The Trip to Brunei

posted Feb 5, 2011, 8:41 PM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Feb 12, 2011, 2:24 PM ]
We had Made pick us up at 6 am to catch the first flight to KL.  When we landed in KL we found out that there is actually two terminals and the one we needed was actually 20 minutes away by taxi.  We quickly bought our 30 dollar fare and jumped into a taxi to KUL international.  We had flown in on AirAsia to KL and because it is a value carrier it does not fly into the main terminal.  We had to fly out on Malaysia Airlines and that is why we had to blitz to the bigger airport.  You learn something new every day don’t you?  We had just enough time in KUL to go to White Coffee Company and pick up some food because we had not eaten yet that day.  Who knew that in KUL there was a second set of security to go through before getting onto your flight?  So the security people were nice to us and let us sit by them once we went through security with our food and drinks but we had to eat and drink it in front of them.  So I ploughed into my chicken curry and iced coffee.  They were both delicious and Daxtin had peanut butter sandwiches and a grape drink.  He loved his quick meal too.  The nice thing was that it was cheap for airport food and good tasting.  I would highly recommend White Coffee Company in the KUL airport. 
We got on our second flight and everything was going well until the flight attendants overlooked me twice by two different people.  Darren was sleeping in the row ahead of me, I had moved back behind to an empty row and Daxtin was in the washroom.  The female flight attendant actually gave my sleeping husband an orange juice which she put down his tray and placed the drink on it.  She looked at me and passed by me.  I thought to myself OK she has to get something right, don’t jump to conclusions.  Then the male flight attendant walked right by me after looking at me and then I started to get mad.  Every male received a drink on the flight that I could see and I could not see any females, so I thought that it was a sexist thing and maybe males get served first.  Well my head almost exploded at this point.  Then I said calm down Nadine, maybe they just did not serve me because I was the only white woman on board??  No that could not be right, racism in this day and age on a flight?  Well they both walked by me again for the second time and did not offer me a drink and one guy ahead of me was having his second, so someone had to pay for this rude blunder on the part of Malaysian Air employees.  I really don’t know what their problem was but they were about to find out about my problem.  Anyways I calmly gave them a piece of my mind and how rude their behaviour was coming across; the male apologized and ran back and got me a juice.  He must have told the female because she came and gave me another juice and also apologized and then she offered me a glass of red wine as well which I deservedly took from her.  I drank to my heart’s content and ate well too.  Malaysian Air still hands out free meals and I had my second curry dish of the day and it was fabulous.  I also received 3 Ferrero Rocher chocolates which I used to bribe Daxtin with in order to do his schoolwork.

I needed to take the time to fill out the Brunei landing card and on it there is such juxtaposition.  On one side is Welcome to Brunei and the other side is the warning in red letters in a red box that if you enter the country with drugs you are subjecting yourself to the death penalty or in other words -  'we will kill you'.  I personally hate drugs and have seen drugs destroy so many of my student’s lives, so I abhor them. Canada is way too lenient with drug offences but there has to be a happy medium somewhere?  So we entered into Brunei and the airport was smaller than Saskatoon’s and you could not help but notice the check stop for foreigners to register their wine bottles.  Brunei does not sell alcohol anywhere in Brunei.  Foreigners are allowed to enter with one bottle of wine each and it has to be registered.  I was going to purchase a bottle of wine in KUL but ran out of time.

We rented a car and thank God because the restaurant prices here at the Empire Hotel and Country Club are simply outrageous.  We went and looked at one of the menus last night at the lounge where only appetizers and small meals were available.  It was one of the least formal of the 7 restaurants here at the Empire and we almost had to laugh at the prices.  All of the appetizers were a minimum of 18 dollars.  We decided to drive somewhere and found a McDonalds and all ate for under 17 dollars.  The Brunei dollar is a bit less than ours.  We were happy and full of saturated fat and salt. 
We were driving blind without our beloved GPS because Darren thought that he had the map of Brunei.  We got lost for about 20 minutes in the rain on the way back to the hotel.  He just informed me that he now has a workable copy of Brunei, yeh!!!

After eating at McDonalds we shopped around at the grocery store and picked up some snack food for Dax and yogurt and fruit and granola for breakfasts.  We found a shoe store to buy Dax some Croc knockoffs for 8 dollars to replace the Dawgs that he lost in Thailand and we also purchased him a DS charger which his father left in Singapore.  There appeared to be very good prices and allot of selection so we will probably return to this area today for more food since we can not afford to eat at the Empire.  Just a note on the Empire Golf and Country Club which we are staying at; we got a deal on Interval and purchased a whole week for under 800 dollars. 
We have two connecting Deluxe rooms with two balconies.  The Sultan’s brother built this hotel and apparently he had mucho money at his disposal.  The lobby is jaw dropping gorgeous and the biggest I have ever seen.  It is a huge multi building complex that has its own movie theatre and bowling alley.  The bellboy took us to our rooms and we walked around and explored.  Our two bathrooms could have a semi back up into them, they are huge and marbled out and gorgeous and picture worthy. 
The rooms themselves are almost twice the size of a normal hotel room and they are tripped out with decadent fixtures like brass door handles and remote controlled window drapes and blinds also the ice bucket is solid silver and the tea service in the room has real silver spoons etc.  The chairs are feather stuffed and ultra comfortable and the beds and carpets are pretty.  We have direct South China Sea views and these are pretty as well.  There is a kid’s club which we will check out today because Dax wants to play with kids, he said.  He made friends with a little Chinese boy on the first flight yesterday and they played almost the whole way.