Reflections from one small country to another…
So here we are again, floating in that strange realm of sleepless, wordless half dreams and shifting thoughts following flights, drives, boats, hikes and brilliance in lands that would not seem to exist were it not for the photos I hold in my hand.
By hand, of course, I mean iPhone.
I may no longer have to wait for chemicals to transform film to print (yes, dear readers, I am that old) but my heavy duty photo files still wait on my SLR.
My phone gives me results here and now. Or rather, there and then.
They’re not quite perfect but they do reflect what I saw. And the curious reflections that the trip gave me.
This photo below is from the “white mosque” in Brunei (it’s real name is Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque so you can see how the nickname caught on.)
The Sultanate of Brunei delivers the steroid-induced, adrenaline-soaked, neon bolt of awakeness that only travel can. It challenges what you think you know – and dazzles with beauty while it does so.
It’s one of the smallest countries in the world. And one of the richest. Its Sultan trained at Sandhurst.* His brother was charged with embezzling over a billion pounds and the legal shenanigans that followed hold the record as the most expensive case in British history.
Its waterways are peaceful and calm.
Its houses turquoise, lemon yellow and white.
And its food markets…well, I missed those due to illness that saw me quarantined in Australia. But others have plenty of tales. (Check out Trav Monkey, LiveShareTravel, Velvet Escape and Eat Like A Girl.)
Before Brunei, I was in Australia. Driving along the Great Ocean Road. Before that, India, building schools and watching men weave flowers into scented garlands as cows sauntered past on a jasmine- filled Saturday morning.
But now, I am home. And I must take the photographs, the history, and the memories…and try to sleep.
After all, with images and experiences like these, I need some time to be still.
And to reflect.
* The Royal Military Academy for Officers in the British Army