Quote Today

    If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Friday, May 29, 2009

    Let Me "Poll" You Up Share

    O-key - I've been silent almost all month. But I have a good reason. You see, my router got blown up when a certain someone was stubborn enough not to listen to advices of switching it off for a little while because we were going to shut down the electrical power to fix some wiring. Hey, it was a cheap router - but an important role it did play. Now we have to take numbers and wait in line to use the cable until a new router is in place.

    Anyways, as you might probably have noticed, I've put up a poll recently. I've always been interested in the undertakings  of the government to "better-fy" (yes, I made that up) the country and I was curious enough to want to find out how many Bruneians like yourself actually take note of these things and not just air out your blind frustrations publicly by joining the panas-panas segment on Pelangi FM.

    So I'd greatly appreciate it if you could take a little time out from your Facebook-ing and posting dozens of (vain) self-portraits to just make a quick vote and enlighten me with your levels of awareness - or lack of.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Inglish Languag kan be funi Share

    I just had to put this here. I first read it on the notice board in the Faculty of Arts & Social Science at UBD during my 1st year and everytime I come back to read it, it never fails to make me laugh. I just had to share - so enjoy!

    European Union

    The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

    As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English". 

    In the first year, "s" wil replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. 

    There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. 

    Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. 

    Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away. By the 4th yer pepl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with v". 

    During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. 

    Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. 

    Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. 

    If zis mad you smil, pas on to oza pepl. 

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    I ♥ Mondays Share

    Another Monday, another outing, another quality time with boyfriend - I ♥ Mondays!

    Our day actually started real early in the morning with boyfriend driving down to KB from Kota Batu at the break of dawn while I whipped up a decent breakfast-to-go for us both. We had planned to go fishing on the waterfront at Kpg. Melayu Asli in KB but not 5 minutes into casting our lines, dark clouds loomed above us, promising heavy rains and thunder.

    So, Plan B was in placed - we headed up to Bandar to try our luck at Tungku Beach. It was a perfect day - t'wasn't that hot and it was windy. Below are few pictures of our day at the beach...

    Partial view of the Empire Hotel & Country Club

    The jagged rocks getting a beating from the rough waves

    Iguana, perhaps?

    Boyfriend's fave past-time

    Enjoying the day & each other...=)

    Patiently waiting...

    After two hours or so, we got nothing although our baits kept losing parts of their body - so something must have been nibbling but didn't get hooked. Anywho, we let go of the rest of the live bait with a throw into the water. Better luck next time then.

    In other news, we went furniture hunting for a dressing table at Thomson Furniture. I needed a new one for my room because my old one was, well...let's just say it wasn't in theme with the rest. Okay, so that's a lame reason but whatever. Besides, there was a sale, plus I got a new hanging lamp FREE OF CHARGE as part of the promotion. 

    ♥ Mondays because I  get to spend it with you...

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    Kuala Balai - The Road Less Travelled Share

    Evidence of abandonment on signboard

    For almost two weeks now, I've been trying to come up with a sentence that is uh, let's say, easy on the 'eyes', non-hypocritical, pleasant and maybe even something that wreaks the whole "Tourists, welcome-welcome!"-kind of vibe. 

    But nothing is more saddening, more truthful and unfortunately, more fitting than this -


    Just off the junction to Mumong (roundabout) on the highway/bypass towards Kuala Belait (tea-pot roundabout) or en-route to Miri, it's easy to miss the junction to Kuala Balai on the left if reading signboards is just not what you do while driving. En-route the 21km-drive to the village, you'll see signs of development with housing areas (that occasionally makes the news headline come rainy season and the whole area becomes inundated with flood) and few industrial sites along a few kilometers in, but as soon as you hit the end of the paved road, civilization suddenly seemed so distant.

    The road trip seemed forever

    Civilization looking so distant now

    The road trip to was already as sloowww as it shouldn't be with uneven terrains that were supposedly should have been fixed when they built the model Belait ethnic house in 2000. Sure it has been nine years, but I was there some time in 2005 and it was still acceptably okay. Now four years on, gravel-road and potholes offer you a "jerking-and-bumping" ride experience, even on a four-wheel. On the other hand, maybe that's what you're looking for in your adventure...

    Casting for luck

    Black-water pond

    A friend hovering in...

    The village, being on the banks of the Belait river, mostly sees its fair share of fishing-enthusiasts (for example, my boyfriend, shown above) and the occasional bird-watchers. But for most of the time, Kuala Balai sits alone and abandoned. The ethnic house, ambulong factory and the wooden walkways were once living testaments of  an effort to keep Kuala Balai on the map. But  with overgrown shrubs and grass, all have been left to languish - even the houses across the river stand void of its occupants.

    Abandoned houses across the river

     Covered wooden walkway

    Boyfriend emerging from the thick growth

    I was in Kuala Balai for a Science Camp in 2000 when it was undergoing re-development and I remembered thinking that in a few years time, Kuala Balai will be a tourist hotspot, what with the ethnic house being built and the fishing platform and the mini cultural stage underway in construction at that time. Looking at it today, it is a far cry from what I personally had hoped and what really struck a chord with me is the dire state it is "allowed" to be in. I get it that Brunei (and the government) is big on development and infrastructure, and is always promoting the country as THE tourist destination. And yes, talks have not merely been talks only - it is obvious that efforts have been made to re-develop Kuala Balai. But I guess the major step that Brunei needs to give as much attention to is the whole notion of MAINTENANCE. I'd like to think that one of the most vital component in Sustainable Development is this exact necessity for maintenance. But, I am not going to delve into that any further...yet.

    Languished wooden walkway leading toward the abandoned ethnic house & stage platform

    Anyhow, my boyfriend and I were up there to do a little fishing (well, at least he was) and we tried going in as much as we could on the planks but as you can see from the pictures above, them planks don't offer much safety as I would like it. While my boyfriend cast away on his rapala-hooked fishing line, I tried being "Indiana Jones"-sy to venture beyond the trees, as in the third picture above, to get to the ethnic house. But being afraid of what lurked in the thick foliage around me, I had to retreat. But I did come across a few lovely blooms of the Bird of Paradise flowers.

    Bird of Paradise

    Despite its rundown state, Kuala Balai is still a great place to explore. Amongst those who'll love it there would most probably be fishermen and bird-watchers. I googled for information on the area and I stumbled upon a list of birds compiled by Moore, Hessels and Bloem in their 2005-2007 sightings survey that actually identified more than 160 species of birds on the stretch of the Kuala Balai road. Good enough a reason for bird-watchers to take a road trip down Kuala Balai? I sure think so. 

    Our impromptu fishing trip had to be cut short because the rapala lure my boyfriend was using got stuck on an underwater tree branch and after much yanking and pulling, the line snapped. No fish, $15-rapala lure gone - gosh, what luck, eh?

    On the way back to Mumong, I saw something that made me think "Now that's OFF THE BEATEN TRACK!" A junction post indicating the road to ... nowhere. Something else caught my eye as well on the way back - this real life-size helicopter. You don't see that lying around all the time!

    Junction post: Jln. Kecil Ujong Daun     


    Note: Kuala Balai Road Trip - 20th April 2009
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