Monday, 17 March 2014

♥ ♥ ♥

So, we finally reached it, our last day in the Abode of Peace.
When this is published, we are probably just about take off from Brunei International Airport, to embark on our next adventure in our new home country. As our life here in Brunei is coming to an end, so is also this blog... This will be my very last post at 'Life in Brunei'.

(Do follow us on here instead!)

Thank you Brunei and all your people for 6 1/2 fantastic years, it's been a blast!
We will always keep very warm memories of our time here.
So long Brunei. ♥ ♥ ♥

Departure day...

It's funny, I must have anticipated this day so much, and taken out all the sorrow in advance - because today was actually not too bad. Some tears yes, but not as bad as I had thought. It was just a really lovely send off.

It was a bit of a shame that we had to leave Brunei on a SQ flight (rather than a RBA flight), but as the tickets were organised for us, we had no choice. On the upside, it didn't depart until just after lunch time, so we could get up and have breakfast at our own pace, and then Peter had organised the hotel car to take us to the airport.

Isabel and Nicole had both brought the kids to see us off, and one of Lucas' friends, Kester, came along too, which was really nice. At least we got to check in this last time, in the new terminal!

The Ferans had made us this lovely sign, no one could miss that we were leaving, for good:

After the goodbyes, it was also time for one last visit to the airside Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Yes, all smiles by then - it was such a nice feeling to actually be on our way, finally..! Goodbye Brunei.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

This is it

One more sleep. 

I have so many photos from the last few days, both on my phone and on the camera. 
We truly have had the best last days, and I will backdate some blog posts as soon as I've unpacked the computer again. 

For now, we are ready for our new adventure. 

Our last day

There was nowhere else I wanted to be on our last day in Brunei than at the Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club has truly been our second home during our time here. The kids and I have spent nearly every weekend up there, with or without Nathan - chilling out, swimming, playing, relaxing. It's been the perfect place to be, since there was always somebody there for the kids to play with and someone there for me to talk to - without having to arrange playdates etc.

Also, it's the only place where you could afford to hang the whole day, and have both breakfast, lunch and dinner - without breaking the bank; and the food has always been good too! 

So, before today, I had told everyone left in Brunei (since it's school holidays, most people have left the country already), that we were going to be at the Yacht Club between 12 and about 6pm. So anyone free and keen, could come there and say goodbye.
I would've loved for the kids to have had a proper send-off with a proper goodbye party, but since most of their friends are not here, we decided to just do it this way. They had a fantastic afternoon with a big group of friends, running about, burying each other in the sand, playing football, swimming etc.

I had a lovely day too, chatting away with good friends who came by. 
I had to think long and hard about my very last meal (...), and I really did try to take as many mental snap shots as I could, to remember this very feeling... 

The Yacht Club... there was no other way we could have finished our time in Brunei... Goodbye YC.

I ❤️ Brunei.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bye Rhoda

Lots and lots of goodbyes. This morning we went back to the house to do a walk-through with the landlord's representative and the new tenants, and give the keys back. Goodbye house, a bit sad. Also we said goodbye to our Amah, Rhoda.

Rhoda has been with us for six years, almost all the time we've been here, so she's seen the kids grow up. There was tears all around saying goodbye...

Rhoda is going to a new family, and we can only hope we will find someone just as good in Abu Dhabi. She has looked after us really well. Goodbye Rhoda.

Friday, 14 March 2014

All gone!

Since I know I most of my readers are from Brunei (!) - I will tell them all this:
Please make a note for when you are leaving Brunei, about this moving company we used - I can't recommend them enough: LM Express. They have been absolutely excellent!
Three of them came right on time agreed on Tuesday, and went through the house with such efficiency that they had it all packed up in less than five hours (including lunch break)! They then weighed it all to give me a good idea of where I was with the allowance, came back Wednesday morning to label and wrap it all, and this morning they came back to ship it off to the airport to go on the DXB flight tonight.

Initially I had three different companies come around to give me a quote and out of all of them Winston, from LM Express, was the only one "getting it", understanding our plans and our needs. He was truly fantastic, and super professional.
In the end, I ended up with 50 boxes/units (we came with 72!), and I was right on target for our allowance, all thanks to Winston. I left behind only four plastic bags (with photo albums, memorabilia and other irreplaceable things), one of Nathan's bikes and the Christmas tree - which Jeremy will bring when he comes up to Dubai, one bag at a time; the advantage of knowing airline pilots! :)

 It was a bit sad to walk around the house after the shipping had gone... So empty... :(

I'll miss this view from my breakfast table, so much...

It's been a very good home and we will miss it, but I'm glad someone I know is moving in to look after it for us. Goodbye house.

Last day at JIS

The kids had a lovely last day at school. They got to bring cookies for their friends, with the UAE flag on them:

I also had cookies with me, because my group of little Zumba Stars were set to perform in their Pre-Prep Assembly:

The signing of the shirts started already in the morning...

... and when I came to pick them up, they looked liked this!

Linnea had also got a lovely laminated message from all her class, just like Lucas did last week:

 A lovely way to finish off their time in JIS! Goodbye JIS.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lots of lasts

There is so many lasts at the moment, but I think I've finally reached that somewhat numb state, where I just want it to be over with soon. I haven't shed any tears at all the last few days! Everything going on is all nice things though, so I'm enjoying each day at the moment, to the max!

Thanks to the packing being done in only one day, I got some extra time this week to see some friends for some special lasts: I had a last roti with Beenal yesterday for lunch, last sushi with the kids last night, last nail appointment with lovely foot scrub and yummy lunch at Saffron with Anna today and last pizza making at Sorriso with the Roberts tonight.

I've also managed to finish up all the different jobs I had this week: I've picked up the Leaving Certificates from school, I've closed down all our different accounts (Astro, phone line etc etc) and collected all our deposits, and banked them. Only have one more thing to cancel, and that'll be tomorrow. I've organized and given away the last few things left in the house, so now it's all empty.

The packing was all done Tuesday, the boxes all got labeled and wrapped yesterday and tomorrow the moving guys will come and pick it all up to take it to the airport. It sure doesn't look like much when your whole home gets packed down:

The approximate weigh-in said that I'm at 1314kg (we're allowed 1310!), so I'm feeling pretty darn proud of myself!
I sure feel like I can breathe a little bit easier now, aahh...

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


While at the hash tonight I got this text from my son:

He obviously didn't notice until bedtime, that the whole house had been packed down..! :D

My last H3 hash

My last hash with the Hen House Harriers here in Brunei was the St Patricks Day run at Lower Diplo. I got kitted out with the traditional last-run-bells, and off we went.
Anna and I, and me together with some of the Loan Service girls:

It was a really nice run, with a few rather deep water crossings and a few challenging hills. I liked it!

Anna signing me out for the very last time, after 211 runs!

Who's that?? We got photo bombed!!!

So the on-on went in green, for St Patricks Day.

Some people had dressed up a litte bit more than others...

This girl Kate did her first hash, on my last! Quite funny since she is one of these people who had read most of my blog before coming, and I knew her from a few emails we exchanged:

I got a nice canvas as a farewell gift, filled with photos from my many hashes. They had been very clever considering the packing, and hadn't framed it! Phew.

For my last hash meal in the Borneo jungle, I enjoyed some delicious vegetable curries. It was a really lovely evening, such a good hash to end on! Thank you all the girls of H3, I'll be missing you and my Tuesday nights!