Published: March 27th 2010March 16th 2010
Arriving at the bus station in Seria, I was shown where the buses for Kuala Belait leaves from, in the meantime i looked for a pay phone to call Hugo my CS host, I think I woke him up but he was cool with it and told me to call him again when I reached KB so he can pick me up at the bus station. Then I went back to
the bus station, a lady asked me where I was going, then pointed the bus, turns out she is the bus conductress and the man next to her is the driver, 10 minutes we leave he says as I sat down next to him in the waiting area. the bus is loaded and costs B$1 for the 20 minute plus ride to KB, we passed some condos or housing area being built and thorugh rich communities, feels like being back home, the houses have manicured lawns,lots of trees, nice gardens, rich people live here.
We eventually got to the bus station, I called Hugo couple times and he did not pick up, I got worried then I tried again a couple times and he picks up!phew! he was taking
a service call he said, my friend works for the Shell company as most expats here do. I finally met him, very cool looking Mexican driving a nice car, very friendly from the get go, he took me to a restaurant for lunch, one of the watering holes for expats. I met some of his friends here, Italian, Swiss, Scottish, all friendly and we engaged in a lot of interesting conversations,fro Rolex watches, to economy in Brunei, world travels, hiking the Everest base camp, Central Asia, as his pal Philip the Swiss had been there too, and Filipina girls which Philip seem to have some history with. Funny bunch and very smart people and well paid i would say looking at their cars and watch. We stayed there for maybe 3 hours then Hugo and I left, he would not want me to pay for lunch! I offered and he refused, nice host!
We drove out to his house, really nice, simple and is in a quiet area lots of trees, he said sometimes you see monkeys and snakes here! He got ready for his futbol game while I was shown my own room and toilet in the 1st
level of the house, the 2nd level is the main area, living room and all, nice digs! and is all provided for by the company, he only paid for his car and of course for gas which is dirt cheap here, really nice living and Hugo keeps it humble. he mentioned he was the 1st Mexican here now they are 3 and lots of Latinos though mainly Venezolanos, who later they did not vote for Chavez have to find work elsewhere in the oil industry as they will not get a job in Venezuela if you are opposed to Chavez.
He sorted me out with password to his wifi and then he left for his game, his house is airconditioned from top to bottom! and all the utilities are also paid for by the company!!! After internetting for a bit I got bored so I walked around the house snooping, I saw some dishes in the sink so I washed it as I need to do something to get away from the computer, I saw a family of monkeys running around in the yard! They look gorgeous, a different variety, I have not seen them before. they play around
the trees, they got me distracted for awhile. Deborah, Hugo's friend came for dinner, well not really but I made adobo chicken so we made her eat again with us. She is half Brit half Bruneian, very beautiful and intellectual. We chilled and chatted for a bit then i went to bed downstairs where I have my own room with a/c! I slept pretty well, Deborah picked me up around noon and we went to the Shell Oil Company HQ ans picked up Hugo and we had lunch at the "club". Wow this place is cool, the expats mingle here, Hugo is very generous, so far he hasn't made me pay for anything, everything is on tab here at the club so I really cant offer to pay as I have no account. Him and his 2 other co workers from Canada who joined us for lunch left to go back to the office while me and Deborah took a walk on the beach, the water is brownish in the shallow bit, lots of mud/sand being disturbed by the water as it is shallow in these parts. We ended up going to the One billionth barrel monument and i took
fotos of the "nodding donkeys" these pump things that resembles the nodding donkey hence the name.
As Deborah did her errands I tagged along and met some of her family at her house when we dropped off some flowers she bought for friends, then had a few soda drinks at the watering hole, i think the name of the palce is Miriam's, from there she dropped me off back at Hugo's, great day, Deb explained a lot about Brunei to me, the culture, society etc. an eye opener.
Back at Hugo's the Ama(maid) that cleans Hugo's pad is Filipina, 2 of them actually, and we chatted for a bit, they only have high praises for Hugo I can see these women are hardworkers, they cleaned my room even and gave me some sheets, but didn't really matter for me i was comfortable with the blanket alone. When Hugo arrived I came up the 2nd floor to meet him, we prepared salad for dinner, delicious! The we watched a movie with John Travolta, A night in Paris I think, so so movie. The next morning Hugo's pal Jeff picked me up to give me a ride to Miri in
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