Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Well, it's the 19th Arpil now, and this is the first chance I've had to update this blog. The flight to Brunei was pretty good. I had a window seat and nobody next to me - so I got to sleep some and read a lot.

My first impression of Brunei was - man it's like Brisbane pre summer storm - it was REALLY humid - and it was about to rain. At the transfer counter there was a young man working - and working it hard to sell day tours. Since I wanted to do one, it wasn't hard to be persuaded.

So the next day, I loaded up my luggage and had my camera ready......

Fist we went to have a peak at the Sultan's Palace. You can't go in (except on two dys of the year - but this was not one of those days).

Then we had some lunch before the big push after lunch. We went to the Royal Armoury - where all the ceromonial bits and bobs used for the coronation. Used once and put on display!

The we went to a Mosque - it was one of many that the current Sultan has had built (along with introducing Secondary Schools, of which he's had lots built, several Mosques and a few hospitals - amongst ofther things). I may not agree with the subjugation of women by the Islamic church, but I did scarf-up (luckily I had one with me for the cold). I took quite a few photos - because the architecture was gorgeous.

There is a whole community that actually lives over the water in Brunei - the houses are on stilts. Culturally and historically, these houses are important and the Sultan is currently systematically organising funds for these houses to be fixed up. The houses date back about 600 years, but you can't tell that from the outside - unfortunately the outside is deceptive, because they look terrible. We were lucky though - we had high tea in one and the insides give away their age. From the outside, the houses look like they couldn't have running water or electricity - but they have all the modcons - aircon, tv and and and.

Then we went on to a couple of different museums and ended up at the airport, feeling tired, but happy. The airport was a nightmare. My blood pressure must have gone up 10 points when I saw the crowd. I thought we'd never get processed! Turns out it was mostly relatives of those about to go on pilgramige (to Mecca).

Easter with Mama and Papa was great and nice and relaxing. We had a gathering of all the Kegelklub that came over to AU in 2000 - so it was fantastic to see everyone again.

I am now in Sweden (where it's still closer to Winter than in Jemgum), but it's shaping up to be a fantastic day. I'm visiting my mad sister Anne and her family - which is the best. I am looking forward (a LOT) to a couple of days of doing nothing at all, and just catching up with Anne.

I can't seem to load the photos at the moment, so they will have to wait.

Till next time.... S

1 comment:

Bernie said...

Great Reading Sharon

Keep it up.