A list of twenty things I would/will miss

A favourite spot by the Belait river.

A favourite spot by the Belait river.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the things I miss from home.  Today, I want to set the balance back and talk about the things that I know I will miss when we eventually leave Brunei.  I don’t know when that will be, and I am definitely not living here to leave.  But these are some of the things that I will be sad to say goodbye to when the time comes.

  • the food court at the river
  • Taj Kitchen
  • watermelon all year round
  • the pool all year round
  • cassava chips
  • half day Fridays
  • my friends
  • long beans
  • the fish market
  • never having to worry about the sea being too cold (too warm, too many jellyfish, sure.  But never too cold.)
  • cheap food and drinks
  • being able to easily buy ingredients for Thai curry pastes
  • driving to another country
  • cheap flights on Air Asia
  • yoga classes for $8/month
  • unlimited internet (even if it’s still slow)
  • being able to have no job
  • Milo shakes
  • fresh juices everywhere
  • not feeling weird when I don’t drink


A post-lunch wander

Our house, in the middle of our street

I go through phases with my walking (which, along with yoga, is pretty much my only form of exercise).  There are times when I just want to get out of the house and go.  I pop in my earphones, rock some sweet tunes (or sometimes some sweet Roald Dahl audio books) and I hit the road.  There are other times when I pretty much can’t be bothered.  Particularly when the times it would be most convenient to walk (while The Engineer’s at work) are meltingly hot, and require an equal amount of air conditioning time upon my return to restore the balance.  During these less-motivated times, I like to use my chores to make myself walk.  We are very fortunate to live close enough to most things in town that I am able to walk.  Walking also means I don’t have to find a park and work out the (slightly confusing) parking payment system.  So really, despite the melting, it’s a win.

After lunch today,  I got my things ready, and headed out for my walk.  I ended up walking for about an hour, which included:

  • walking to The Engineer’s work to meet him for our trip to the Land Transport Department (we are finally getting our Brunei driving licences!)
  • walking to the Land Transport Department,  If it weren’t for a whopping great fence in the way, this would have been a ridiculously short trip.  Even with the fence, it was a pretty quick walk.  Once we arrived, I got my form, filled it in, and headed through to the back office for the officer to review my documents (and yes, it was as nervewracking as it sounds).  There was a slightly hair moment when he looked at my New Zealand licence (issued in 2008), asked “Is this really you?” and looked back and forth between me and the licence several times, but things were mostly in order.
  • walking back to The Engineer’s work to get a copy of my IC form.  He hadn’t needed it for his application, so I hadn’t made a copy.  The Land Transport Department also didn’t have any copy facilities (I would have paid – there’s a money making tip for them!).
  • walking to the Land Transport Department once again to finalise my application.  Now I only have to return two more times to complete the process.  Once next week to pay and get my picture taken, and once more after that to collect the licence.
  • walking back through the carpark of The Engineer’s work, and discovering a random clothes market.  Markets are often popping up there, and apparently these clothing stalls as well as some evening food stalls will be there for the rest of the month.  I love it.
  • walking down a side road to get to the fish market.  Unfortunately, there weren’t many sellers open today (I have really got to learn when the best time for fish is – do any KB locals have a tip for me?)  But I managed to get a red snapper that looked nice.  And I also managed to resist the cold soft drinks at the convenience store.
  • walking back home, chores ticked, armpits sweaty, looking forward to some air conditioning.

When I write it all down, I’m somewhat surprised that it all took an hour.  The distances are not far at all.  But I suppose it was a couple of kilometres, plus a few stops.  And when it’s sunny and 33 degrees outside, things are just that bit longer and that bit meltier (what with that and yoga this morning, I think it’s going to be a two shower day.  At least.)  It wasn’t the most exciting walk (and I’m sure it doesn’t make the most exciting blog post), but it was a great example of what my life is like here.  And now that I’m home and sitting in the air conditioning looking back on it, it does seem a rather pleasant way to complete some errands.

A list of twenty things that I miss

(in no particular order)
– snuggly cuddly clothes and big fluffy slippers
– my friends and family
– Mexican takeaways
– the supermarket deli counter
– my colleagues
– Mt Taranaki
– being able to buy free range meat and eggs, organic veges, and other fancy ingredients
– Friday night drinks
– Burger fuel
– walking during the day without melting
– my awesome hairdresser
– the lemon tree in the backyard
– broccoli and zucchini
– winter boots
– the Hospice shop
– great brunch menus
– our crazy house
– the coastal walkway
– the library
– mountain biking



If there’s one good thing about having a slightly odd postal service  it’s this.

It’s like Christmas when everything arrives at once!


Even if the Customs desk at the post office is a slightly odd place to celebrate Christmas.

(Added bonus: Since I got so many parcels with such a big delay, they took my number and will now call me when any parcels arrive for us. Thanks Brunei Post. I take back (most of) my negative thoughts)