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Overseas Assignment 2009: Bored Trip to Brunei – Part 2: Starting Work

Brunei Chicken Curry Food

Despite Brunei being a hardcore Islamic country, the Government is quite tolerant of restaurants serving pork dishes. This is because of the sizeable Chinese community in Brunei which makes it easy to get a good dish of Bakuteh. So when I had a chance to switch to the good old chicken curry, it was a welcomed dish.

Continuing from Part 1, I have been busy with work but surprisingly the drive to work and back was not as stressful as one would experience in KL. Even at peak hours, there is hardly any traffic jam and driving has been a breeze.

The daily routine has been very pretty much “routine” till now – wake up at about 7 in the morning, walk down for breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant at 8, my buddy arrives at 9 to pick me up and I am back from work at about 6 in the evening. Sometimes, we detour for dinner, other times; I rather go back to the hotel and have something light and then sleep.

Jollibee Fast Food Brunei

There are plenty of fast-food restaurants on the way back to the hotel but the menu from one called Jollibee looked rather interesting and their chicken curry dish was not too bad. Lunch has been more colourful with my buddies at work been bringing me to different places on daily basis.

This is probably helped by the fact that there is no traffic jam during lunchtime and parking in front of restaurants is free. Today I saw an Indian restaurant which stated “banana leaf” – probably we will try to make it to this place by this week.

As compared to my other travels, I decided not to snap a lot of photos – sometimes I get these weird looks from the patrons at the restaurants. This is expected as there are not many Indians in this country and when I encounter them, I usually get a friendly smile or gestures from them.

Japanese Food Brunei

This was a real treat when my client’s staff decided to switch the meals to Japanese one day with plenty of dishes ordered especially my favourite, freshly sliced salmons, sushi and baby octopus. The order is done using a tab that sends the order directly to the kitchen.

One thing I noticed about Brunei is that there are hardly any taxis around and this was confirmed by Bruneians who I talked to.

Brunei Dollar Money

That is not surprising since cars here are cheaper (compared to Malaysia, of course) and fuel is cheap too – about BND0.53 per litre (I gather without any subsidies) and since there are no traffic jams and tolled highways, Bruneians are really capitalising on their cheap fuel.

So, with no taxis around, I have resorted to walking to the nearby shops for food and sundry items. It was a tiring, sweaty walk but I guess this was a blessing in disguise to get myself some long overdue exercise (the fact that it feels safe to walk alone helps too).

The only problem with that is that Brunei is also experiencing a bad haze – the quality of air is far from ideal for a good evening walk.

To be continued in Part 3.

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