Life’s A Stage : Bring Popcorn

Photo by the author

I took a long leisurely cruise back to Brunei’s capital of Bandar Seri Begawan that day from my wife’s Lamunin village on my 4x4. Instead of the usual route, I went via the more remote route of Limau Manis/Wasan and through Bengkurong Masin and then Bunut.

Yes I know… the names of these places are rather unique and if you are not from these parts – the names can be alien sounding and definite tongue twisters.

But bear with me …

I had been alone, ears attuned to the car stereo connected to my phone’s Apple Music app spewing music ranging from a Bali instrumental piece, the classical orchestration of “Stranger in Paradise”, a song from 50 shades of Grey, Indonesian artist Firman Siagian’s “Rindu Serindu Rindunya” and a tenor saxophone “This Masquerade” piece.

I was aware of the audio diversity in my car which was matched only by the somewhat diverse scenery as I progressed through this less travelled (at least for me) area of Brunei.

My wife Mona would have termed this little escapade of mine as in keeping with my need to just explore the surroundings… unnecessarily. She also has a neat word for it – “longcuts” instead of shortcuts.

I could not agree with her better. It had been a necessity. There had been a time in my life when work took a majority in the hours of the day. After months of coming home at midnight, I took a long holiday. We bundled up the kids, brought clothing and supplies and took a road trip through Sarawak – our neighbouring state in this island of Borneo.

In that particular trip, I had gone slowly partly because our previous car had been a low slung MPV much more suited for the highways of Japan than our Bornean colourful roadways. I also went slow because I wanted to savour the miles lazily building up between work and me, and more importantly to feel the destination slowly inching up, gradually getting closer and closer.

It had been a balancing act : you could not wait to let go of the past but you also wanted to let the future permeate you steadily.

Wasn’t it Kevin Costner in the movie “a Perfect World” who said that the car going through a journey was like a time machine?

“Right there in front is the future, back there is the past.”, Costner had said. He also added that you could speed up and slow down the car according to your wishes and that when you stop, that was like the present.

“Enjoy it while it lasts!”, he had said.

To me, it is not just about enjoying the moment. In our busy lives, we do not always have the opportunity to take those well deserved long breaks. Instead we have these brief respites, these small journeys and these unscheduled longcuts with the compulsory change in scenery that keep us fresh, in-perspective and most importantly recharged.

So here’s to impromptu road trips and mini-breaks.

Life’s a stage. Bring popcorn!

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