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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mangochutney, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    How much of a day to day life problem.is the shariah law in Brunei?

    Really not sure about living in a country that condones stoning women for adultery!
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Surely only a problem if you are planning on breaking any laws :)
  3. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    I have spent today having this exact discussion with my partner...

    I did a lot of reading and if I am correct, the shariah law only applies to native Muslims.

    We aren't married though so it's probably a non-starter for us anyway. If anyone knows otherwise please let me know.
  4. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    I am married and not planning on breaking any laws but we are interested in a certain well know, and attractive, school there. Very conflicting info online, dh worried he wouldn't be able to wear shorts for n the street!
    We're not massive drinkers so not overly put off by the no alcohol thing but wondering how much it all inhibits normal life.
  5. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    I've travelled a fair bit nearby and I know you can't expose knees or shoulders. So it would depend on the length of his shorts.... :D
  6. loislane1

    loislane1 New commenter

    I live in Brunei. Day to day Sharia law does not affect me at all. It is really a lovely place to live, a little on the quiet side. Happy to start a conversation and answer any questions you have.
    skeptucator and ironops like this.
  7. ironops

    ironops New commenter

    I've lived in Brunei and would agree with loislane above - Sharia Law didn't affect me or my family whatsoever. My take is that its introduction is largely symbolic.

    Nor is it true that the earlier poster's husband would have any problem wearing shorts there. It's not party central, but unless you're loud and obnoxious by nature, you wouldn't have to be that careful what you do. Conduct yourself with the same amount of respect for your hosts that you would anywhere and you'd be fine.

    It's an easy place to live in, I found, but it IS quiet and some people do get bored with it. A lot of bureaucratic stuff proceeds extremely slowly, which most expats get used to but some do find frustrating. If you want alcohol, the size of the country mean it's never much of a drive over the border to somewhere in Malaysia where you can drink and the amounts you can bring back into Brunei for your own private consumption are generous enough unless you're a heavy drinker. Booze runs will fill up your passport very quickly, however - 4 chunky stamps for each trip, which will be half a page gone each time, if you're lucky.
    skeptucator likes this.
  8. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Hi @loislane1 and @ironops - I wondered if I could ask you about two aspects of life in Brunei...

    Firstly, does the illegality of unmarried cohabitation apply to non-Muslim expats? Where do I stand with this... general internet searches offer conflicting advice.

    Secondly, are there any expats who have taken their pet dogs to Brunei? Do you know if this is possible / advised?

    Thank you, both of your posts above have been very helpful.
  9. crinauk

    crinauk New commenter

    Just spotted this thread and wanted to ask how bad is the humidity ? I have worked in Africa and it was incredibly humid which made life outside of aircon really difficult.
  10. ironops

    ironops New commenter

    No, I don't think it does apply to non-Muslim expats. At least, not as regards the actual co-habitation per se. When I was there, I knew of several unmarried couples, both straight and gay couples, who were living together. So it's a lot more tolerant for expats than most people would expect, I imagine. However, I really don't know how the visa situation works out for those couples if one of them isn't working. My impression is that dependent visas are only issued for legally married partners and children.

    Regarding dogs, I'm not a dog owner myself so I'm not the best one to ask. But it's certainly possible. Lots of expats there have dogs. Plenty of non-muslim locals do too, particularly the Chinese Bruneians. You'd need your landlord to be ok with having a dog, but most landlords tended to be Chinese, so I reckon you'd not have too much trouble finding one who didn't mind. Obviously, there'll be a quarantine procedure to go through and you'd have to make your own judgment as to whether you'd be happy putting your dog through that.
    skeptucator likes this.
  11. ironops

    ironops New commenter

    Of course, it depends on your own individual tolerance to heat and humidity. It's not as hot as, for example, the Gulf Region. You don't get temperatures in the 40s. Generally, during the day it goes up to low to mid 30s, sometimes mid to high 30s on bright sunny days. But those numbers probably don't tell the whole story as the humidity is indeed often high enough to make it feel like a lot more.

    Late afternoon, early evening wasn't too bad, I found. Although it can be frustrating that your plans for outdoor activity around that time sometimes get wrecked by thunderstorms. These are often over pretty quickly, but proximity to the equator means it's dark by not long after 6pm all year round so even a short downpour might be enough to put paid to your trip to the pool or park.

    Again, much depends on what you're used to. I didn't find it too unbearable, but one thing that doesn't help you get used to it is how shops and public buildings everywhere have aircon cranked up to the coldest setting possible, meaning it hits you harder when you step outside again.
    skeptucator likes this.
  12. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your response @ironops, we are both teachers hoping to secure posts in the same school so hopefully the visa situation wouldn't be too much trouble.
  13. md__m

    md__m New commenter

    Hi skeptucator,

    I took my dog to Brunei and it was not that difficult. Depending on where you are coming from, the dog might need to go into quarantine. The facilities were excellent. We officially had 6 months of quarantine but after about 4 weeks our dog and cat were assigned to 'home quarantine'. At the facility, the staff will not go near the dogs so you have to go at least once a day to feed/water and play with your dog. If there are other dogs there, they can play together (not much of a quarantine but it worked out well for us). things might have changed since I did it. Easy to get dog food and good vet care there.
    skeptucator likes this.
  14. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Hi md_m that's so useful, thank you. I would be bringing them from the UK.
  15. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    had you considered what you are going to do with your dog during your summer holidays? if you go home to the UK, its not going to be very easy or cheap, and they WILL stick to their quarantine regulations in the UK.

    just a thought
    skeptucator likes this.
  16. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Hi @dumbbells66 thanks for the idea, yes, thoroughly researching vet care options, pet boarding opportunities etc. I realise that it will mean a high cost or potentially less holiday opportunities but I'd rather that than give them up.
  17. loislane1

    loislane1 New commenter

    Normally people have maids (amahs) who usually don't mind dogs. They are watched by them in holiday time. If you have a live in maid (which is very cheap) then that would be ok but mine lives out. She will come to feed the cats on her days off. I know a few people who have brought their own dogs over from Germany and Thailand. It is correct they will be in home quarantine up till 6 months after the initial 4 weeks in the compound.
    Humility - its hot but everywhere has air con and no one walks anywhere. It doesn't feel too humid, I suppose I must have gotten used to it.
    Considering its a 'dry' country I've never drank so much or had such a busy social life! Yes Brunei is quite but life is what you make it.
    Good luck
    skeptucator likes this.
  18. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    loislane1 likes this.
  19. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    i do remember a colleague of mine paying for her dog to go back to the US over one summer from eastern Europe. she could have flown business class the whole way for the same price !!!! pets abroad can be expensive.
    skeptucator likes this.
  20. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    The quote I've had for taking them to Brunei is pretty insane... but if that's what it takes then that's what it takes.

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