For today, I will concentrate on replying and making comments on several issues being raised in this blogsite.
First and foremost, my blog on "Practise makes Perfect", I have to slightly disagree with Professor Anders Ericsson that you not only need to practise and have to have the love for the subject but most importantly you got to have the skill as well. 3 months of practising playing golf and time spent at the driving range have shown me that without skills, no way you will be able to do well in the game. This was brought home when I came bottom of the table after a tournament at the Empire Hotel with a nett score of 110. I must be the only one who enjoyed the scenery of the entire course at the Empire Hotel as I visited every little nook and cranny of the course and its surroundings including the streams that flow through it as I follow my little golf ball who refused to listen to whatever instructions I gave it.
Second, on my blog "Facts about Brunei-Singapore Currency Arrangements" someone asked why are Singapore coins especially $1 coin not accepted in Brunei? The answer is, legally there is nothing to stop Singapore coins being used in Brunei. I have checked with the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board just to get an official answer and their response is that the Board will accept Singapore coins if someone presents it to them to be converted to Brunei coins (by the way, the Board will also accept mutilated Singapore notes just as they do mutilated Brunei notes - the value of the exchange is to be determined by what's physically left of the mutilated note - half a $1 will get you 50 cents). However it seemed that there is a perception or reluctance among businesses that Singapore coins should not be used; and apparently in Singapore, the reverse applies - Singapore businesses do not want to accept Brunei coins and in some cases, do not want to accept Brunei dollar notes because of rumours that the currency will no longer be of par value. To digress, this observation is actually important for students of international financial economics. Public perceptions are important in the acceptance of currencies. No matter what the official value is, if the public is not comfortable with it, then no matter what the country will do, then the public will not accept it. Hence, the difference in value of the official rates and black market rates of some currencies in the world. Perceptions play a very major role here.
Third, there is a correction to be made on my blog on "Brunei's Wedding Practices" where the 'sirih pinang' should correctly read as 'lapik pinang' - lapik meaning something to cover - in this case, to cover the bed. Someone cheekily asked me what is the size of this piece of cloth - I have to answer I don't know. I have never seen it myself though a colleague of mine messengered me and said she knows of it being practised still. Anyway even if you missed the cloth, you can always show off the bedsheet or the actual mattress, worse come to worse. A lot of people argued about the differences between the Malaysian and Brunei weddings. I am not advocating a change to Malaysian practices - but it is more comfortable to attend weddings when the sun is not directly overhead. Someone remarked why must it be at lunchtime - I agree, there are 24 hours in a day, surely there must be a time which is more comfortable and if I dare to say it, more humane.
Lastly, on my blog on "what do you know about rice in Brunei" - someone remarked why not import rice from Vietnam? The answer I get has something to do with quality, consistency and security of supply but it does not mean that the authorities are not looking at the possibility. Rice comes in many varieties. The Thai rice which the government supplies are the 'beras wangi' of class B variety and also the beras biasa long grain. The authorities do allow imports of other rice which is not imported by the authorities but can be imported direct by the seller from many countries and not limited to Thailand. This includes the basmati rice, the American long grain, some par boiled and quite a number of other varieties - these you can find in the major supermarkets. For most of us who do not really shop for rice only know of the existence of the Thai rice.