Maliana is situated in the far western region of Timor Leste not far from the Indonesian border. It is reasonably remote being about 3 hours by road from the capital which is Dili. Sections of the road are not trafficable during the wet season. Thus, the shopping experience in Maliana is old school with market style shopping still prominent, selling a wide range of fresh produce, and an enormous number of second hand clothing that is imported from Indonesia, across the border. Essentially, the down town shopping area consists of a single road with mostly markets on one side and then a mish mash of other shops that sell a wide range of items on the other. There are no supermarkets, no hotels per se and one ‘restaurant’ that sells chicken, noodles and rice. Fresh produce is only available from stalls in the market area. There are no pharmacies but there is a government run clinic.
Among the fresh produce stalls there is significant emphasis on selling betel nut; specific leaves are wrapped around the betel nut, and lime powder is added with the nut in the leaf wrap and these wraps are chewed. It is very common in the Maliana county for women to chew betel nut, men much less so. It is said that chewing betel nut gives a calming effect.
So please have a look at the photos and recognise the level of poverty that exists even in Maliana. The shopping experience is very limited. There were several opportunities for me to take the brothers shopping and the latter part of this post illustrates this.
See you next time when we will post another Timor Leste chapter. This next post will update you on the children’s Christmas party held in Saburai, when gifts of children’s underwear were on top of Santa’s list.
We hope that you have enjoyed this post….
With every blessing
Trevor and Tina
The shop side of the road
Not really a ‘plaza’
The shop behind the green door was the only shop in town that sold pharmacy items but it never opened during my stay
Inside ‘Restaurante Maliana’
A lot of second hand clothing for sale
Main road into the markets
The new clothing section
More second hand clothing
Even some second hand bed sheets
Dried fish and bags of betel nut
Papaya, eggs, soursop and hot chillies
Shelling sweet onions
Betel nut with pineapple
More betel nut
And more….with bags of lime powder
Some more new clothing
And more plus footwear
Everything for sale here
The brothers start their shopping: mattresses
A deep freeze
Supplies for food parcels for the Saburai community
Noodles, sugar and rice
Sardines and coffee
Br Elmer loading
Some milk drinks as well (but not the Tiger beer)
Ready to go
Does require payment
Sealing the deal
Back at the house
Deep freeze is delivered