Brunei Darussalam


© Jan Shim Photography

A high 90% of my clients are based in the Brunei capital which is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes away and many are oblivious to how far I live. No surprise as I rarely make conversation with that story. Each business engagement means an additional 2.5 hours on the road and the job can be as short as as 10 minutes for a group photo or as long as 21 hours from a Chinese wedding.

At the end of a long exhausting day, I stare at an hour long stretch of black tarmac lit by street lights and fellow commuters. For an hour or so I remain numb to my surroundings until I see the distant flare of familiarity–that home is near!

It’s one thing to put up with the monotony of a long drive and it’s quite another in bad weather. Last night the rain was heavy and got heavier as the distance to my house got shorter but one thing remained unfazed–this source of light is as eternal as it has been burning round the clock and amazingly resistant to the effects of wind and rain.

10 thoughts on “HOME IS WHERE THE FLARE IS.

  1. Nice piece Jan! You reminded me of the days when I used to commute from Seria to BSB. Yeah after a while you become numb to your surroundings until you see that beacon of light which signals the final leg of your journey. I’m sure there are hundreds of others who see it the same way 🙂


  2. Nothing cheers me up more than seeing the Lumut flare after one of our 8-9 exhaustive drive from Sabah. Its the easiest way to shut Eu up too when the “Are we home yet?” gets annoying, LOL


  3. You guys probably are not aware of this, but some years ago (pre 1973), on approaching Seria at night, it always looked as if the whole town was on fire. This was due to the numerous flares lit up all over the Seria oil field. Gas had no economic value then.


  4. @ KB-lad
    It’s good to hear from you again so soon. “Whole town on fire” must have been quite a sight to behold (pauses for a moment to immerse
    myself in the awesome glow).

    @ Reeda
    It may be the final leg of my journey, but I like to think of this as the start of your gastronomical experience in the oil town. Soi Hing welcomes you any day, add to the best Kway Teow in Brunei credo is best Kolome at Nam Wah.

    @ Jewelle
    I can relate to the long drive. I once drove 12 hours returning from a weekend in KK. Left an apartment at 9am and did not reach Seria until 9pm. I swore to never go through that experience again even though we were in a 5-car convoy and the journey was actually quite pleasant.


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