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Sunday, 16 August 2009

Bridex 2009

I realize this is a bit late to publish it but blogger’s image uploader has been a real pain in the neck lately so posting up 110 pictures took a while. After resizing and uploading the ones I hadn't uploaded using blogger, I realized that I uploaded the same ones all over again. Pardon my frustration but I do not think it's worth the trouble to upload the first 55 again, especially since I'll need to resize them too. If there are inconsistencies in my post, know that I wrote this last Sunday and didn’t bother to proofread it again.

I went to the Bridex exhibition with my friends a few days ago. Bridex is an exhibition about the weapons, aircrafts and military equipment that other countries brought to show off in ours. While I took notice of the different countries showing their stuff off (Canada, Pakistan, USA, India, Malaysia etc.) I couldn’t help but think that now in Brunei would be a perfect time for arms traders to do some business, black and legally. It took place at the exhibition halls near the Jerudong Park Medical Centre, the exhibition not the arms deal as I have no actual clue if that took place or not – would be funny if it did though.

Okay, me and a bunch of guys, 10 in all, planned on going to this exhibition on Friday at first so we bought Friday tickets but we changed it to Saturday after learning that the tickets could still be used for Saturday and that most of us couldn’t make it on Friday. I wonder how many of them skipped their afternoon classes to be there, there was a bunch who skipped for the morning session and even our immediate juniors were allowed to take a trip there in the morning. We weren’t the only ones in our batch going that day either, almost all the rest of the guys in our year went as a separate group and some of the girls were there too totaling in at least 30 people from our year there in the afternoon.

According to the ticket, we weren’t allowed to bring our own personal transport there to the exhibition halls so the provided a system of shuttle buses to send people to and from the exhibition area. My parents dropped me off there after waiting about 10 minutes in traffic on the way to the shuttle buses at Jerudong park so I got there without much trouble but Rif and Khai had to park their cars far away so they had to take a 20 minute walk to the buses after they got there. I saw the other group of guys along with about 1000 strangers leave on the buses as I waited for Khai to get there with his brother. After 30 minutes of waiting (I have a talent for waiting developed after years of waiting to be picked up at school) in the shadows like a ninja, the other group didn’t even realize I was standing there right in front of them until I greeted Hakeem in our usual way, Khai and his bro arrived. Unfortunately it was just after they ran out of purple bags to give out; the rest of the guys in our group managed to get them since they got on before I did. To my knowledge, they got the bag, a DVD, a book, wristbands and a strap. They also gave complimentary water to everyone at the exhibition halls.

It took us three tries to get on a bus since the first two filled up before we could get in but we managed to get on in the end. I had the map to the exhibition halls so when they took a different route from what I thought, I immediately thought that we were probably being kidnapped. Obviously I was wrong, but it was funny how that it seemed to get likelier as we passed through what appeared to be an abandoned building site.

Once the bus dropped us off, I was impressed at the buildings for the exhibition halls and by the huge satellite dishes in the surrounding area. Speaking of which, one of the exhibition halls had an ASTRO dish on them. Supposedly they checked our tickets as we flashed them by the security guards but I can imagine they’d probably ignore that if they did it long enough. I don’t think they’d ignore it if I brought my ski mask along with me like I wanted to but I gave up that idea when I read there would be a security check. I’m pretty sure that I could have snuck it in if I did bring it though.

We went into the east hall first and looked through the weapons for a bit but after seeing through the first half of the exhibitions there, we decided to check out the military vehicles at the static displays. Those were the highlights our visit there since we missed the demonstrations they had in the morning. While I was outside, I did take note of how clear the sea looked that time.

After that we went into the west hall and saw the stuff in there. Khai won a calendar for answering what they used the mini 2-wheel robo scout for. Turns out that it was used for rescue operations in crushed buildings and the like. We met up with Rif and Zaki while we were looking at the huge Rubric’s Cube that UBD built for some unknown reason and went off to look at the Royal Brunei Police Force’s stuff. They were showing off some night operation gear and their own scuba gear. I was amused at there was no Bruneian that was actually as tall as the mannequins wearing the stuff were. They let us try on the scuba tanks and they were about 14kg each, just a bit heavier than my schoolbag can be at times – I have the habits of a pack rat btw. They also had a painted gun replica that is supposed to weigh just a little under the weight of a real gun. They even had a Jetski – what kind of operations these guys pull off at sea exactly?

Shaminan then called Khai while I went to the toilet and I noticed that there’s a treatment room and a crepe place set up nearby. There was coffee bean in the other hall. He probably waited 15 minutes for us to meet him since we got sidetracked on the way to the exit. We made our way back to the other hall through the central globe in the middle which I thought was being wasted since it was just one big lounge.

We checked out the second half of the exhibits we didn’t check earlier and played around with the mannequins and some disembodied hands while making jokes about the weapons in exhibit. Among those I can remember are that we were one kick away from taking the weapons for ourselves, that the bombs could explode if they set up things last minute, that they were selling grenades in the form of soft drink vending machine and that Shaminan was going to sell us some missiles and guns for Hari Raya. It’d be awesome if we did that but I already have plans for a particularly flashy item, just hope that I won’t get taken in by the KDN if it exceeds my expectations. What I need are a load of matchsticks, some powder, a canister, a fuse and special ingredient.

We also saw some medical equipment that would have been perfect to treat some zombies which brought up Khai’s plan to make a zombie film – which will probably begin production in November. There was also a mobile kitchen on display but I really wonder what they’d be cooking. Based on what I saw, it’d have to either be deep fried or some sort of stew. We got on a truck after looking at the kitchen and fooled around inside a bit. One of the pictures of me made me realize that my canine teeth are actually longer my bunny teeth.

We then went outside to the static displays again and played around with shots of the vehicle. Rif met up with a guy and two girls we used to go school with back in our primary school days. I couldn’t recognize any of them and remembered only one of their names so I only said hi after Rif pointed me out. Sigh… My “people” memory seems to be getting worse and worse since they seemed to remember me. Doesn’t help that my thought process is getting more and more chaotic. I wonder if I’ll be able to remember any of my current friends 10 years from now. I played and talked a lot with my former schoolmates when we were kids and that was only 7 years ago and every time I meet any of them, they’re always the ones reminding me that we went to school together.

After that we went back out to the buses and were brought back to the shuttle bus area at the Jerudong Park Garden. From there it was a 20 minute walk to Rif’s car and me, Rif and Zaki were reminded about the Urban Ninja videos we were supposed to make last year. All three of us could still do what we trained for last year and my jumping abilities are actually reaching ninja-like levels now. Guess I’ll have restart training since we still want to do that. Somebody has to breathe life back into Jerudong Park and I think mysterious sightings of guys in black clothes running around at night should do that.

That’s it for now. I have a bunch of review set to be posted over the next few days. Hopefully blogger won’t fail me this time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It has a very unreliable schedule posting system.

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