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I worked in BSB at the Australian High Commission we were the floor above the American Embassy down town by the river. We actually worked Monday thru Friday morning so had Friday afternoon and the weekends off. We worked Fridays so those who had the day off work could come for consular and immigration services. I could just take the boats from the river front into Malaysia or drive south across the border. I know a lot of expats found life difficult but the money for them was good all tax free. Lots of school teachers from the UK as well and most of them wanted to immigrate to Australia. If you were there after Sharia Law was introduced then I can understand why you would have hated it.

There was a flight from the airport to KK every Friday afternoon so could take an extra day off on a Monday and stay at the Tanjung Aru which is now the Shangri La hotel and go diving from there. I used to play squash at the park and enjoy the pool there. All diplomats were given free membership there. We could also take the helicopter flights to the longhouses in the jungles as well. Also from 1986 - 1988 you could get alcohol there and in any case diplomatic missions would import a lot for the necessary functions we had to host.

For me being young and having learned Malay at an Australian government language school for 40 hours a week for several months it was an interesting time. That schooling was great being in a government office but useless at a market or where people spoke local mixed languages.
Was in Seria not BSB from 98 to 99. Took me 3 months to make diplomat friends and have access to booze. Restaurants closing at 20:00. And as I had a one entry visa, I could not go out. One year of depression. I actually quit Schlumberger when my ex wife threatened to go back to France with my young first born. 5 years living in Asia in some nice places (Balikpapan, Vung Tau, Perth, Singapore) but Brunei was too hard to bear. I still can’t believe that no one got me into scuba diving at the time.

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