Crossing the border with gasoline smell again.
14.05.2012 - 18.05.2012
From Labuan to Serasa, May 17th 2012
The fare from Labuan to Serasa is cheaper than from Serasa to Brunei. I got through the immigration check out point without hassle.
Entering the boat.
The interior. Not bad, huh? Yeah, not bad. But the gasoline smell is back.
About the journey itself, nothing very interesting. I wonder if I actually could go up to the deck. There could be better shots to frame up there. Ah, next time I will.
Here I am, back on Brunei land.
Welcome back to Brunei.
Once again there was a long queue – mostly Chinese looking -- for foreign passport immigration check in but the queue for Brunei passport holders soon ended. So some foreigners were instructed to queue there. The immigration staff who checked my documents was kind and did not make any commotion. But upon exiting when clearing my baggage, a young man required,
“May I see your passport, please?”
I gave him my passport and he asked again, “What’s inside there?’ pointing at my camera backpack. I zipped off my backpack.
That young man handed my passport to a not-so-young lady standing next to me. “Ah!” she cried. “Dari Indonesia! Sedang apa di sini? Berniagakah?”
“Tidak. Hanya melancong saja,” I answered.
She turned the pages in my passport. “Tadi pagi ke Labuhan dan sekarang sudah kembali?”
“Ya, saya hanya lihat-lihat saja.”
“Tidak. Hanya melancong saja,” I repeated.
“Kapan kembali ke Indonesia?”
“Besok ke Kuala Lumpur dan besok lusa kembali ke Indonesia.”
“Tidak. Hanya melancong saja!” I repeated for the third time and started to feel irritated.
“Mengapa cepat sekali kembali?”
“Saya harus kembali bekerja. Di sini semua mahal!” I felt irritated. Why shouldn't she trust me that I'm in Brunei on vacation, and not on business?
"Bertemu familikah?" she continued interrogating me.
I grabbed my hotel's room key-chain. "Ini kunci kamar hotel saya!"
Maybe now she realized from the tone of my voice that I was going from irritated to agitated. She made a sudden laugh which sounded awkward. "Lihat, nomornya sama!" She showed me the name tag on her chest. The numbers written there was similar to my hotel room number. She laughed again. I curved my face into a more sour look instead. That's not funny.
There goes the consequences of traveling a road less traveled (by tourists). It's not about transportation or accommodation. It's about the big question: Why are you here?