Brunei – 18 September 2006

Just landed in Brunei today. And frankly speaking am disappointed but excited. I expected this place to b something like Dubai, a land filled with ‘money’ aka malls, good food, lots of tourism ‘events’ and basically a nice place, albeit a bit strict and restrictive in what is allowed and disallowed here. After all, Brunei is an oil country and its Sultan is supposed to be one of the worlds richest after all.

The first impression on landing in the airport was; a mix between the Chennai Airport and San Francisco airport, 90% being Chennai airport and the other 10% Cisco. Chennai airport people will be familiar with; dilapidated, with nothing working. San Francisco Airport? Huge, barren with everything working to the minimal.

Brunei airport is medium sized, around Chennai airport’s size; with none of the country’s richness being exhibited (there was not a single shop to be seen here). The walls were painted and flaking, toilets had no lights and queues typical Chennai style. However, things still worked, even though minimally.

Coming outside, the car park is small and sand graveled. There are alternates between huge houses which are spanking clean and dilapidated houses with tin roofs and falling window grills.

The roads are wide and clean. There are hardly any traffic lights here but numerous roundabouts. You come across a roundabout as often as you would a traffic light in Singapore.

There is only one mall in Brunei, which is called the empire mall. I haven’t been there, thus more on the place once I visit. No idea about food either which will come later but I have not come across a single fast food (not that am a fan of it) or restaurant on my way from airport to office, and then home.

We had dinner at a Thai restaurant. Awesome food and nice service. The service here so far has been warm and friendly, though the people do not speak English but in Malay. However, that’s a minor issue since sign languages usually work just as well.

Next was the house. The house is a huge two storey bungalow with three bedrooms. My room points to the plantation (I was given a choice and preferred that to looking at other houses :)).

Well……….that’s all for today. Long day but interesting. 🙂

Addendum:

Ended up watching the Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest. Awful movie which I could not make the head or tail of. Why were the three gentlemen fighting? Yes for the chest but why the Jack and James not want to kill the heart? It was funny though, especially the scenes where the lady shows the dress to mimic a ghost and the scene where she is running on the sand.

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