Thursday, 20 June 2013

More bumming around in Brunei

It's pretty quiet here on the blog and facebook, simply because we're laying pretty low and not doing a whole lot! It's now over two weeks since we got back from Singapore and we're STILL in Brunei. We must be one of their longest visiting yachts! We are in no hurry though, all we have to do is kill time until we are going to participate in the Borneo Race starting in Miri 1st of July. We have both been sick since we got back from Singapore, Phil had 39 in fever one day and then subsequent days with head aches, while I had cold - sore throat - cough and now 'just' head aches, a bit strange to be sick for such a long time! Luckily it's not quite bed-laying sick, just 'laying low' sick. And it has been nice that we have actually just been able to do very little, mainly just hanging out at the yacht club.

We have been into town (well, city I guess, it is a capital after all) a few times and the second Sunday when we were feeling better, we again did the dinghy racing. That time we actually had enough wind to sail and it was really good fun. Quite hard work constantly moving around for us lazy slackers, we both had sore muscles the next day! We improved vastly through the three races. The first one we came last (out of four in total), second race we capsized (totally my fault, but it was the most fun I thought, which I do know is a bit weird) but still finished third! The last race we won, amazingly, but of course all thanks to my clever boy friend :-).
Another reason we're still here, Phil has gotten a tempoary job cutting down the 10 ISO dinghy sails
 Two Norwegian boats just turned up, both round-the-world boats, the great thing is they both have young (ish) crew, one with little kids even. This week Phil and I have borrowed a car from one of the boat owning expats here who's away for a week, another example of how nice they all are. Anyway, yesterday we invited Camilla and Inger Johanne to join us visiting the Empire Hotel here in Brunei. It has a really funny background, beginning with the the Sultan's younger brother, Prince Jefri, who was the country's finance minister for a while. Typical bored rich kid, he went on an insane spending spree and among many other silly things, had the Empire hotel build, originally as a place to put the Sultan's visitors (as if the palace's 1788 rooms wouldn't be enough!). The hotel complex is huge and extremely lavish, gold, marble and columns everywhere. To our surprise we were actually allowed to just walk all over the place, which we of course though was great. We finished the visit with lunch from the hotel's own bakery, yummy sandwiches and fancy pantsy cakes! Ohh yeah, Prince Jefri was later sacked from the job and apparently is now a big embarrassment to the country.
Tomorrow is our one year anniversary since we left New Zealand (Gisborne) and I'll write up a summary similar to the one I did for our six month anniversary although I might be a day or three late with it.
Not from the Empire Hotel, but a random mall. Typical example of the extreme colourfulness and bling of Islamic womans' clothing

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