Labuan has Duty Free Shops the way Seattle has coffee shops: in such
excess you cannot imagine how they all thrive, and yet there they are.
of Borneo. It sits just north of Brunei, and independently of the two large
Malaysian states on Borneo- Sabah and Sarawak. Since it was little more than a
pit stop along the BIYC, we looked forward to having time to poke around and
explore a little on our return south. The weather had other ideas.
the boat unattended some days, the buffeting wind and tropical downpours
curtailing our shoreside activities. We watched our neighbors roll from gunwale
to gunwale, drag in the middle of the night, and hook junk on the mucky bottom
and crossed our fingers while feeling grateful that we were an iota more
comfortable. It’s a shame the public marina is closed, although it has such
faulty engineering (it opens toward prevailing weather, the breakwall is
permeable doesn’t actually break much, and so the docks are literally breaking
apart) that even a snug berth might not have made much of a difference.
|Docks strapped together in a vain effort to prolong their life|
stories that they’re writing and catching up on a few movies as one squally day
rolled over another. Jamie and I used the time to work on recovering photos. We
lost primary and backup storage drives within a few hours of each other
recently. Because we have other backups, there’s only one gap we need to
recover, but it’s a big one: basically, everything we took during the months we
spent in Papua New Guinea last year. I’m not crushed yet because I’m hopeful
we’ll recover them, but it’s still making my heart hurt to think about it. We
have to run the recovery software 24×7, so it’s not bad to be parked.
|file recovery zone. glass of wine required.|
Once the weather broke, it was time to scope out the duty free
shopping. I have no interest in the finery-for-the-masses that clutters the usual
DFS shopping experience (perfume? Just makes me sneeze. High end ‘statement’ watches?
Not impressed. Fine chocolates? Well OK, you might have me there…). On the other hand, Jamie and I enjoy an
evening sundowner, but spirits have either been unavailable or unaffordable since we left Mexico. That was a long time ago. Enter duty free shopping: although junk rum ran $65/bottle in Australia, a delicious Caribbean hooch was only $10 in Labuan. Time for Dark and Stormys!
which was effectively an aquarium without many tanks- mostly dioramas. The
quality isn’t great, but this is the first aquarium we’ve seen in a very long
time. The kids felt sorry for the lone blacktip doing laps in
a too-small pool (“it’s so cute!”). On one hand, it
lowered our standards; on the other, based on what we’ve all seen underwater in
the last few years, it’s hard to be impressed. Still, it was interesting to see
local marine life showcased… even if it was in modeled, cracked plaster.I think they preferred the jellyfish swarms at the marina.
|jellies swarming at the dinghy dock|
|what it really looked like… so thick, it was like jello|