Lazy Day in Brunei

posted Feb 7, 2011, 6:45 AM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Feb 12, 2011, 2:28 PM ]
Yesterday morning and early afternoon in Brunei the rain was pouring down.  Every now and then I stepped outside onto my balcony to check out the weather situation and it was so warm but rainy.  I believe we are technically in their rainy season so no worries; I made the best of it.  I had a lot to catch up on my blog and work on my photos etc.  Dax was in heaven because he has not had the option to watch any TV lately due to school work incompletion so he loved the option to watch TV on a Sunday morning.  Darren finally awoke from the dead to join the living and was surprisingly raring to go.  I had just put in a full day’s work of writing, typing and blogging and I was a bit pooped.  We took a stroll around the grounds of the Empire Hotel and Country Club and they are quite extensive.  There are copious amounts of places to hideaway on your own and sunbathe or take the shade.  The Empire is directly on the South China Sea and it tends to be a bit rough at times so the Empire has created its own beach for safe swimming.  Also the sea can have jellyfish and I have been bit by those little buggers and it is not fun.

There are apparently Pygmy Elephants somewhere in the rain forests of this country and I would love to see them but I am not sure if I can get Darren on another organized tour.  Basically this country is one big rain forest and it rains a lot.  It is raining right now and it is now 8:15 am.  It looks like it is going to stop soon and then we can get on with our day of sightseeing in our car around Bandar Seri Begawan the capital of Brunei.  There are mosques and museums and handicraft centres to see.  Speaking of sightseeing, I got to do that yesterday afternoon in my own hotel room.  I went to our room through the connecting area to lock our patio door, apparently crime is nonexistent here in Brunei, but I was not worried about the Brunese (new word that I made up, how do you like it?)  I was worried about the tourists, so I locked it.  Well I was about to lock the door when I looked down and there was the biggest bee/hornet that I have ever seen.  He or she looked a bit dazed, I yelled anyways for Darren to come and get rid of this uninvited guest.  Darren got him or her out with a magazine without harming it.  I am in the rainforest and there are some strange things in the rain forest but that was a monster bee/hornet thing.  One bite from that thing and I could die or maybe it is totally harmless and just looks scary; kind of like me. 
It is time for another instant Nescafe coffee, yuk, I will never get used to this, yuk yuk yuk.  I really do miss my coffee maker and my coffee bean grinder from home.  How do all of these Asians and Europeans and South Africans and Egyptians and Jordanians etc drink this crap?  When we fly into the States for a week, I will be sure to enjoy my coffee maker that the resort provides.  I may even sleep with it, that is how much I miss a good cup of Joe.
When we were flying into Brunei one could not help but notice how large the buildings were.  I mistakenly took them for large apartment blocks.  Nope wrong again they are single family homes – mansions.  It is a good thing that Darren is driving and not Nadine, because I would crash the car while gawking at all of the mansions.  It is like Hollywood was dropped into the middle of the rainforest.  On our first drive out of the airport when we first got lost without our beloved GPS we noticed all of the Embassy homes lined up and down the streets and these homes are massive.  Come to think of it we must be the only Canadians here visiting in Brunei.  I know this because every Canadian that I mentioned Brunei to, they had no clue where it even was.  Many mistook it for being in the Middle East.  I would not bother mentioning it to any American because they are about 1400% worse with country locations than Canadians are.  Well anyways because we are probably the only Canadians vacationing in Brunei at present; how come we have not been invited for supper from the Canadian Embassy yet???  Ha ha ha.


The wealth of this country is staggering.  Brunei people do not pay income tax there is free education and free Medicare.  The highways are great and it is easy to get around.  The people are very friendly and polite.  The average house size makes my house look like a tiny shack.  The weather is warm, it does not snow here.  The only problem that I can forsee is I would find it hard to find a Catholic church; Brunei is predominantly of the Muslim faith.  But seriously what is not to like?  I wonder if they need any vice principals of the Cyber School kind?  Or maybe even a vice principal that is good with working with the problem students; I am not even sure they have any problem students here?  This would be a neat place to live for a while.  Heck if it was good enough for Michael Jackson then it should be good enough for Nadine Cannell.  For those of you who do not know this interesting tidbit; Michael Jackson lived here for a time to take solitude away from the press and his life during the whole pedophile scandal. “Jackson performed a free concert at the Jerudong Park Amphitheater in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on 16 July 1996, attended by 60,000 throughout the park. The concert was in celebration of the fiftieth birthday of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and was attended by the Brunei royal family, but not by Sultan himself. “  Apparently there was crotch grabbing like all of his concerts and this was not approved of in this very Muslim country.  We saw MJ in concert in Germany in 1988 and there was a reported 75,000 people in attendance.  The amount of people was scary and we kept to the very back because so many people were getting trampled and people were being driven away in ambulances for heat stroke and being crushed.  Other than that it was a phenomenal concert.  Darren bought me the tickets for my birthday present.

There are only approximately 400,000 people living here in Brunei and I am guessing that their immigration is pretty tough to get through, but let’s just say that we did live here for a while; we would not have any trouble being entertained.  When we were shopping Darren bought 3 stylist pens for painting on his IPAD and the grand total for the 3 of them was 18 dollars.  How is it that these things are produced so cheaply?  Also we can purchase a multi game DS device that has 80 games on it for 70 dollars.  These would not be allowed to be sold in Canada and to buy a DS game In Canada you have to spend usually around 40 dollars.  We are still looking into this device to see if it is compatible with Dax’s DS.  Maybe if the school picks up then Dax can have a big fat reward at the end of the rainbow.  You can buy not rent, new movies for 2 dollars.  I wish I had a DVD player in our room and I could catch up on some missed blockbusters during these rainy days.


Well the sun is coming through the clouds, good timing, I am ready to begin the day here in Brunei – Borneo the land of the ancient head-hunters; I wonder what we will explore today?