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We are live, finally…….

August 31, 2013

So my grand plan of recording our arrival and first few weeks in Brunei hit a bit of a snag.  We moved into H17 and as expected there was a delay to get internet and phone connected.  We didn’t realize however that the problem getting these services was going to be more political than expected.

Our neighbourhood (H17) consists of about 26 brand new houses, when they connected us to our services Shell decided that they were going to roll out the first of the fiber optic cables.  Yay for us!  Of course this created a little jealousy from some of the other employees in the ‘main camp’ (we are 10 mins drive from the main housing area) as their internet cables are old and slow.  So in their infinite wisdom, the ‘powers that be’ decided to just not connect us to said fiber optic cables, to appease the distraught parties in camp.  Of course this meant that we were not allowed to have phone or internet – small problem.  Of course when we tried to complain about this no one knew anything, Shell told us it was a phone company problem and the phone company told us it was Shell.

In the meantime I’ve been using the free wifi at the coffee shop and at the club, which was logistically difficult given that it is the school holidays (7 long weeks) and taking kids to a coffee shop for an hour while I catch up on Facebook etc was not high on their list of ‘fun things to do’.  Of course it didn’t help that for the last two weeks of Ramadan there was a ban in place on eating in public places, so I could still go sit in the coffee shop and use their wifi but I couldn’t actually have a coffee, nor could I keep the kids quiet with a fluffy.  Two ear infections also meant that we couldn’t go to the pool and use the wifi there either.  Its been a dark time!

The good news is that we now have internet in the house.  I have no idea if it was connected to the fibre optic cables in the end, but I’m just grateful to have communication with the outside world again.

So what have we been doing over the holidays?  The house needed some work to make it ours, so we’ve had a steady stream of painters, builders and landscapers.  Our container finally arrived with fifty million boxes that needed unpacking, still have many left to unpack but we have the main things done now.  We had two trips across the border to Miri, and Niah caves (actually 3 for me as I did manage two nights away in Miri with a girlfriend).  Day to day we’ve been killing time with trips to the pool, eating out, lots of TV and now internet too.  Normally I’m not so keen on the kids watching so much TV but its been a tricky time with no school, not many kids around to play with, no internet, none of the kids toys/bikes…..you do what you have to to survive!  They’re going to have a shock to the system when school starts on Monday and normal programming resumes.

Right, so now for some photo’s of our house and our trips away.

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We’ve planted hedging along each side of the house and in the front, I’ve grown some Hibiscus from seed and will plant them out sometime soon to fill the gaps a bit.  The lawn was very patchy and full of sand and building rubble, so our landscaper removed much of the worse stuff and planted with squares of ready lawn.  It was getting a bit expensive so we planted patches along the side of the house which will spread apparently.  We’ve had trellis put up along the sides of the car port, which I hope to get a passion fruit vine to grow along, I was given two vines from a keen local gardener for free.  As you can also see we have two new cars, we had to get a replacement Mazda of course (long live the Mazda!), and we got something a little flasher (Kia Sorrento) for the bigger trips and for when we have visitors as it has 7 seats.  Now I’ll need to go shopping for some outdoor furniture for our new patio – I’ve always wanted a patio but we didn’t have room in Karamea St.

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