JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Travel Brunei Darussalam Poem - Bandar Seri Begawan - 2

bandar seri begawan is a blend of the old and new -
smart roads, heritage buildings, mosques,handsome parks, and
a jungle produce market by the river where everyone could mingle
for fun, for the produce and friendship to bring home
but it is not the town that revs one's spirit up
it is the humblebrunei river that flows by it
that can really cheer one up, make a tourist stay
there is even a little oil station on stiltsright in the middle of the river
they threw down a little bucket for the boatman to payafter he has filled up his tank
and all the way we saw how the magnanimous and caring heart of the richest man on earth Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah flows
our boat led us right into the heartland of the people and their lives, culture, heritage, floral and fauna
there were schools the sultan built for his subjects, big buildings over the river,
some on stilts where tudong cladmalay schoolgirls in long white blouse and
ocean blue skirt smiledandbleary eyed boys inwhite shirts and
dark green long pants looked at usas if we are from another world
but yes we are - we pay income tax for every dollar we earn which
the bruneins need not
we even heard the sultanfoots in for their housing
our boat ride had started after anewly wedded couple inresplendent
traditional baju melayu went up their boat and sped away -
to their new nest andhome
the school children carriedmy heart away when i saw them
got down from their boats and rushed, their rucksack behind them, back
to their wooden houses - home sweet home
aSharifah Aini song came on air while the warm breeze blowed
almost reminding me of a paradise on earth,peaceful with a contented populace
human aside the brunei river thrills
the guide pointed out to us the graceful egrets which gave colours
to the picturesque river
the malays call them banggau which areof two species
onewith black bills and legs and the the otherorange
the river also afforded us the sight of the probosics monkeys
that love to stay away from people
theyhad always intrigued us with their long flabby nose,
humanlike faces and the males' extensive harem
the malay prefer to call them monyet belanda or dutch monkey
the sultan's palace crowns one end of the river
here too is heard stories of waitors getting many thousands
in tipsand taps and cutlery made of gold
the man with the songkok i saw on the blue dollar notes during the younger days
has really fascinated me for the trip
the man who helms one of the oldest malay sultanates
which gave away Sarawak - my beloved state - to the British adventurer
James Brooke and which latter became a Malaysian State
at the hotel i was surprised to see one of his younger picturesand
had asked the receptionist if it 's the sultan
she promptly replied 'yes it's he.'
i laughed that i almost could not recognise him
and the lady was quick to show me an offended face

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