about the engineer’s wife

At the ages of 28 and 29, it really looked like The Engineer and I were ready to settle down.  We had the house, the cats, the community, and we loved New Plymouth (a small city in New Zealand).  But instead we decided to grab an opportunity, pack up our lives, and move to Brunei (a small country we knew nothing about until we decided to move there).  We’re there for two years (2013-2014), and then we’ll see where the world takes us next.

I wouldn’t usually define myself by my marital status (I’m firmly a Ms in New Zealand), but being on a dependent visa, and living as a lady of leisure, it suddenly seems a little more appropriate.

I blog about my experiences as an expat and a trailing spouse, my eternal search for happiness and fulfilment, being a Kiwi out of water, travelling in Asia, and the life of a white woman in Brunei.  Interspersed, you might find feminism, writing, adventures, mindfulness, yoga, crafts, cooking, and random thoughts.

8 thoughts on “about the engineer’s wife

  1. Hi Jenn,I just arrived in Kuala Belait with my engineer boyfriend and would love it if you could give me a few tips on how to be a lady of leisure around here…
    I’m French-Brazilian, 30 and usually work as a translator or a teacher.
    I will be staying at the Sea View hotel for the next three weeks.
    Let me know if you are around.
    Kind regards,
    Manu

  2. Hi, am enjoying some of your posts about life in Brunei. We are possibly coming later this year and was wondering if you could give me some idea of Internet speeds and quoto limits? Thanks, Grum

    • Hi. Thanks. Honestly, the internet is not great. We have a plan with 3.5MBps, unlimited data. The basic plan is 1MBps. The plans are all changing soon though. There are some areas with fibre optic, which should be much faster, but definitely not available everywhere! Hope that helps.

      • Thanks for the info. Am still pretty confused as reaseach is showing mixed messages. Telbru HSBB shows pretty impressive speed choices (at a cost) and I see from the coverage map fibre is being rolled out to increase coverage. Unfortunately this a crucial part of our decision. I’ll keep digging. If you know of anyone that could offer advice it would be appreciated.

  3. Hi there
    I stumbled upon your blog by accident and am really grateful for the insight into life in Brunei. We are in the process of relocating to Brunei (not sure how long the visa process is going to take) from Aberdeen, no kids but two dogs. I was wondering if you could throw some light on the pet front. Do any of the expats own pets? What kind of vet services are available? Any system of dog sitting while the family is away? ( it’s very common in Aberdeen to do so) I am also curious about clothing for women: no sleeveless or anything above the knee, or is there some lee way. I have lived in jumpers, parka and jeans for four years so have to invest in a whole new wardrobe for Brunei. Any help on these front would be appreciated. Thanking you in advance for taking the trouble to read this, with a toddler in tow time is a luxury.

  4. Hi Jenn,

    I’m in the process of applying for a job in Brunei. This would involve bringing my wife and two children aged 8 and 11. I have seen a few news stories about the imposition of Sharia Law, but very little on the actual impact. As a fellow westerner, with, I would imagine from your blog, a similar outlook, I would be interested in your perspective. Is there a noticeable change in the last two years? Should I be concerned? If you were in my shoes, would it deter you from moving there?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Jason

    • Hi Jason. Thanks for your comment! To be honest, we barely noticed Sharia law while we were there, and I definitely wouldn’t let it deter you. There were small things that cropped up from time to time, but they were frustrating rather than scary, and I believe that those quirks are part of the expat experience. Of course, this is something I can say as a relatively privileged person (white, straight, well off) – I think there are some genuine concerns about Sharia law for many groups, and if being somewhere that is at odds with your morals is a concern for you, that’s a different story. But in terms of day to day life for expat families, it’s generally not a big deal at all.

      • Hi Jenn,

        Many thanks for such a swift reply. Your response has confirmed exactly my take on the situation. Best of luck back in NZ.

        Jason

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