5 Things Meme

If you are expecting something about Brunei today, I am sorry. I was tagged by Ms Maurina to do a 5 things meme(?). At first I am not sure what a meme is. I thought of reading the wiki entry on it but when I saw the mile long entry, I thought to myself - hei, I got better things to do than that. So I thought I will just read what everyone's meme is all about. Apparently the idea is to get to know the other side of the people we spend so much time interacting with online. Though honestly speaking that seemed to be so far from what is the official 'meme' explanation in Wiki.

I am supposed to write 5 things and I thought, 5 things ain't that hard but place my fingers on the keyboard - they didn't move. So it is that hard. But after thinking about it, afterall I am more than double or even triple most bloggers' age in Brunei - I should have more things to write. More saltlah katakan. So I thought I will just type what comes to mind. Here they are:

1) I am probably one of very few Bruneians who can claim to have lived in all four districts in Brunei - born in one and lived in the other three. I have also lived in my mother's hometown in Johor for a couple of years, in Singapore for 6 years (my secondary schools) as well as 4 years in a small village in England (Keele - for my first degree) and a year in an American City (Cambridge, next to Boston for my Masters).

2) I waited for buses at 5.30 in the morning in Singapore to go to school and go back at 6.30 in the evening and have taken public transportation throughout my growing up life. I have sold charity flags on Orchard Road, Shenton Way and Geylang Serai in Singapore as well help paint old people's homes, clean the area of a blind person's home and taught at two primary schools in coal mining areas in Staffordshire where children come to school in interesting smelling clothes. I am always sympathetic to people who faced hardships.

3) Let me see. Among others, I have seen interesting places and probably done interesting things - watching aeroplanes being built and kitted out in Airbus factories in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany as well as at SwissAir Technics in Zurich, Switzerland; watching ships being built in Kobe, Japan as well as cars being assembled also in Japan. I smelled the sulphur of Rotorua, New Zealand; I rowed through a hot lake in a crater, where there is an island topped by another mountain which has another crater and a lake in Taal, the world's smallest, but most dangerous volcanoes in the Philippines; I walked up the steep hills of Auckland; and I have been chased by demonstrators who thought I wanted to take their photographs in Islamabad, Pakistan.

I trampled the streets of Beijing for miles because my wife and I wanted to see Beijing up close (and yes I also have been up the Great Wall of China); trampled a few miles in London because the tube was on strike; and on the streets in Harlem and Brooklyn searching for halal food stores. I had a hundred children closed in on me in Vientianne because I made the mistake of giving only one of them a dollar. I had stayed in a 500 year old monastery turned hotel and didn't sleep the whole night as I kept thinking how many ghosts now occupied that building.

4) I went on board the Japanese vessel the Nippon Maru for a 6 week Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program. I stayed with 6 different temporary foster families in Bangkok (devout Buddhist and I got to give monks their morning rice), Penang (a caterer), Jakarta (a businesswoman), Manila (a rich and wealthy Makati banker), Singapore (a chiropractor) and Japan (in Fukushima - an apple farmer). I had a narrow escape in Quezon City had my original foster family came over to pick me up. Their house got bombed in the evening when I would have been staying there.

5) I tried to learn the piano at age of 24. After three months, I can play a few children songs including Old McDonalds, a skill which I completely forgot within a week of stopping the lessons. I still loved to blast my stereo loud when I drive my own car playing old 80s heavy metal songs but keep a very dignified silence when I am in my official car being chauffer driven. My music knowledge ended somewhere in the very early 1990s and I have no idea who the current top singer is. Everytime I am on the thread mill at the gym and the MTV switched on in front of the machines, I have no idea who the singers are (but I know some of the songs - rehashed from the 1980s).

I supposed I could go on. I could talk about the one time I had dinner with the Sultan of Johor sitting at the same table or the times when my voice does a disappearing act whenever I talked to the top man in Brunei on a one to one basis or the times when I had to run up stairs to keep up with the Minister (in a lift) I was accompanying. There are many stories but I am only allowed 5. When you are my age, you have done many things and you see many things too.

Anyway, you know more about me than most people - it is now my turn to tag a few more people. These few people that I chose are probably horrified to be tagged as their blogs are relatively unknown and hidden in the multiply.com world but they do write interesting stuffs. So, please divert your attention for 5 things meme from the Investment Expert Kamakazzi; the Singing PR Manager Moon; the Artistic Cousin; and last but not least from one of my favourite persons in the world hiding in 'distant mirrors'. Enjoy.

Comments

Maurina said…
I had a hundred children closed in on me in Vientianne because I made the mistake of giving only one of them a dollar.------> hahahahahah!!! I CAN IMAGINE!!!

:) Thanks for continuing on the tagging! I know what u mean about it being difficult to start!
s@s said…
Mr BR, here's a suggestion. Hehe! When you use your official car, use ipod to listen to those rock songs. LoL! Keep on rocking!
Anonymous said…
Such a warmful post to get to know more bout Mr.BR.
Anonymous said…
i've always dreamed of having a one to one talk with the top man.. see how thinks, talks, etc.

maybe you can tell us more about your first meeting with him. what happened on your side at least, if it's too sensitive information. how you prepared, maybe how different you had then what you expected it'd be, etc.

that would be interesting to read about.

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