Brunei Darussalam

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

It’s the school holidays and today would have been our second day at Disneyland Hong Kong. The kids in particular were excited and looked forward to staying at the Magic Kingdom for the first time. It was also this month a year ago when we visited Tokyo Disneyland where the kids had the time of their their lives as much as the big kids did. Little did we realise that at the time we made plans to visit Hong Kong that the H5N1 strain of virus would resurface and in less than two weeks before our scheduled trip, a dead bird was confirmed to carry the virus. Then news of three school children died amid recent outbreaks of what WHO said was “a regular seasonal flu outbreak.”

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© Jan Shim Photography

We decided that in the interest of the kids we would not risk making the trip. I learnt that our national carrier imposes a B$120 penalty per passenger for unused tickets and add to that the cost of Chinese Visa and two full pages out of my passport!

Since we’re home bound, we’ve enrolled the kids to holiday programmes at the Oil & Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC), made trips to our own backyard, gotten wet swimming and no holiday is complete without a visit to the beach. So today, waking up to an overcast morning, I took the kids to our favourite part of the beach and on our way, I came across a group of grass cutters taking a break and they had their machines on time out while they refueled.

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© Jan Shim Photography

This bashful worker was sharpening the blade when I approached him. Just as I got ready to take a picture he stood up and was about to take off when his supervisor with whom I had obtained permission to photograph motioned him to continue what he was doing.

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© Jan Shim Photography

We made a splash at the beach and just as we’re ready to leave sand and salt water behind, I met and had a short chat with an approaching caucasian lady. She had with her a telescope and binoculars and as it turned out, she’s one of the birdwatchers from the Panaga Natural History Society (PNHS)—an interesting coincidence especially after I mentioned them in my recent hornbill sighting.

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© Jan Shim Photography

Serious tools for a serious business—preservation of nature! You are looking at a LEICA telescope mounted on a Manfrotto tripod with a lightweight magnesium Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ball Head that’s engineered specifically for such  photographic application.

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© Jan Shim Photography

That red badge is always a conversation piece as much as it is a market leader in high end photographic equipment and quality optics.

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© Jan Shim Photography

Ahh how nice it is to work with this few equipment (documenting using good old pen and notepad) in contrast to no less than 15 kilos of camera bodies, lenses and accessories I carry walking into an event shoot!

8 thoughts on “BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

  1. Yes . . . Leica . . . . sigh! Just the sound of it is . . . wonderful! Manfrotto . . . another piece of excellent equipment. Do you know if they have a website? Any photos there?

    I am glad that there are many activists (even in Brunei) fighting for the preservation of our mother earth (including wildlife, environment, etc). I think that the effort also should start with teaching our children regarding our precious earth . . . after all, it’s their inheritance.

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  2. … but why would they take off 2 pages off your passport ??

    I have absolutely no idea! I’ve visited China twice and HK once and the visa application is a process I completely do not understand (incidentally, Brunei Citizens do not require one just in case you’re wondering). If I was going to China (minus HK) there would be just one Chinese Visa. For HK however, I require a separate visa for HK and China—evidentally both administrations have not fully integrated—so that explains the two page occupancy!

    Manfrotto . . . another piece of excellent equipment. Do you know if they have a website? Any photos there?

    In fact, there is and you can check our their ball head web page for detailed information.

    I think that the effort also should start with teaching our children regarding our precious earth . . . after all, it’s their inheritance.

    OGDC runs programmes to educate school kids in matters of science and the environment, an effort I applaud. I think we can do more and it’s also my hope that through my photographs and writing, people would be more conscientious of the environment and the desire to want to make the world we live in a better place. While politics play a role in these matters, care needn’t be politically motivated, it should come naturally!

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  3. Awesome photos! I do agree — back in ’02-’03 when anthrax and SARS were in the news almost everyday — my family didn’t want me to risk taking trips — that was a long sabbatical from traveling! However, it looks like you enjoyed the nature trip, 🙂

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  4. nice work Jan, i always say to test the true nature of ones ability to make the people around you truly happy. do so by making the simplest occasion a memorable one and im sure your family will never forget that day. and yea as the person before said, its really nice to see the effort been put out to preserve nature. and as simple as those photos were of the woman and the telescope, ha well like they say, a picture does say 1000 words, nice work again.

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  5. Hey Jan,
    I am sorry you could not go to Hong Kong with your family for a holiday. You have done quite a view very nice Stock photos for you stock, I see. Very nice. I guess making a holiday in the own country spending time at the beach isn’t that bad eather.
    Greetings to Brunei,
    Conny

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  6. … that was a long sabbatical from traveling! However, it looks like you enjoyed the nature trip.

    Mother nature works in mysterious ways. It forces us to look at what’s right in front of us or in my case, what’s in my own backyard. On top of that, we probably averted something undesirable too!

    … yea as the person before said, its really nice to see the effort been put out to preserve nature.

    If each one of us does our part in perserving nature, collectively we make one hell of a difference such as Standard Chartered’s Greatest Race on Earth (Race for a Living Planet) where 2,767,619 pledges (at time of this writing) were made by people all over the world who are concerned with preserving the environment.

    I am sorry you could not go to Hong Kong with your family for a holiday. You have done quite a view very nice Stock photos for you stock, I see. Very nice.

    Not at all. I’m fine either way! The kids although disappointed at first have very quickly forgotten about the trip and what’s left of their 10 days holiday are days filled with a balance of Japanese and Western dining and club activities.

    As for my growing collection of stock photos, I’ve got to find an avenue for them to sell. I have my doubts about advertising them on stock agencies—cannot get over the fine prints in the fine prints!

    I guess making a holiday in the own country spending time at the beach isn’t that bad eather.

    Not bad at all! Thank you for visiting.

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