Monday, May 21, 2012

Our World: Brunei Airport

Soon I will be making a flight out of New Zealand, away from the cold winter, to the hot tropics. I recount the trip I made a few years ago, and found that this post which I did for my other blog;

was featured in

Brunei Airport

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It is a great privilege to be listed and getting a lot of viewing. I don't know how long they had been listing it, as I don't normally check my blogs. But I did get a lot of views. May be I should make a detour during my next trip and drop in and get some VIP treatment.

We arrived from Auckland via Brisbane on Brunei Airlines. It was a long haul and we arrived in the morning.

This was a big column, the windy stairs leads up to the first class lounge. It also lead downstairs to the mens and ladies, there were showers, baby rooms, short term bed rooms, and a prayer room.

The information center had a lot of brochures but no personnel.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by masked health personnel. If you have a temperature, they make you sit outside the transit lounge.

Here's the sign where you can sign up for the various tours and the free tour if you are a transit passenger.

Sam and I flew on July 2 at 3 am from Auckland. It meant I had been up from Wednesday morning, and there wasn't any point to go to bed on Wednesday evening. Why did we fly Royal Brunei? Well, beggars can't be choosers. This was an impromptu trip and we wanted the cheapest flight even if it meant a transit of ten hours on our way there.

The flight was uneventful, and I had been told by my friend D who had flown before that they blessed the flight before flying. To the uninitiated, it is quite a long prayer. There no alcohol, not that I complain because I don't drink very much. I was unimpressed by the food though. A flight of nine hours usually would have a decent meal. They consider kids seventeen and below as kids, and Sam felt quite funny when the stewardess gave him a kiddy pack. Sam enjoyed the computer games.

Just before arrival, we were given a health declaration form as it was the height of the H1N1. After getting off the aero-bridge, we saw giant scanners. All the personnel in the airport wore masks. This included the cleaners and staff at the duty first shops. I noticed a row of passenger with masks on sitting just outside the transit lounge. I presume they had a temperature and were refused entry into Brunei.

The stewardess told me in the plane that Royal Brunei offered free city tour. But for B$40, we could get off and have a meal and do some shopping.I paid for the later, and met a Middle East Mum and son, and a British couple. We had a good tour of mainly palaces, mosques, big buildings. The guide took us to this I presume a Government tourist info place and eating stall. For B$1, you get to eat some rice and veg and curry meat. We ate, and I spoke to two friendly Brunei girls. I suppose being a mum and son, we are less threatening, both men and women would talk to us. I did my bit of promotion for New Zealand.

After the meal, Sam was so hot. He went to the men's room and drenched himself slashing water all over him. He went to the bus saying he didn't want to tour any more and wanted to get back to the airport. Fortunately, they refunded our money. We still had about five hours to muck around. People were lying across chairs and sleeping. This was because the flight from Auckland to London had a ten hours stopover in Brunei, and Vice versa. Passengers from London had the same wait.

Here's a funny story about Starbucks and internet. I was transit for 10 hours in Brunei on my way to Singapore this July. There was a sign, free internet at the Starbucks. Of course i didn't want to be "Shameless" according the Chinese saying, or don't want face. So I got a muffin for Sam, and we surfed the net to our heart's content there were no other customers.

At 7 pm, we left Royal Brunei and arrived in Singapore at 9pm. I told my sister Grace and Deborah that we could have arrived in London if we had taken a normal flight. But I can't complain, I got a bonus holiday to Mulu caves, which was such a fantastic holiday.

Two weeks in Singapore and some days in West Malaysia, meeting up with friends and relatives we have not seen for 3 year was such a nostalgic time. All too soon, we were off again.

On our way back, we headed to the same Starbucks. This time there were a lot of youngsters ,but I was just before them, and I just typed my first email, when everything went blank. Sam was still queuing for his muffin. I even got to talk to three Canadian girls who had spent a couple of weeks in Thailand, and they were going to Australia.

The Starbucks employee came to tell us, the computers were for customers. I told her my son was queuing to buy some food. The Canadian girls didn't have any more Brunei money. There was no internet connection, the youngsters suspected they turned the computer off.

Then it was time to board the plane. On this flight, there were no stewardess, all handsome men and young too. What a grand finale.Goodbye Brunei, we are going back to New Zealand.

I have been posting snippets of our holiday on my other blog: You may like to pay a visit.


Carver said...

Interesting post about the airport and your trip. I enjoyed your stories.

Gattina said...

I would say the same as Carver. Very interesting your description !

Kim, USA said...

Happy trip Ann. I am also here in the Philippines. ^_^

Kim, MI

Inviting you to join Water World Wednesday

Unknown said...

Have a great trip!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Penelope Notes said...

Getting to somewhere can be as much of an adventure as actually being there. I enjoyed your description of mom and son traveling and it was interesting to learn about all the health care precautions.