Overseas and beyond (III)

Day 3:
Visited a school in Brunei and was overwhelmed by their warm welcome. Kids lined the corridors to clap and play musical instruments. Door gifts were given to all of us while teachers shook our hands with much delight.

It was as though we were royalty!

The principal began to give a speech in their cosy library. Since I don't understand Bahasa Malayu, I started to look around the room, all the while pretending to take photos. To my horror, I was the only one wearing shoes in the entire room. How embarrassing!

Assuming an air of professionalism, clutching to my tiny compact camera, I feigned indifference. Immediately, after the speech, I hurried out of the library to shed my shoes.

The teachers of Brunei are really well-off. Many of them carry DSLRs and MacBooks. Envious, envious. Incidentally, Brunei is a really affluent country with a benevolent sultan who provides free healthcare and education to all Bruneians.

With idle interest, I began to observe some teachers as they read a book. The interest intensified when I realised what the three of them were reading.

They were pointing a picture of the female reproductive system and giggling demurely while the rest of the room listened attentively to the principal's speech. Such naughtiness! From the gentle way the teacher were giggling, one would imagine them to be sharing a quiet joke on the weather, not looking at reproductive systems!

And they actually posed for a photo as their colleague took a photo of them with the book resting on their laps, diagram of the menstrual periods on one page and a drawing of the male reproductive system on the adjacent. It's really LOL.

We immersed ourselves in the culture of Brunei as the teachers cordially guided us along.

The camaraderie among the teachers was impressive. They sat down, played with some drums together, laughed and shared stories. Our Singapore teachers pointed out that they would hurry back to Brunei, feeling blessed, if they were to spend one torturous month working in a Singapore school.

Why must working in Singapore be so tiring?