They say life goes in cycles, and mine certainly does. Checking out of my hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan was the start of a good day. I didn’t ask for any of the following, and yet it was all offered to and given to me.
The kitchen lady insisted her husband would drive me to the Indonesian Embassy to fetch my new visa and upon arrival there, I was handed a banknote. My visa was the first ever I’ve received with errors printed on it, but the woman in the embassy said I didn’t need to get it changed.
I got 8 more lifts that day but one stood out. It was the Bangladeshi man who pulled over to let me out at a junction, and offered me more money. As I stood at his 4×4 window saying, “Please no. There are many poorer people than me so find someone who really needs your cash and help them – I’ll be alright” I heard a dull pop. A sedan rolled by behind me where I’d left the urination bucket with my camera and video camera in it. Its driver had gone right over my bucket without even noticing. I threw my hands up, the 4×4 driver winced and I scrambled to fetch my belongings. Thankfully, having bought good quality items, all were still working. Wow. That was close!
I crossed through border checkpoint after checkpoint, into and out of Brunei, and was left at the roadside in the far north of Sarawak. I wasn’t hitchhiking at the time and 3 Muslim holy men stopped in another 4×4. They were on a community assistance journey and again, without having asked, I was handed a Bruneian banknote by the terrifically friendly bunch who were adamant they needed to drive me a long way to help me. Amazing!