All the leaves that I had saved for a year-end holiday had to be used. If I was not in the midst of a project with weekly deliverables, I would have used up my 5 days' of leaves and take the whole week off before starting at the new company.
|our flight & bus tickets|
But because I was holding 2 portfolios with no replacement in sight, I had to stagger my leaves over the remaining weeks. I have yet to do any overseas trip this year, and the only country in my ASEAN list still unchecked which was just nice for a weekend trip would be Brunei.
|Junior Jet Club plane, not ours tho|
In spite of everyone's "there's nothing to do in Brunei!" responses, I decided, if there really is nothing, then I won't be making a 2nd trip. Besides, this was a new country and I have never stepped foot into Borneo before (a previous transit in KK doesn't count!).
|arriving at Miri Airport|
My colleague and I based ourselves in Miri because she used to live there before, and still had friends in town. We reached Friday evening and were whisked into an electric blue Nissan Skyline. That itself gave a sneak preview of how happening Miri can be, especially when night falls!
|now I know why these cars make so much noise!|
Though seemingly small and boring, it is home to timber tycoons, expats working in the oil & gas industry and those involved in palm plantations.
|huge bungalows like these are a common sight|
I was really surprised to see huge mansions, revving sports cars and people partying away at the few night clubs in the city. Apparently their hottest night spot was even better than KL's Zouk. So much so Bruneians hop over to party.
|where else can you get tequilla sunrise for RM15?|
Sarawak's 2nd largest city is also where the first oil well was drilled. Thanks to this black gold, Miri has grown to be a business, commercial, and educational centre which attracts foreigners of all skin colour.
|the Grand Old Lady|
I met an Australian who's lived here for more than a decade working with an oil giant; and was pleasantly surprised to find that he enjoyed the idyllic lifestyle that Miri had to offer. Maybe the perks offset the mundaneness of the offshore job. My colleague's friend comes back for a few weeks after working on the rig for months, and parties almost every night with his buddies.
|first oil drill|
For me, I was more interested in the natural beauty that Borneo had to offer. We had only a brief evening to take a short walk along the beach, and I wished we had spent more time there instead.
|sunset at miri beach|
But of course, since I was being hosted I couldn't make such demands so I guess I will have to keep the beaches for another trip!