The Brunei Escargot and Other Discoveries

A lot of Bruneian Muslims on this second last Sunday of this Ramadhan took the time to visit the graves of their loved ones. There is of course next Friday and Sunday when the cars will overflow whatever limited spaces there are available at the carparks next to the cemetery. It happened to us last year when we visited our grandparents' graves in Kuala Belait. I remembered saying why was it that everyone was here at this time, conveniently forgetting that I was there as well adding to the traffic jam. This year we left the house at 6.30 in the morning and we reached KB at around 7.30, there was only one other car there. For those who haven't made their visits yet, there is next Friday and Sunday. Of course, you can always visit the graves at any other time of the year but do try to make it during this fasting month.

As usual I always try to make any long trip worthwhile to discover new things about Brunei. I always make a tour to both Kuala Belait and Seria to note any new things, new buildings whatever to add to my knowledge. I don't go there often enough anymore despite having my aunty and my cousins staying in Pandan and Lumut. The only downside yesterday was that we were too early and the shops haven't even open up yet after we were done at the graves. So I just drove around the the two towns. In KB, SKBB Plaza's renovation is complete and it is open. The riverside cafe at Riviera is also now open and looks very pretty with the sail like structure and it looks fun to have coffee by the riverside. Not much in Seria at all but it looks bustling enough. But I did not go through the Pandan area at KB where the development I have been told is explosive (relatively speaking for Brunei).

We did stop at the new Soon Lee Complex at Sungai Liang. The last few times we passed by, it was still under construction. I was surprised to discover it has a number of service apartments as well as numerous shops under its structure. There was at least 2 restaurants, one a Chinese Teo Chew and the other a Malay Seafood; an Ayamku fastfood restaurant as well as an internet cafe called Atfrenz. A number of other shops including a hair saloon as well as a Soon Lee Mart were there as well. Add a cineplex, that place would have it all and would cater for the whole of Sungai Liang area. I forgot to add that the lighthouse photo is the lighthouse at Lumut and not from a American New England coast.

Today's main topic is actually a small one, so that's why there are already three paragraphs up there. My cousin's husband showed me what he managed to get at the tamu in Seria. I took one look at it and all I see was snails - the common garden variety - you know, the one you see crawling all over the place. However he said that this one may look like that but actually came from the riverbanks. I took one whiff at it and I can assure you it does smell as if it came from the riverbanks. Probably it tasted very nice, just like the French escargot, but luckily yesterday was still fasting month so I was able to skip tasting it. It is called Languai which reminds me of a Brunei boat called languai which they used for racing. Why called a racing boat, a snail, is beyond me. Probably that's why they never win races. There are many other snail like or shell like creatures in Brunei that became edible. These include tekuyong siruk, kunau, kupang, kerang, biluyan or something like that. The only problem is that these all come from the mud. So you do need that Hepatitis A or B protective shots to make sure that you are all protected from whatever that comes from eating these. Anyway, that was all the discoveries I made on a Sunday in Brunei. Hope you all find them interesting.


Anonymous said…
yumm.. escargot with a little garlic and olive oil, cooked to the right texture.. and you're all set Mr. BR! hehehe just wanted to wish you "Selamat Berpuasa" and an advance "Selamat Hari Raya". Been awhile since Ive checked in.
May these days bring you as much fulfilment and may God Bless you, amin. All the best.
Anonymous said…
Aslmkm. So why is it that we only visit the graves of our loved ones during these last few days of ramadhan or during the frist day of hari raya?
Only a handful of people do visit the graves at any other time but in general bruneians tend to forget that the grave also serves as a reminder for us that we are mere mortals.

Our Beloved prophet(peace and blessings be upon him) regularly visited the graves for this purpose. As a reminder that we shall one day be there to. The angel of death does not discriminate. whther it b a child, woman or elderly. Always remember my brothers and sisters in islam that this world is temporary and while we might be preoccupied with this life, remember that this world we live in is just a stepping stone to a greater life. Jannah!!! do not deny yourselves the right to enter paradise.

I hope all of us can take this to heart and visit the graves more often and not only on the days where eveybody goes and pray to the ones that are in the graves for their forgiveness. Only allah knows who rests in peace and who is being tortured in the graves. May allah bless us to implement what is being said and may allah forgive me if i have said anything wrong. amin.
Anonymous said…
ahh siput, actually i've never eaten one :p not even a tekuyung... but those escargots in the pic are not new to me, often seen that in kampung2 so i was quite surprise when Mr. BR said he'd just discovered that kind of siput... i guess Mr. BR needs to go out and explore more often... there are many fascinating things we have here in brunei that not many people know, go and explore the kampung2, you'll be more surprise to see how unique and exotic we bruneian are... have u seen people eat ulat ugong? that ones come from pohon rumbia but mind u, they're edible... i've seen people eating them...
Anonymous said…
Brunei's very own escargot?! Who knew!=p
Anonymous said…
love snails...but have never had them in pies, which they do nowadays. baked escargot pie..
Love your posts. always something to talk about...
Unknown said…
Assalamualaikum, siput ni namanya kelambuai. Talur warna merah jambu, karas, merakat di atas jauh dari aing. Hidup di aing tawar.

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