dili. Cafes and restaurants that have mushroomed along the streets in the heart of the city, where the beach-view presidential palace stands, are packed with hundreds of expatriates hanging around late into the night. Internet cafes owned by Australia's Telstra which has been given an exclusive contract by the UN Transitional Administration of East Timor (UNTAET) for mobile and fixed line services, have sprung up over the past couple of years. These places, too, are a favorite meeting place.
Don't ask if you can go to a discotheque, or other night entertainment spots peculiar to a metropolitan city. You may have to wait for another year or two when the capitalists are convinced it is safe and profitable to invest in such facilities. The bustling nightlife in the capital, Dili, has become something of a novelty for the townsfolk. Women and men walk in the street at night, joking and laughing all the way. Welcome to independent East Timor.
"During the Indonesian troops occupation, the city was dead quiet after dusk," said Mathias, a taxi driver in his late 20s, who still cruises the streets well after midnight. "In the Indonesian colonial times, people would be risking their lives if they dared to venture out on the streets after 7 p.m. Soldiers would stop them, ask them questions they could not answer and they would be tortured," he said. For the East Timorese people, the freedom from fear of military harassment has become the most celebrated part of the just-proclaimed independence.



Posted in Nightlife @ 24 May 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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