Our Brunei adventure, though squeezed into a day, was full of unexpected fortunate events.
We wanted to take a bus at the Serasa port terminal but the bus stop was 20 minutes away. We decided to walk and tried our luck to hitchhike. Luckily, a Korean guy, who has been in Brunei for two years, stopped and gave us a ride–I should really learn the basic Korean conversations because the only word I could say was Anyohaseo.
Hitchhiking in Brunei

Sitting comfortably in Mono’s car. 🙂

Mono, his nickname, gave us a crash course of the lifestyle in Brunei. He also drove us to Sultan mosque, Omar Alin Saifuddin Mosque and directed us to the nearest Jollibee. We were more than glad that he brought us around because the public transportation system doesn’t seem to be tourist-friendly. Everyone is driving a car! He said he decided to put up his business in Brunei because there’s too much stress working in Seoul.
Did you know that… In Brunei, education and hospitalization are free! University students get a $400 monthly allowance just for studying!
Jollibee Brunei

We’re having fun in Jollibee, Brunei!

There are 12 Jollibee outlets in the region–and yes, Jollibee is part of our itinerary, and no, I didn’t force my Japanese friend Yoshi to add it to his list. Out of these 12 outlets, we decided to go to the one near Omar Alin Mosque. When I was ordering my food at the counter, I spoke Tagalog to the crew because I knew that they’re from the Philippines too (their nametags gave it away). Then when I was about to leave the counter, I heard someone calling my name. At first I was in doubt if it were really me, then when I snatched a glimpse, I saw an old-time friend and a former classmate in high school!
Meeting an old pal and a schoolmate

Accidentally meeting an old pal

 

I know that Junjun worked in Brunei. He told me about it 4 years ago, but I didn’t expect to see him there and we’ve lost contact for 4 years!

“There’s a reason for everything”
This is what immediately came into my mind. There’s a reason why I had to shiver, be in pain just to climb a mountain; there’s a reason why we missed the ferry to Brunei; there’s a reason why Mono gave these two strange backpackers a lift. There’s a reason why we had to choose this Jollibee among the remaining 11 branches in the region. There’s always a reason for everything, we just need to find out what it is. I’m happy and satisfied I made this short trip possible.
Brunei Mosque