© Jan Shim Photography
Coming from a sleepy town of Seria where traffic patterns are as predictable as the time shops close for the day, traffic patterns in the big city have somewhat become just as predictable but oftentimes the morning rush hour catch me off guard even though I had intentionally left home 30 minutes earlier. Pictured above is one of a number of bottlenecks along the Tungku-Link road, the road that leads all other road that may also be congested.
I made more trips to Bandar Seri Begawan in the last four years as a photographer than I ever did when I was an IT professional. I’ve been commuting between Belait district and Brunei-Muara District for 17 years and you would think by now I must have gotten used to it. Well, I would be lying if I said it gets easier with time. This is one exception to that rule I subscribe which is also often suggested.
I personally know folks who have for been commuting a lot longer than I — try 25 years of the daily grind. I’ve also been in several accidents and countless near misses and took its toll last year when I closed my eyes for a few seconds too long. This happened not once but twice and I wasn’t about to invite a third. Both times I think I was coming home from a Chinese wedding having left home for 20 hours since 5am when the vehicle swerved onto the grass shoulder which thankfully there were no trees.
By December 2006 in a move that surprised my of my clients, I informed my contacts that I could no longer shoot their events and was planning to do more work closer to home. By and large, I had effectively passed up on corporate events and weddings as these were the big ticket events that placed these stress on me, previously untold. Slowing down and reducing my commutes meant that my blogs were given a chance to pick up speed and my kids and significant other could once again find their dad at home when they’re back from school and also from tuition. Of course, not accepting wedding shoots also meant that I was also there for them during the weekends.
How do the many others who persevere every single day of their life maintain their sanity despite the monotony?