Living in the tropics – getting used to being “at one with nature”?

I guess I’m slowly getting used to a completely different life here in Brunei. Instead of rushing out the door as soon as I wake up to hurl myself at the London public transport system to get into a big grey tower to work, I drop the Hubs off at his work (as we only have 1 car at the moment), have some breakfast from Coffee Bean and then run some errands. Instead of wearing dark suits and dresses with tights, I wear what was previously labelled my holiday wardrobe. These are general changes that I’ve anticipated on some level. But the one thing that I’m finding really new and different is the experience of actually living in a tropical country and all the other stuff that goes with it.

One thing is that it is always warm, even when it’s hazy out. When we have cloudless skies, it’s positively roasting. The power of the sun really is astounding. There are lots of shop signs that have a faded look to them, previously I thought that they were old but now I know that the sun just bleaches everything. Although before I moved here I knew it was going to be hot and humid, the level of heat doesn’t fail to surprise me yet. Sometimes I think, oh that cafe isn’t too far, I’ll just put my hat and sunglasses on and walk over there. Then I actually go outside and think, nope, need to get in the car.

Another thing I’m slowly getting used to is how much wildlife there is. When you live in London in a flat, and you work in a big glass tower, it is really easy to forget that there are other species on this earth. Even when the Hubs and I visited Brunei in June, I thought, how nice, it’s so lush here, so “nature-y”. I now live here, and that romantic notion lives on. BUT it’s slowly dawning on me that it’s not just a lovely little garden here and there, we are ACTUALLY living within the jungle. There is wildlife everywhere, evidenced literally everyday. Wild monkeys roam freely, the other day I even saw a mum and baby monkey! Unfortunately they ran off before I could snap a picture… There are flocks and flocks of cute little white birds (which I haven’t managed to identify yet) which just hang out by the roadside. At night, lizards/geckos come out from wherever they were during the day. After some rain, the sound of frogs croaking is deafening. And these are things/animals that I can see or hear…

The other day, I saw this at the golf course.

Not only do I have to watch where the golf balls land, I have to watch out for CROCODILES!!!

Not only do I have to watch where the golf balls land, I also have to watch out for CROCODILES!!!

I’m not a girl from the tropics and I’ve never lived in a tropical region before. It’s certainly not the same experience as going on a nice week-long holiday in a resort. I’m also terrified of bugs. One day the Hubs and I are walking along the road to the car when a massive bug lands on my arm and I let out a shriek that made heads turn. Just when I think, my god what have I got myself into, I go to the Club to run one of my errands when I see this in the car park.

A tree in the Club car park

A tree in the Club car park

A wild hornbill!

A wild hornbill in the tree!

Yup a wild hornbill just chilling out in the tree. I am chuffed as my Bruneian friend tells me that she’s only seen it once before.

Well I hope I can used to being “at one with nature” soon as these animals aren’t going anywhere! And I wouldn’t want them to either…


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