A new country of residence means many new things for us! Living in Timor we are learning lots about all things Portuguese. As former colonisers of Timor-Leste, the Portguese influence is found everywhere in architecture, restaurants, the education system and sport. With the European Championship being played in recent weeks, there has been lots of soccer advertisements and talk about ‘football’ here in Timor-Leste. Just today in the car, Sam was asking me to read him a beer advertisement billboard we drove past, because there were photos of soccer players on it.
So last night we went to bed knowing that the final game between Portugal and France would be played as we slept. On other occasions we have been woken in the night to cheering fans watching soccer in nearby houses, and so we expected the same again. Yesterday the neighbourhood kids, who play with Sam often were teaching us how to chant, “Portu, Portu” like real Portugal football followers. Even the littlest of the bunch of kids was proudly wearing his Portugal soccer shirt as he kicked Sam’s ball around the yard chanting, “Portu!”
So even before the sun rose, about 5.30am i think, the noises outside woke us. Cheering, motorbikes revving, random banging all informed us that Portugal had kicked a goal. A short while later, sporadic fireworks began exploding around our home, as the celebrations outside increased. The fireworks woke up Sam and he begged to go outside and join in the fun. So standing at the end of our drive way in our pyjamas, we watched motorbikes go past carrying people waving huge Portugal flags. Utes with people screaming, “Portu Portu” went past to join the impromptu parade that went down the beach road into town. This parade grew as many celebrating Timorese joined in. From our house, only a block from beach road we could hear the cheering, motorbikes and sirens as celebrations continued.
Later on, as Sam dressed for the day, he emerged from his room wearing his Essendon Bombers tshirt. “Look Mum, I’m wearing my football shirt too!”
As Jason headed off to the airport he said, “I wonder what my drive to work will be like?” Here’s the answer in pictures…. Keep in mind this was over an hour after the game finished….