Friday, February 29, 2008

My first......

A while ago, the lunch gang was discussing our first album (cds or cassette tapes). My first album was a cassette tape of a compilation of hit songs at that time, called Mega Hit Vol. 4 (or was it Vol. 3?). I got it when I was in Form 2; so it was in 1991, almost 17 years ago. At the time, everyone at school had a walkman and to stay with the crowd I got my own walkman (for people who really know me, they can really relate to this; I have been known to buy things, not because I needed them, but because someone else had bought them and I did not want to be the one not cool enough to have them! Acer, gimp-styled PDA case, HP hand-held PC, Sony Clio and the list goes on......).

But anyway, back to the album. Mega Hits 4 (or was it Vol. 3?) was the first original (not pirated or dubbed) cassette tape that I bought. It was my first English album and it introduced me to Vanilla Ice, Wilson Phillips, Paula Abdul and the likes.

Somehow during our discussion, we realised that at some point we had the album in our possession, either purchased or borrowed. We all had fond memories of the album and we could recall most of the songs in the album (tho I cannot really remember them now!). When we got back to the office, we set ourselves some tasks to find out more about this album and thought it would be cool to actually collect the songs again. After various searches through Yahoo and Google, we could not find much information about the album. Probably because it was made and marketed especially for South-east Asian market.

Last week, I was talking to this good friend of mine about this particular DJ from Kristal FM who played a lot of old skool songs in her show. We then talked about songs that were released in the 80's and 90's. I proceeded to tell him about our frustration in trying to find the Mega Hit series. I was then pleasantly surprised when he told me that he had the first two volumes of the Mega Hit series.
I now have both cds with me. So if you fancy a trip down the memory lane, just let me know. I may be able to lend them to you.
And if you have Mega Hit Vol. 3 or 4, would you mind if I borrow it?

Lets support local singers.....

I first heard this song during our emblem last month and thought that was a good song. The harmony was good and their voices were very nice.

This song is called "Kau Tetap Milikku" by Maria and the Seeds.

I am now searching for "Rahsia Hati" by the Seeds.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Here's a birthday greeting to WonderWoman!

Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki.

So, Lemon Grass hey? Mari kita ke sanaaaaaa....................!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So who's got a new toy?

I do!

I got myself a new toy, in the form of Sony Ericcson P1i. It's a touch screen mobile phone, complete with wi-fi, on top of the normal diet of bluetooth, external memory card (in this case a Memory Stick Micro), infra-red and WAP. It also sports a 3.2MP camera; not bad considering just a few years ago the top of the line point-and-shoot digital cameras were mostly 3.2MP cameras. There is also a small camera at the front on the phone, which enables you to conduct a video call (but how many people actually do video calling??). It's a 3G phone, so when DST finally launches 3G (some time in April I heard), this phone can still be used.

This phone replaces its bulkier and heavier older cousin, the P900i.

The keypads on the phone are something new to me. The letters on the keypads are 'not alphabetically arranged', you know abc, def, ghi, and so on. The phone has QWERTY keypads, similar to the ones on your computer keyboard. Trying to input into the phone will need a bit of practice too, as two letters are assigned to one button. So if you want Q, you press the left side of the button and if you want W, you press the rigth hand side of the button. See the picture and you will know what I mean.

(Update: the phone is even more difficult to use while driving; I know it's a bad habit, but everyone must have done it at least once before. So hopefully, with the difficulty, I'll drop this bad habit! So the phone is really useful!)

I love the fact that the phone has wi-fi connection. I am not one who would be lugging a laptop around if I happen to join the gang for coffee somewhere with internet access. So this phone will now enable me to do some net surfing while on the go. This will be especially useful as I often now miss the football matches during the weekend and I can now keep up with the football scores via the phone's wi-fi connection. And perhaps one day I can post my blog from the phone?

I am loving this new toy!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Getting swarmed by Facebook!

I joined the social networking website Facebook around four months ago. When I first started, I really liked the idea of adding applications, where I could poke my friends, throw silly things to them, give them gifts and whatever else my heart desire.

Now, four months down the line, my Gmail (which I used to register my Facebook account with) account is getting hijacked by the various Facebook-affiliated application providers, which sent emails for whatever event. I definitely did not need to know if someone viewed my profile or if someone took a stupid quiz and challenged me to better his/her score. Nowadays, 90% of the emails that I received through my Gmail account are these stupid notification emails.

What else do I hate about Facebook now? I hate it whenever I do some 'what type of lover/kisser/human being/animal' kind of quiz, I need to send emails and invite my friends to do the same quiz so that I can find out 'what type of lover/kisser/human being/animal' I am. That is spam, isn't it?? And what irritates me more is that sometimes I need to invite something like 50 friends to get the result, where I currently only have 42 friends! Are they trying to tell me to make more friends??

There seems to be an endless amount of applications on Facebook. After not logging in for a few days, now I have 50 invites for applications. I am just going to ignore them now; I wished there was this function where I could just ignore them all with the press of just one button.

Now I have 224 applications on my profile. I do not know if anyone else experiences this, but somehow my Internet Explorer slows down a lot, or worse still freezes, whenever I go to Facebook.

I think I will sit down properly one of these days and delete all those applications that I do not really need. I do not want to delete my account on Facebook; I agree it's one of the best place to keep in touch with friends, long-lost or not. I just think I need to manage my account properly.

Vantage Point

I am no Barry Norman or Jonathan Ross (for the uninitiated, these two gentlemen were movie critics on 'Film', a movie review television program on BBC when I was studying in the UK; I could not find the RTB/RTM equivalent of these men), but I will try to write a little something about one of the two movies that I watched over the weekend.

WARNING: May content spoilers!

My weekend gang and I watched Vantage Point at the Mall Cinema. It starred Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox (he of the Jack Shephard fame from Lost) and Forest Whitaker (Academy Award Winner for 'The Last King of Scotland') among other actors that I did not really recognise. The movie revolved around an assassination attempt on the President of the United States of America during an international summit. The story was told from 5 different perspective, each from the different characters of the movie. The movie as a whole was good; I'd give it 7 out of 10. There were a few things that were nagging me till now. I am not a security expert, but having the most powerful man in the world appear on an outdoor stage during a summit to fight terrorism must be a crazy idea. Won't it be a security nightmare trying to ensure the safety of Mr. President during such event? Won't you think that the terrorists might want to show their might during the summit? And I think Matthem Fox's character in the movie is quite insignificant; I even thought he was in the movie to pull the ladies into the cinema.

Because the movie revolved around 5 different perspective of the same event, everytime a new perspective was to be told, the scene went back to the 'starting point' of that event. I overheard someone behind our row complaining that she was getting confused with the event getting told over and over again, tho from different perspective. There was also a point when someone shouted a character's name, as if to guess from whose perspective the movie was to be told.

Go ahead and watch the movie whenever you can. The Americans who spent USD22.8 million watching this movie over the 22nd Feb weekend and sending it to the top of the USA Box Office cannot be wrong, can they?

Watch the trailer here.


I got this pencil sharpener from our stationery supply room. I somehow missed the point of the sharpener having 2 holes. Both are of the same size, therefore for pencils of the same size. Apparent--ly it has something to do with the sharpened end of the pencil, i.e. how sharp you want your pencil to be.

Clever marketing ploy?


Condolences to a good friend of mine, Cookiedough, and her family on the sudden demise of her beloved father. He passed away peacefully in the morning of Monday, 18 Safar 1429 Hijrah/25 February 2008.

I am saddened and shocked on hearing the news. You are always in my thoughts and hang in there, babe.

Moga rohnya dicucuri rahmat. Al-Fatihah......

Friday, February 22, 2008

Selamat Hari Kebangsaan

Here's congratulating my fellow Bruneians on the occasion of the 24th National Day of Brunei Darussalam.

Remember what JF Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Go here to visit the official website of the National Day Celebration.

Enjoy the long weekend. If you are going somewhere, please drive with care. Do not forget your seatbelts and never use your mobile phones while driving.

A visit to Pusat Ehsan

On Thursday 21 February, a group of us from the Technical Services Function visited Pusat Ehsan in Kg. Bengkurong. It was part of our monthly healthy lifestyle program (HLP). It was decided that HLP programmes this year will not be limited to sports events. The visit to Pusat Ehsan came under the social responsibility programme where we would try to reach out and do a little something to give back to the society.

After a quick lunch break at MOD Thai Restaurant in Jerudong, we proceeded to Pusat Ehsan. Upon our arrival at the Centre, we were briefed by the Acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dato Paduka Haji Alimin bin Hj Abd Wahab, whose brother was the Managing Director of BLNG, Dato Paduka Haji Hamdillah. We were briefed on the organisation, mission and vision, activities, programmes and the aspiration of the Centre. Started in 1999, the Centre currently hosts about 40 special people, undergoing different rehabilitation and education programmes. In short, the programmes are designed to help prepare these special people to live independently in the society. For the younger ones, the programmes are also designed to prepare them for mainstream education.

It was really amazing to learn that the centre operates mainly on donations by companies, social organisations and the public. We also learnt that many kind-hearted Bruneians make regular donations to the Centre, in the form of monetary and non-monetary donations, such as kitchen supplies, computers and furniture among many other items. There are also many volunteers who spent the free time working at the Centre. I am really proud to be part of this caring and kind-hearted society.

After the briefing, we visited the many classes at the Centre, each running their own programme. As most of us were first time visitors to the Centre, the visit opened our eyes to these special people. Many hearts were touched and some people were trying hard not to shed any tears, especially when we saw these special people trying their best to be part of the society. Their determination and will to learn left an impression on us. If these people with some impairment can learn things, why do some able-bodied people just sit down and wait for help to come to them?

One of the classes that we visited was the handicraft class. Here, a group of these special people were making hand-made bookmarks and greeting cards, which would be sold to the public. Last year for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, BLNG ordered 3,000 hand-made Hari Raya cards as the official BLNG Hari Raya card. At the time of our visit, they were busy trying to meet an order of 3,000 bookmarks from one of the government ministries. Armed with scissors, cutters and rulers, we were supposed to help them with the order. Alas, we did not have time to actually help them and this left many of us disappointed.

Many of us decided that the memorable visit to the Centre left a lasting impression on us and this visit will also never be easily forgotten. Some of us vowed to return to the Centre in the future to spend some time and volunteer at the Centre.

The media reports on the visit can be accessed at:
1. Borneo Bulletin: Technical staff of BLNG Sdn Bhd visits Pusat Ehsan
2. The Brunei Times: BLNG staff visit Pusat Ehsan
3. Media Permata: BLNG adakan lawatan, kerja amal di Pusat Ehsan

If you would like to volunteer at Pusat Ehsan or buy any of the hand-made items (such as greeting cards and bookmarks), please go to the Centre itself at Simpang 66-30-60, Kg Bengkurong, Jalan Bengkurong-Masin, Brunei Darussalam. Its website will be launched on 2 March 2008.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

When I was small......

I found these two photos and thought I might share them with you.

I was not exactly sure initially if this was me. The hand-writing at the back of the photo said the kid was my sister, but some of my siblings were sure that the cute kid was me. Anyway, I think I was probably two years old at that time. We lived in one of the government barracks in Kuala Belait and the picture was taken at the back of our barrack.

This picture was taken in 1980 when my family and I went for a holiday trip to Singapore. If I am not mistaken, we were visiting the Singapore Zoo when the picture was taken. Yeah, somehow the photographer managed to miss the top half of my head; a skill that I sadly inherited!

Can you do Treasure Hunt?

Someone asked me a while ago if Treasure Hunts were easy to take part in.

The answer is yes..... but... Yeah, there are buts. Firstly, you need a good team; one with team members who listen to everyone's opinion and do not argue.

Secondly, it is really important to give tasks to each team member. During the three NBT Treasure Hunts, I was appointed as the driver (well, probably because the car was mine!). As a driver, my main tasks were to follow the navigator's instruction and to watch out for those tulips (tulips being the markers/milestones that indicated where each treasure would be located). Being the driver, you would have to watch your odometer too, as it would be really easy to miss the treasures and you would have to turn back and look for them again, thus wasting precious time. Even if you are only appointed as the driver, if you are good and sharp-eyed, you could also help to look for the treasures (and I did contribute some!).

It is also important to keep things light-hearted and cool, especially towards the end of the treasure hunt, when you start to get tired as you would start really early in the morning. At this time, having arguments would be the last thing that you needed.

I do not think you need to do a lot of homework before the Treasure Hunt. One important thing to remember is that you must not think literally when you try to solve the questions. More often than not, you would have to think out of the box and sometimes the answers just do not make any sense.

Probably, being a VM helped too! So did having three brainies in the teams. In 2006 and 2007, my three team mates were doctors. (Sorry, Jest!)

So see you at this year's NBT Treasure Hunt!

P.s. This post is dedicated to the two teams that I was part of and both times we were the second runner-up.

2006: Anny, Tat, Me, Amri

2007: Kwang, Tat, Me, Ady

12 years ago......

I was doing some spring cleaning and came across this picture.

This picture was taken in 1995, when I was in Pre-University 1 (or otherwise known as Lower Secondary 6) at Maktab Sains. At that time, Maktab Sains was temporarily located in Rimba; now the school complex is used by Sekolah Menengah Rimba.

I think I know what more than half of the people in the picture are doing for a living. Some are doctors, some work for BSP/BLNG, one is a pilot and at least one works for the army (and coincidentally I met him recently during the Ulu Belait trip recently). The teacher was Syed Abd Rauf (or is it Ravoof or something?). I am not too sure if he is still in Brunei.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Half-sized food spread...

Got this from a friend......

A certain hotel in Gadong is offering a 'semi-buffet' at its restaurant. This is not the first time they have a semi-buffet; there had been a few semi-buffets over the course of last year.

I was just wondering what semi-buffet was...... Was it when the appetisers and main dishes were included in the buffet but desserts were charged separately? Or would it mean that you would only be allowed to take half of the buffet spread?

But the price of the semi-buffet does not seem to really make sense of its 'halved' size..... B$25 per adult for a semi-buffet? Bit too pricey me thinks.

Take a search on Wiktionary and it did not return any result. There isn't any entry on Wikipedia either.

It must have been a made-up word then. May be the hotel is trying to be fancy??

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My car and I

So how do I like my new car? I like it. It drives very well, the power was good, the ride is smooth and it responds to curves very well.

So no complaint there then? Not really...... The air-conditioning system is something else. Ever since I got the car in October '07, I had to take it back to the workshop 5 times due to the air con failure. Yes, you read it correctly, 5 times! So it was like once a month. The problem started just about a month after I got it. The air con just failed; instead of cooling, refreshing air, it blew hot, sweltering air. Got it sorted out and so happily I went away as I was assured that that was the end of my problem. But, barely a month after that, the same thing happened. Obviously I was not happy and took it back to the workshop. This time the workshop blamed it on the person who did the last job. I was told that probably the guy did not charge up the air con system properly, resulting in a loss of refrigerant.

So was it the end? Nope! It happened for the third time. Took it to the workshop and clearly expressed my disappointment. The workshop guy was trying very hard to help, but let it slip that my car was not the first one to suffer the air con failure. So I was intrigued; apparently a few other cars have had the same problem. Nevertheless, it was sorted out and I went away, hoping that was the last of it.

But no! It happened for the forth time. This time I called the dealership and complained bitterly. The workshop that I brought the car to for the first three instances was an authorised workshop. So I opted to take it to the dealership's workshop. Now, the service manager said that the car manufacturer had identified some problem with a batch of the car and offered a solution. I told that two hoses would be replaced.

Barely a month since the last visit to the workshop, the air con failed again. That was the last straw. I called the dealership and spoke to the Sales Manager. Obviously I was not a happy bunny. I complained endlessly; at one point I told him that I might have lost them a few customers as I had not said anything nice about the car. Well, I did not really lose them any customers, but I thought it sounded dramatic and probably caused the Sales Manager to sweat a bit. I also told them that I barely drove the car since the last repair as the thought that the air con might fail always lingered in my mind and I was in denial about the air con problem. The Sales Manager also informed me that there was another car which had the same problem. I asked some owners and they told me they had brought their cars in at some point because of the air con. Anyway, I was told to bring it back for a more thorough check. I told him that I did not have the luxury of skipping work to bring it to Bandar for check-ups. So he offered to pick the car up from KB and lent me a car for my use (that was another story of its own). I was just told that during the last visit, instead of changing 2 hoses, the service guys thought that one of them was still ok and did not change it. The Sales Manager was quite convinced that that was the problem and changing it might solve the problem altogether. As I type this, the car is still being repaired and I should get it back tomorrow.

I did some investigations and found the following links quite unnerving: here and here. Apparently, the failure of the air con was caused by a design error, where the air con system was heated by the hot turbo exhaust or something like that.

So if you asked me if I would have bought the car if I had known the problem earlier..... I do not know really. Apart from the air con, everything about the car is good.

Oh, the story about the replacement car: When I got it, the fuel tank was empty and I had to fork out my own money for the petrol. Yeah, the dealership is not that good with the little things like this. When I first got my car, the tank was less than half full; my sister bought a Honda on the same day and her tank was brimming with petrol.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kuala Ingai In Pictures

It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words... So here I am giving you some pictures and many thousands words.

Many thanks to Kakarrot, Kicks and Tom for allowing me to use their pictures.

WARNING: Identities will be revealed.

The gang on a log somewhere along the river. We were supposed to help getting the boat pass under the log, but we saw some people clicking away, so we posed for them.

A group photo of all the people who managed to reach Batu Melintang.

Batu Melintang; it literally is a rock that goes across the river.

The first waterfall, the imaginatively-named Wasai No.1.

Crossing a river. Why? To get to the other side! Somewhere there, with the water going waist high, suddenly my mind kept reminding me of piranhas.

Bulgemeister and RunningDiva on a log crossing.

I thought this was very Blair Witch-esque!

RunningDiva getting a leech bite on her shoulder. I thought it looked like a snake bite.

Bulgemeister topping up on his energy and sugar levels, before starting the 5 hour-trek back to the base camp.

The water level was very low on the day we arrived in Kuala Ingai.

The water was high the day we left Kuala Ingai. The boat ride was almost four hours shorter than earlier expected.

Lastly, a group of 'Orang Kebanaran' in the river.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CNY 2008

Regardless of your faith, here's wishing you all a very happy year of the rat. Hope it brings happiness, prosperity, peace, wealth and good health.

Enjoy the festivity.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wilderness Weekend: The Ingai Report

Tiring. Exhausting. Long walk. Feet killing. Dehydrating. Scenic. Invigorating. Exciting. Exhilarating. Refreshing. Very green. Loving it. Well worth it. These were some of the things said by everyone who were on the working visit to Kuala Ingai and managed to reach the last waterfall.

We set off from Pengkalan Sungai Mau in Mukim Bukit Sawat, Belait after a brief breakfast stop in Sungai Liang. After enduring a 2-hour boat ride and numerous leg cramps, we reached our rest stop in Sukang. As we reached Sukang, words got around that one of the boats capsized 15 minutes after leaving Pengkalan Sungai Mau. The boat had hit a floating log and lost an engine and the rear half of the boat. Fortunately, all people onboard were safe. However, one of them had to withdraw from the trip as he had lost his bag, which held his personal belongings including mobile phones and an MP3 player.

After a quick lunch, we all set off for Kuala Ingai, Mukim Melilas. If we thought the first leg of the boatride was slow, this was even slower, especially with more floating logs and the low water level. There were a few times that we had to get off the boat as it had to pass under logs that had fallen across the river. During one of the stops, RunningDiva (one of the two ladies in the trip) managed to accidentally drop my camera bag into the water. I had put my camera in a water-tight zipper plastic bag, so my camera was safe. But yeah, I got me all worried and only picked up the courage to check if it had been spoilt when we eventually arrived at the base camp, almost 4 hours after we left Sukang.

The base camp in Kuala Ingai was not exactly Empire or even the Belalong camp. Nevertheless, everything was already made ready for us and it was as luxurious as we could have wished for. The initial party of Belait District people and army had prepared the site very well and they left us with nothing else to do to the camp site. The base camp consisted of a sleeping tent, with more than 40 beds arranged in 2 rows and a makeshift kitchen. Probably because they had not expected any lady to be in the party, there was no proper toilet/changing facility provided. The initial party had to be commended for their effort to quickly build the toilet/changing facility. As soon as we arrived, we chose our own 'bed' to sleep on and it apparently caused some problem initially as some of us ended up sleeping at their least favourite spot, like towards the end of the tent. So some shuffling had to be done, but still some people were not too happy, and they had to live with it! One of the first things that we did when we arrived there was to freshen up after spending the best part of the day travelling in a boat. Since there was no toilet facility, we decided to take a dip in the river. There was something about camping that brought out the unexpected from us. Some of us had not brought any swimming gear or even shorts, so had to resort taking a dip in the river in their underwears.

While waiting for dinner, we had some card games. I learnt to play this new game, called Bluff. Dinner was cooked by the District Office staff and consisted of canned sardines and pineapple cubes. When you were in the middle of the jungle, sardine became everyone's favourite dish! After the dinner, we had a briefing session led by the Penghulu of Mukim Labi. We were briefed on the long walk that we would have to do the following day and we were advised to sleep early, which we wisely followed. By 10pm that night, we were all sound asleep. Well, some of us were till one point when a certain person in our party snored loudly and apparently almost made someone to smack that person in frustration!
The next day breakfast consisted of bread and jam, boiled eggs and biscuits. For the expedition to the waterfalls (wasai) and hot springs, we were divided to groups, each led by an experienced guide. We set off almost immediately after breakfast. We walked through the forest floor, river streams, on logs that had been fell across the river so that we could walk on the logs to cross the river, up and down often muddy slopes and mud, and got bitten by numerous insects and the odd one or two leeches. The first destination, an abandoned camp site, was reached after a 2-hour walk. Immediately after that, we reach a natural rock formation called "Batu Melintang" which literally meant a rock that lied across the river. The rock actually separated a lake from the river. After a quick round of picture taking, we set off for the first hot spring which was reached after a 10-minute walk. The water was not actually hot; it was warmer than the river stream that flowed nearby. We then set off for the first wasai (waterfall). To reach the wasai, we had to walk for almost half an hour before reaching the top of a hill. We had to actually walk through a trail that branched off from the main walking trail at the top of the hill. However, the walk down the hill was actually worth it as we reached the wasai at the foot of the hill. The water flowed with a ferocious current and if one were to be carried off by the current, he would eventually drop into a lake some 10 metre below. The water was cold and refreshing. We all took a dip in the water and it took a lot of coaxing from one of our guides for us to leave for our next destination.
The next destination was a second hot spring. The water was warmer than the first one. Some of us had run out of water and we were encourage to refill our water bottles with the hot spring water. Needless to say, the water smelt unappetising and you could actually taste sulphur. I could not really stomach it but I had no other choice! The final leg of our walk took us for the ultimate destination, a taller waterfall and a cave on its top.

Arriving more than 4 hours after we set off at the base camp, we finally arrived at the final waterfall. The sound of the waterfall encouraged us in our remaining last gasps of breath to reach this wonderful place. Its breath-taking view was enough to make us drop our bags and run for the lake at the foot of the waterfall. The water was even more refreshing than the first waterfall. We could not resist the children in us to splash water to everyone and to just stand under the cascading water. We just could not care if our feet turned pale and became pruned! For afar the cascading water of the waterfall resembled the map of Brunei (you just have to use your imagination a bit!). The cave at the top of the waterfall led to another part of the waterfall, which was equally beautiful.
After a quick bite or two (of Take It chocolate bar, courtesy of the Belait District Office), we left the waterfall to return to our base camp. I thought the walk was faster, but someone in our group hurt his knee when he slipped on a muddy slope and this slowed down our pace a lot. On our return journey, we could not stop at any of the places that we visited earlier in the day as we tried to reach the base camp by sunset. On the final hour of the walk, it started to rain quite heavily and this slowed us down much further. The day was getting darker and the rain got heavier as our slow trek back to the base camp progressed further. I felt sorry for the person with the injured knee as he practically dragged his leg during the last hour of walking. When we reached the base camp, we were greeted by a flash of lightning and a thunderclap! I had mistaken it for someone's flash camera and was stopped dead on my tracks as the thunder roared above our heads. RunningDiva was startled by the lightning and thunder and for a second she looked lost and got rooted on her spot. We practically sreamed our heads off, telling her to make a run for our tent. As soon we reached the tent, we binged on any food that we could grab, just to give us back the energy that we had spent walking from early morning until late afternoon.

Dinner on that second night was simpler; canned chicken curry was served with mixed vegetable. We were so tired that we all slept by 9 o'clock that evening. We all agreed that it was probably the first time in a very long time that we slept really early on a Saturday night! That night someone else in the party took over the loudest snorer title! Also one of the two guys who slept next to me was mumbling something in his sleep.

The next day, we were treated to a more special breakfast of corned beef fried rice! The water level had rose overnight and it would ease our boat trip back to Pengkalan Sungai Mau very much. At one point, someone with Global Positioning System (GPS) told that we were going 5 times faster than the trip 2 days earlier. On the way back, we stopped by for a quick visit to the Melilas Long House. To reach the long house, we walked along a 700ft (~200m)-long wooden walkway. Most of the residents in this long house have converted to Islam. Considering more than five families with a total residents of more than 50 people lived in the long house, I found that the long house was really clean and very homey. During the visit, the residents kindly performed some traditional songs. They also made some preparations for our visits; hot drinks and traditional malay kuehs were served during our visit. I thought it was very thoughtful of them to do this and I appreciate what they had done for us.
Kicks with his tapau from the long house!
The rest of the boat trip did not go quietly. Almost one hour away from Pengkalan Sungai Mau, our boat stopped as it had run out of fuel. We thought that we might have to paddle back to Sungai Mau. Fortunately, there was a forest ranger boat behind us and the forest rangers had kindly 'loaned' some fuel. We finally reached Pengkalan Sungai Mau just after noon, more than 4 hours earlier than expected.
Picture shows RunningDiva cosying up to Kicks on the boatride back to home comfort.
Before setting off for the trip, we all confessed that we had no idea how we were going to do a "No. 2" in the absence of proper toilet facility. Somehow we all survived three days without going to the loo. I was pretty sure many of us made a visit to the loo once we got home.
If I were to take away few learning points from this trip, I would say:
1. Do not, I repeat, do not ever forget to bring water if you're going for a long walk.
2. Good friends are earned, not given.
3. Regardless of how green Brunei is at the moment, we should not rest on our laurels and forget about our forest.
4. Brunei has these natural beauty spots to offer and we shall not forget about them. At least try to visit them once in your life.
5. Let not surrender our green forest easily to development.
I am posting some pictures on this blog. I will post more as I get permission from the other photographers.