19 April 2009
Brunei, Borneo Island
Monday morning I plan to visit some natives in a jungle in Borneo. They still hunt using blowguns and poison darts, I’m told. And their ancestors were headhunters. The Iban are said to be very friendly these days, but make no mistake: Borneo is wild country.
So Sunday evening, I headed for a walk on a short jungle path in town to practice with some new camera gear that I bought in Malaysia for use in Afghanistan. That’s when this man came walking by. Check out the T-shirt. Borneo is about as far from Florida as you can go without using a space rocket. Like the other folks I’ve been meeting here, this gentleman was very pleasant and allowed me to make a photo. He said he’d never been to Florida.
Coincidentally, there was an article in a local paper today about two men who were caught with firearms and ammunition. The sentences include a caning and two long prison sentences. If we had laws like this in the United States, I’d probably get several life sentences. At least I’d be locked up with a lot of my friends.
And caning is a serious beating. As with Singapore, crime is vanishingly low in Brunei. Especially so compared to the crime that many of us experience in the United States. The real world provides copious thought-fodder.