My visa was expiring so I need to exit and get a new extension for my stay in Malaysia. I notice that Royal Brunei had a cheap promotional flight to Australia, so I went to the Australian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan to apply for a visa. I had never been to a western country before and my several attempt to get a visa to join Second monkey in the US had all been denied. To my surprise, the Australian embassy granted me a visa same day without even subjecting me to interrogation. ( I found out later, that they had called my office and also talked to Second Monkey.)

The Royal Brunei Airline flight to Darwin was the most pleasant flight I have ever had. We never encountered any turbulence during that three hour flight. Before I knew it, we had already landed in Darwin. The immigration officer asked me how many days I would like to stay , and she asked nicely to see if I had enough funds to cover my trip, then very politely stamped my passport. I was waiting for my backpack at customs when the same female officer asked me politely if that’s my luggage. I was so impressed and felt safe when she took my clothes out one by one and checked thoroughly including every pocket, and my dirty underwear. I thought, “She must like me.” She rearranged it and put it back professionally, then wholeheartedly welcomed me to Australia and wished me a nice trip.

I found a cheap, but very nice, hostel at the center of downtown Darwin. Darwin is not that big of a city but very pleasant and I liked that it has a similar tropical climate to Malaysia. I decided to book a tour to Litchfield National Park. I then took the Greyhound bus to Katherine, as the name reminded me of Second Monkey. Travelers at the hostel where I stayed, arranged to go to some sort of night club, so I joined the fun. I noticed that some aborigines were not allowed in, but I had no problem. I’m a monkey too so I wondered, why?

I joined a trip to Katherine Gorge then realized that Australia is not that cheap. I was over budget so it was time to rush home. It was my turn to have my passport stamped to exit Australia at the Darwin airport on my way back to Brunei when the same female immigration  officer recognized me. She asked why I was leaving so soon when I had requested a longer stay. I told her ” I don’t like it.” She gave me a sour look and abruptly stamped my passport. I was amused with that look but how could  I say, “I’m running out my money, so it’s time to leave.”

Australia is one of the friendliest countries that I have ever visited. It is also one of the few countries that has given me no problem at immigration.

Victoria Secret