Friday, 3 February 2017

From the jungle of Borneo

Friday evening, 3 February, sitting in the house in Bandar Seri Begawan after supper, the children now getting ready for bed, all quiet and dark outside, save for the occasional hoot of a night bird.
This is the time of day I love here in Brunei. The oppressive heat is past (the day's work is done!) and since it is Friday we enjoyed a glass or two of Gewurztraminer legally smuggled into this Muslim country. We being Europeans and Christians are allowed wine for special occasions (!!).  Though my daughter just told me that at their afternoon party to celebrate the Chinese New Year they were offered champagne by their hostess. I love that.  Mingling of cultures...

Now I hear the frogs croaking outside and the gentle patter of the friendly geckos as the scamper up the walls. Inside or out. I guess soon there will be the customary evening downpour, splendid luscious drops of rain pounding down onto the shingle roofs and concrete of the front yard.

We have been here almost a month now; soon back to that other world in Europe. Every day has been full (I feel like misquoting: I have measured out my days in streams of sweat, not coffee-spoons).
Didn't get very far speaking Malay (though could recognize some expressions because of familiarity with Indonesian) but managed to produce Terimah Kasih (Thank you) at appropriate moments.
Shades of the colonial world do more than linger. I am still addressed as Ma'am in a deferential tone. Don't like this. I suppose I should say: My name is Wendie, please call me that. But not sure if that might offend, and it would require me to be here longer: time always too brief...

Tomorrow the last jungle adventure is planned, into Temburong. Untouched and uncorrupted, this area of Brunei boasts the best example of primary rainforest in the world (so the guidebook tells me).
So equipped with camera and a quantity of dried apricots, rucksacks packed, we set the alarm on our smartphone for six a.m.
A domani...




Pictures of the river at Bandar Seri Begawan


8 comments:

  1. So poetically penned. Sounds so culturally interesting.

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  3. Sounds and looks like an amazing time! Love to all, including the orangutans from afar :)
    -Mark Mendelsohn

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    1. Thanks Mark, it is absolutely amazing being here, I feel so privileged: the only really unspoilt jungle we have left...

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  4. U're back in Borneo! Any chance of crossing paths? I still owe you that bowl of Sarawak laksa!

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    1. Oh as usual I have typed you a reply and lost it! Lots of love from David and me, great to hear from you! We're had a wonderful time in Borneo but return to Europe next week, so no Barrio this time... Take care, keep in touch xxxx

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  5. We're here in Kuching. Next trip perhaps? Lotsa love from us xoxo

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  6. We're here in Kuching. Next trip perhaps? Lotsa love from us xoxo

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