What does that word mean to you?
A physical place that provides a roof over your head? Or, a place that provides a “roof” over your heart?
I feel its the latter.
As the saying goes: “Home is where the heart is…”
Apart from Malaysia (specifically Sarawak, specifically Kuching), I have always considered Brunei to be my home as well since I grew up here. But that didn’t prevent me from being homesick when I first started working here half-a-year ago. Note the past tense? Well, since then, my “condition” has greatly improved. I still miss Kuching at times, but I am…what’s the word?…happy?…here too. And hopefully things will continue to get better… 🙂
So, Malaysia and Brunei…
and how different they are too…
In Malaysia, only certain people can afford a Vios whereas in Brunei, a Vios is just…normal.
In both countries, the Malay language is the official language. But in Brunei, mastering English is encouraged, used in Education and widely spoken.
In Malaysia, the “rich” drive BMWs and Mercs. In Brunei, the “rich” drive Lexus, Mazdas (and a bunch of other Imported Makes and Models).
Malaysia is a Federal Constitutional Elective Monarchy. Brunei is an Islamic Absolute Monarchy.
Malaysia is made up of Malays, Chinese, Indians and “dan lain-lain”. In Brunei, there are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dusuns, Ibans, a diverse community of expats: Malaysians, Philippinos, Thais, British, Dutch, African, American…its too long to mention them all.
In Malaysia, one can lock and secure all doors and windows and still feel unsafe. In Brunei, one leaves doors and windows open and still feels safe.
In both countries, the driver is on the right side of the car. But in Brunei, slow cars remain in the left lane.
In Malaysia, a zebra crossing will only work if there is a traffic light or a traffic officer. In Brunei, zebra crossings just…work.
The price of fuel in both countries are subsidised. But in Brunei, fuel is cheaper than a bottle of water.
In Malaysia, there are many telcos and call plans to choose from. In Brunei, there are only two.
In Malaysia, it doesn’t cost you to answer a call. In Brunei, it costs 20 cents each time.
In Malaysia, going online using your handphone is expensive without a data package. In Brunei, everyone can surf the net on their handphones for only a few cents.
In Malaysia, a lot of things are taxed. In Brunei, there is no tax except for corporate taxes.
Well, I get to experience the best (and not-so-best?) of both worlds, and I’m not complaining. I’m just sharing my observations. Two neighbouring countries, some major differences, more minor differences (there are others but these were all I could think of now)…both of them called “Home”.
P.S. I wonder how different is another 2 neighbours: Malaysia & Singapore…soon…soon… 😉