after 5 relentless hours of driving on winding roads with one country music tape repeated over and over again, four hours spent in the midday sun listening to a town-hall style village meeting with el presidente, a chat with a gang leader and only one cup of coffee later, i am not sure if i am any more lucid than at 5 am this morning.
i did however remember a few more things about The Man, that repository of dreams and hopes of a better, more just world, that i had wanted to jot down as well. eventhough timorese society apparently does not have a similar messianic myth of its own, the two societies which have arguably influenced timor the most over the centuries do: the portuguese and the javanese (who exerted their influence more indirectly through the indonesian "new order" system which arguably did have many javanese elements in it).
the portuguese version of The Man is king sebastian I., who was killed at a young age when he decided to mess around with the north african moors in 1578. legend, of course, has it that he never died and will come to the rescue of the portuguese nation in a time of crisis and establish the fifth empire. meanwhile, the javanese have the ratu adil, the just king, who will reveal himself at the appropriate time, put an end to the times of chaos and establish universal peace and justice. another messianic figure is of course jesus christ, who is omnipresent in timor leste, from the big rio-style statue in dili to tacky plastic clocks you can find in houses in the remotest of villages (big plastic pink things with a garish picture of the last supper as a background). so there area number of outside influences to draw upon and it certainly does not do any harm to further bolster your image by looking like two modern day icons which are very popular here: che guevara and bob marley.