The Splendour Team travels around the region frequently throughout the year for formation events. One of their recent stops was Brunei for the Dialogue of Salvation seminar from 4 – 11 June 2017. Alan and I decided to pop by via a road trip since it is not too far away! FYI, it took us almost 6 hours (minus the lunch break) to reach the Church of Our Lady of Assumption in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
Now you may have noted that the picture above claims that the trip would take about 5.5 hours. Look closer and the route required us to cross border after border. That’s right. We went out of Sabah into Sarawak; out of Sarawak into what they call ‘Brunei kecil (small Brunei)’; out of ‘Brunei kecil’ into Sarawak again; and finally out of Sarawak into Brunei (yet again). Which meant waiting times at immigration AND lots of pretty stamps on the passport!
There is something tranquil about road trips. I get more tired on a 2-hour plane ride compared to a 6-hour road trip. This is probably the case because I have not been in the driver’s seat yet. But then again, I have never flown a plane either!
Some of you may be wondering: “What la can you do for 6 hours while driving to Brunei?”. Good question. Well, Alan and I only meet when there are Splendour events although we both reside in good ol’ KK and our workplaces are practically 5 minutes’ drive apart. So there are quite a lot to catch up on when we do meet. Aside from that, he halts the radio and all conversations at exactly 3pm to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I kid you not. At exactly (non-negotiable) 3pm.
He also calculated the distance and approximate time to reach the next immigration before pulling out his rosary.
“Jen, check your Waze how long to reach the next immigration.”
“Oh about 25 minutes.”
*Audible rattling sound of rosary beads*
“OK, let’s pray.”
And we reached Brunei! BTW, here is a useful tip if you want to embark on this particular road trip. If you are using Malaysian mobile internet data, and you need to rely on your Waze/Google Maps; then what would you do when you go into Brunei territory and you do not want to use internet roaming? This was an accidental find for us but we managed by allowing Waze to highlight the route for us whilst we were still in Malaysian territory. The GPS still works (after turning off mobile data) when we were in the Brunei zone. So at least we had a visual look at where we could track the junctions to take in order to reach our destination.
It was good to meet Felicity again. For ya’ll who have not read my experience of the pilgrimage to South Korea, she was my roommate :)
Of course, we had to work too although we were just paying a visit. In this case, ‘jaga booth (look after the resources booth)’.
But we got jalan-jalan also la, not work only. It was after all the Ramadan period. Which means… food!
Coming back to reality, it was a good opportunity for Alan and I to attend the focal seminar of the year, Dialogue of Salvation.
This trip also coincides with the birthday of our dear administrative and creative director, Matthew Kang!
Finally, it is time to go home. It was definitely a good break. We always anticipate seeing each other whenever we can – which is a luxury seeing how busy we each are. Meeting people you love is like charging your happiness fuel. Until we meet again! ^^
Splendour's latest happenings with a personal touch. Come back regularly for updates!
Jennifer is an engineer by day, daydreamer by night. Fatally attracted to bunnies, orange and nuggets (especially the chicken type). And occasionally chocolates. Everyday is an occasion.