Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monday 5th May - Feeling Human Again

Was up early this morning - Steve went off to work, while I stayed in the apartment, got myself organised and played with Ninja. When Steve got home, we went to the Mall in Gadong where I bought some beads - must try not to spend all my money on the first day!!

It's quite difficult to get used to the heat, as everywhere is air-conditioned - the apartment, the car, and all shops. When you step outside, you have to get acclimatised to it all over again. The best way to do this is to sit outside when stopping for a coffee, so we did just that - well I had a lovely mango smoothie!

We then went off to the Royal Brunei Recreation Club, which Steve is a member of. The club is mainly for the staff of the Royal Brunei Airline, but other people can pay to join. It has a gym and badminton and squash courts, and a big outdoor pool. There are lots of shaded areas so we sat in one of them for a while. There was hardly anyone there, which was a shame, as its lovely. It's also surprisingly peaceful, considering it's right next to the airport.

I had a lovely swim - the water was pretty warm, but still quite refreshing. I slipped on the steps when I was getting out of the pool, scraping my shin down the steps - ouch!!

We popped into the supermarket on the way home, and were amazed to see monkeys playing next to the car park; one even had a baby - not something you'd expect to see on a trip to the supermarket!!

Later in the afternoon, when it started to get cooler (ha ha, down from 33 to 31 degrees!!), we drove into Bandar - the capital city. It's a small city and very clean, with some lovely buildings. We walked along the Brunei River, opposite Kampong Ayer - the Water Village. It's huge - there are about 30,000 people living there with schools, medical facilities and a mosque, all built on stilts in the water. Water taxis take you across to the village, and the river was full of them, zipping up and down at what looked like some dangerously high speeds.

After doing a bit of shopping, we went to a fast food restaurant and had our fill of dim sum for about £4, and the price also included a couple of cans of coke!! A trip to a bar for a couple of beers would have been most welcome at this point but that's not possible, so we had to make do with a delicious iced coffee, watching the mad pedestrian crossings, where the green man starts to walk, then runs when you only have 10 seconds to cross the road!

After coffee, we had a leisurely evening drive around Bandar, to see some of the beautifully lit buildings - stopping for some photos of course!

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