Two Faces of Brunei

14 10 2015

I say “two faces” because Brunei has the face of the British influenced west on one hand and that of a sultanate with strict rules on the other.  Because of the former, most people understand and speak English and I had no problem communicating anywhere.  The latter you feel in different places you visit and from the many regulations that seem to be in force including no littering (very clean and tidy everywhere unlike other Southeast Asian countries), no alcohol (that I knew before I went), and this or similar picture hanging everywhere.

Framed Hassanal Bolkiah and Raja Isteri, the absolute monarch and his wife respectively

Framed Hassanal Bolkiah and Raja Isteri, the absolute monarch and his wife respectively

And that's in a Starbucks-type coffee shop

And that’s in a Starbucks-type coffee shop

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Pricing is similar to what we get at home.

And they follow the somewhat American tradition of giving personal names when ordering /picking up coffee

And they follow the somewhat American tradition of giving names when ordering/picking up coffee. Never in Japan.

Apart from that, I thought roads of Bandar Seri Begawan just might look like a Japanese city as they also drive on left and all the cars look new.

New and shiny cars everywhere.

New and shiny cars everywhere.

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