Travelling In Timor – Part IV

Markets in Timor

The larger regional markets provide a meeting place for locals and prove to be a bright and lively affair with lots of homemade cakes and ice blocks as a bonus, and are good places to see the traditional ikat textiles of Timor still in daily use. They all start early and finish by midday, in keeping with siesta times.

Goods available at the markets range from clothing and shoes to buckets, tools, medicines, the insidious skeins of factory thread, dried and fresh fish, tobacco, all manner of dried goods, vegetables and fruit, and the ever present betel nut.

Please Show Respect

With patience and politeness your stay in Timor may be enriched in any number of ways. One of the most important things to remember is dress ­ the Timorese (having taken on Christianity in 1960 when Pak Suharto decreed the nation should join the “civilised” world and take on religion) is unused to and indeed alarmed by seas of white flesh. It is best to dress by covering the shoulders and not wear short skirts or dresses. Do report anyone being rude or offensive ­ this is a tightly knit society outside of Kupang and usually the community will deal with their own.

Most of all, remember you are the visitor in a new land. Be humble but firm and all sorts of special things may occur.