(Tradução para português nos comentários a este post)
In 1515 the Portuguese landed on the island of Timor, 5 kilometres west of the present day capital of the Oecussi enclave. They established a colony in a picturesque setting and loved the place so much they stayed for 460 years. Some say they wanted the sandal wood, others say it was the teak but if you have ever been to Oecussi you would know in a flash why they never gave up this little patch of paradise.
The Oecussians themselves, along with the cool sea breeze make the enclave a tranquil environment secluded from the worries of the 21st century. The few foreign workers lucky enough to be based here have only one concern on their mind “I hope I don’t get re-posted”.
Downtown Oecussi is a quiet hamlet where motorcars are as rare as snow leopards, the people are friendly and everyone greets one another, stranger or not! A few young people sell water and snacks from their carts but no one is harassed to buy. We don’t even have kids selling phone cards!
The serious crime rate is close to zero and the people are unquestionably the friendliest in Timor Leste. The prospect of welcoming yacht crews to the Oecussi Festival, in early August, has the population bubbling with excitement. Kids under the age of 10 can’t recall ever seeing a modern sailing yacht and the educated youth long for the day when international travellers will put the enclave on their tourist maps.
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