Sunday, December 28, 2008

The House

Actually I have created a video to view the house but realised it was time-consuming to view one shot at a time. Uploading the pictures selectively was tedious although viewing would be a lot more easier.

These shots of the front of the house were taken from the main gate, showing the front and side view.

The maid's quarter and the car porch. No cars: Larry's not in now and I've not bought my car.

This side of the house leads to the pool. The pool is just behind the yellow palms. The car is not ours. It belongs to the contractor.

The pool and the jacuzzi.

The back of the house is designed to hold parties. We estimated 8 round tables, each sitting 10, can be set up under the covered deck. The owner provided 2 shower rooms and a toilet outside (left corner of photo) specially for party guests.

Here's the interior: the living room. The room is too big, so has to be taken in two shots. One sofa set on each side of the room. This room is used to receive guests for official functions. It needs some soft furnishings, I know. The curtains will be changed to give it a newer look.

There are 2 kitchens in the house. I don't know why but the owner calls them the 'day' (bottom) kitchen and 'night' (top) kitchen. So far, I've only used the 'day' kitchen because it has an air-conditioner. The other one has only ceiling fan. Apart from this, the 2 are actually duplicates. Fixtures are almost similar, except the ovens are put in the day kitchen. Yes, there are two ovens! I'm learning to use oven. I baked my hard rolls and garlic bread for breakfast. I tried making scones the other day. I think I better keep to Chinese cooking!

The dining room (top) with a 12-seater round table. I think it's a design fiasco because there is no way you can reach the lazy susan if the food is placed on it in a Chinese communal setting. This table is much bigger than those found in Chinese restaurants. I was told the owner had it specially designed and made according to the previous tenant's request. We figured only a beautiful center-piece bouquet can be placed, just for looks. Obviously this dining room is for official dinners. For our meals, we have been using the small dining table in the 'day' kitchen. The bottom pix is the other half of the living room. Behind the living room is the dining room.

This is the TV room, on the left side of the dining room, and it leads to the pool. Larry uses this room most, for his breakfast while he does his reading.

This family room on the 2nd level was the boys' favourite spot while they were here last month. Honestly, it has not been used since they left.

However, what I like best of this house is the landlord. I realised how essential it is to have a generous and understanding landlord. He provided most of the furnishings. Whatever we asked for, he gave. In fact, his manager brought us to the furniture mall and told us to just choose whatever we needed! But of course, the landlord is a rich man. He has so many properties, he cannot even remember the address of our house. He also runs a conglomerate of many other businesses. Whether it was an electrician, contractor, plumber or cleaner we needed at any time of the day, he was able to summon them at our request. Really, we have more than we can imagined. Grateful? We are.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I was never keen on 'blogging': writing or reading. Now, I'm subscribed to this mode of communication. Perhaps, it's the most convenient way to tell others that we're still alive while we're away from home. At least, for those who are still keen to know.

And finally, we are connected with the world! Setting up Internet here was quite a challenge. I will not dwell on the arduous tasks. It's history now.

It would have been more appropriate to have started this blog on Day 1 on our arrival here: 10 November 08, remembering my 'Internet challenge', suffice to say I am glad to make it before two months slipped by.

Since moving into our house, I have been busy setting up the place. This meant waiting at home for all the relevant workers, agencies, etc to put the house in order. In Brunei, this could mean a few visits for one job! I was only able to sneak out once to the gym. Actually, twice. The second one was a much-needed massage: at Empire. Befitting its name, the Empire massage, ambient, service, everything in it was worth every cent spent.

Larry has been busy with golf and badminton games. If he was younger, I would invest to turn him into a pro. At his age, he surprised me. His evening routine is a 45-minute run on the treadmill, a few laps at the pool, cool down at the jacuzzi. He's definitely making good use of the pool and jacuzzi!

Today we attended the Chinese Christmas service because we were at the English Christmas-eve service. The speaker for both services was a Pastor Lawrence from Singapore. He preached a straight-to-the-point Gospel message. Haven't heard a factually simple Gospel message for a long time.

After dinner, we drove to Gadong (Orchard Road equivalent) and shared a banana-split at the Swenson. Simple lifestyle but sweet, and I'm not referring to the ice-cream.

I'll upload some pictures of our house when I've time.