So I am now back from Brunei since I was invited by Xinwen to Brunei to be their chief judge in the Brunei 1st Inter-School Weiqi (Go) Tournament 09.
I have always been amazed by Xinwen and his team in promoting Go in Brunei and this inter-school tournament is indeed another big leap forward to encourage more people to play Go. To show my support to him as well as sort of representing the Malaysian weiqi players as well, me and my wife bought the Air Asia flight last Wednesday. It was a trip that almost didn’t happen as we were on the verge of canceling the trip as something unexpected happened but finally we were able to go.
The tournament was casual but well organised. The best part of it is it has a very close feeling to it, everyone is nice to each other and the mood is very jovial and positive. There are more on the tournament on Xinwen’s blog.
On Brunei itself, it is a rather quiet place, peaceful and with really good roads (perhaps so that the Ferrari and Lamborghini can speed through them). The mosques there are nice and there are quite a lot of mosques there. If you would like to have a peace and quiet life where a lot of things are relatively cheap, such as cars, houses, petrol etc., then Brunei will be a good place to live.
However, if you are the Las Vegas sort, you will easily find yourself easily bored. It will be good, however, to go there and stay to detoxify yourself from too much partying though.
In a way, Brunei or more particularly the Bandar Seri Begawan area since we mostly ventured around there, reminds me of Ipoh or Kelantan. Quiet and peaceful where everybody almost knows everybody and every place is just within minutes from one place to another. The typical Bruneian are really nice people, always very polite and obliging.
So perhaps there is another event next year and if there is a chance, I will perhaps visit Xinwen and his family again. And yes, Xinwen’s family is really nice and pampered us well :)
Here are some pictures (picture credit: the ever excellent Jayden Sia):
Playing simultaneous games with the participants of the tournament:
Prize presentation. This is Peng Hui (or Xinwen calls him Penguin). A jovial and really nice guy. Kit says he looks a bit like Jet Li.
Prize presentation to Mah Zhe Fan (or they call him Makai). He is also very nice and he is quite strong in Go too.
Here is the group photo: