Thursday, 31 August 2017

Reaquainted with Bukit Shabandar

There is a new Swedish family in Brunei, a new part of the Airbus group of families. I had understood that Lykke enjoys a jungle hike every now and then, so I asked her to keep me company on a Bukit Shabandar, just in case I wouldn't remember the trail.

Oh those steps... oh my oh my...

I didn't need to worry about getting lost, it all seemed to be in the "muscle memory"! We had a nice walk around all nine hills, albeit very slow. I had warned Lykke I was walking it, but I don't think she expected it to take that long... ha ha. Sure I did have to stop and take photos here and there, but the walk really was hard work I tell you.

Lykke and I:

So nearly there, just a few hills to go!

Can you see the exhaustion on my face..? Well, try to look past that and look at that view instead!

The lush jungle, the smells, the noises, the greenery... how I had missed it!

Tuesday nights were made for this

Tuesday afternoon at 5.15 pm I stood by a H3 tent in Diplo, hydropack and all, raring to go into the jungle.

Rather fitting being back at this particular hash site, as I also did my very first hash here back in the day. During my time in Brunei I ended up doing 211 hashes with the H3 ladies. Oh my do I have many fun memories of these Tuesday night shenanigans!

I walked with my friend Maria/Satu Lagi, who recently moved back to Brunei after three years in KK.

Yes, we walked the trail, mostly because it was hard work for me (...), but also because I wanted to stop every so often to take photos, of course. Just look at these awesome pitcher plants!

And after some ups and downs, crossing some streams and paying our respects along the ridge by Bills Hill - we were already out again!

Time for shout-up. I got a down-down for being a returning hasher and had to introduce myself accordingly, for all the new ladies. I felt like a celebrity when not just one, but THREE different girls approached me and thanked me for my Brunei blog ..! One even exclaimed "You are the reason I am here!!" in the middle of the shout-up, ha ha! Glad to know the blog could be of help to someone!

The H3 chapter has really grown and there was a lot of new faces. Great to see so many new hashers though, makes for really fun Tuesday nights!
I didn't stay long. I enjoyed the dinner put on by the hares and then made my way back home as I could see the rain was coming, and I didn't want to get caught in it... Thank you H3 for another fun Tuesday night!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Back at Jerudong International School

We returned to the kids' old school Jerudong International School most days during our stay. Both to drop the kids off, and at pick up time. The security had tightened, so we had to sign in each time and pick up a visitors badge. Ha ha, in the end I thought the lady in the Visitors Center was going to offer me a parent badge, as we showed up so much!

They now finally have a coffee shop for parents!! Oh how badly we tried to get one at campus back in the day!

The kids were so, so, so excited and completely ecstatic to reunite with some of their old class mates. It was a true joy to see how well they were received, even after all this time. We also caught up with some of their old teachers and that too was very touching.

The JIS campus was looking very good, a few new licks of paint here and there, some new installations and above all, a new Sports Complex and some other new buildings.

The senior school lockers, were we hung out with the kids' friends. They weren't allowed to come along during the school day, but they were welcome to see their friends during their lunch time hour.

This campus really is one of a kind. I wish we had this in Abu Dhabi too. JIS is certainly one of the things we miss the most, a great school.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Zumba time!

I started my Zumba journey in Brunei. That's where I first tried the classes and where I started to teach after becoming an instructor 6 years ago. Back then I had a few regulars in my classes who came to each and every class, without fail. Among them my main fan Peggy, a Chinese lady who is a true Zumba lover. She was with me from the very, very beginning and until I left.
So while back in Brunei I decided to surprise her. I tracked down where she does Zumba now and turned up at the studio Monday evening just in time for their daily Zumba class! She got really happy to see me!

I participated in the class, with their ZIN Wewe, and also with Peggy (who has also taken the instructor training) on stage for one track:

After a long rather inactive summer it was a sweaty, sweaty hour! Hello red face!

I also got invited to do a couple of tracks. For old times sake I chose a real oldie - the salsa 'Rebola Bom Bom' which was one of the very first routines I did. It made Peggy smile!

Thank you ladies, it was great seeing you again! Keep up the Zumba love!

Monday in Brunei

Tash and the kids needed to go to the Mall in Gadong for some last minute preparations for their school start, so we tagged along. Apart from a new Pandora shop, we didn't really see any other interesting shops still... Shopping is certainly something the UAE does so much better... ha ha!

I took the opportunity to get Linnea a well needed trim though, for 1/3 of the price what it would cost me back home. Score! She also got her hair styled in a braid, very cool.

We had a long list of places where we wanted to go eat again and on top of that list was the sushi restaurant Excapade. It has really grown and now has many outlets all over Bandar, but we chose to go back to our regular. Unfortunately the service there had gone terribly down hill (or maybe we were just very unlucky this particular visit), but the food was still as delicious as ever! Mmm!

Hannah and Linnea, friends for 10 years!

Sunday, 27 August 2017


On Sunday evening we were invited to the Saaps for one of their famous pizza nights. Yum, yum, just as I remembered - Jeremy makes the best pizza in Brunei!

Kids had a ball with the Saaps and our other old neighbours, Toby and Charlotte.

It was rather weird being back in our simpang, and "our" house. Well, we never lived in that particular house, but ours was exactly the same, so very odd. Like being home, but not really.

Linnea stayed for a sleepover with Gemma, BFFs forever!