I have never seen so many fake plastic flowers for sale in Dili. A week away from Loron Matebian – or All Souls Day, probably East Timor’s most important holiday – the streets near the Stadium, in Bairro Pite and other strategic parts of town are lined with lurid plastic flowers. “Loose” ones, fake bouquets, strings of flowers. They are bright purples, pinks, oranges, explosions of color.
The production of fruits and vegetables has caught up with demand in Dili over the past couple of years to an impressive degree. It seems a shame that the shame work to jumpstart these markets could not be done with cut flowers.
The fake flowers are probably an indication of the unparalleled disposable income of Dili residents – of the money splashed around with various cash transfer schemes and compensation schemes.