The Heart of Borneo


I originally intended to visit my father’s good friend, Barry Mortimer, in Hong Kong.  He works on the high court there, previously for the British government and now for the Chinese government.  He takes about two months out of his year to travel down to Brunei Darussalam and try cases in the Supreme Court for the Sultan of Brunei.  Unfortunately, I arrived to Hong Kong as he departed to Brunei.  As I finished up my time in Hong Kong, I was determined to meet up with Mr. Mortimer, and had the opportunity to see a new country.  Mr. Mortimer would arrange a place for me to stay, either at his hotel, or with some of his friends in Brunei.

Rather than fly high class on Royal Brunei Airlines straight to Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, I set off on a day long journey via Kuala Lumpur to save money.  See my post Time and Energy vs. Money to see my thought process.  I will take the slightly more expensive route next time.  I did like the unique experience of traveling on a shoestring, and that I can easily do it while I am young, but will definitely enjoy traveling in style next time.

I arrived to the small international airport and met the charming Mr. Mortimer.  This British citizen was clad in a white suit and stood out like nothing else amid the crowd of hijabi women and shorter darker complexions.  We jumped into his government owned Mercedes and drove off to dinner where I later met my hosts for the weekend, Mr. Paul Hirschfield and Mrs. Jini Veerasamy.

Paul and Jini were such great hosts.  They took me into their wonderful home and introduced me to their wonderful family, dogs Gino and Humpy, and maid Anna.  I was given my own bedroom and bathroom and two of the best tour guides in the city.  Paul and Jini showed me the entire country, and got me in touch with other friends who did so as well.  I also enjoyed relaxing with Paul in their home, watching movies and listening to music.

In a country where anyone who knows anything about the place knows there is nothing to do, I had a great time.   I was able to see and enjoy the Royal Regalia, the water village community, the famous proboscis monkey, the rainforest, beautiful mosques, great markets, delicious restaurants, extravagant palaces, and beautiful weather.  Take a look at these pictures!

Great thanks to Barry for taking care of me and making sure my visit to see him and Brunei was fantastic!


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