Mimi (THE BRUNEI-MALAYSIA EXPERIENCE, PART 6)

After touring the mosque, Amir told me that we need to go back to the flat since the prayer hour will begin in a short while. So as planned, Amir and I took a 2-hour rest. This is Brunei’s typical Friday. In the Philippines, Friday is the best day since its nearing weekend and everyone is chilling out (and probably is the least productive day of the week). The difference is that there’s no weekend in Brunei. Friday is usually a day off for a typical Bruneian. Saturday is a work day while Sunday is another day off. I thought that it is something good except if you are planning for a travel. Long weekends usually give us those Monday Blues and weekend hangovers.

At 3pm, Amir woke up and told me that one university is having an open campus to attract potential students in the area. He told me that he can drive me there to be a “one day student” in Brunei. That’s a perfect thing for me because I really want to “be a local” when I travel.

Amir works for the media so his ID is a VIP ticket to practically anywhere. We entered the campus and suddenly felt the college air which I’ve been missing for almost 5 years now. They are having an organization fair and a mini-selling fair. It was a chaos but hey, its college! There’s also a band and they are playing Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop.. It is funny because I expected that Brunei is a bit conservative with their music since the entertainment industry is controlled by the government. Starving artists in Brunei are everywhere and not difficult to find. In fact, the people in the flat where I am staying are artists. Angel is a scriptwriter and taking up film as a minor. Amir is a writer. Artists cannot stop being artists. What the government resists will eventually persist.

While exploring the campus, Amir saw a friend. Her name is Mimi and she’s really charming especially with her modern hijab. She is wearing a white shirt with “Dance Club” written on it.

“We are going to dance in a while”, Mimi told us.

“Wow. I am excited”, I said.

“I am a bit nervous. We are going to dance a 90s remix”, she said.

“Oh, Backstreet boys huh?”

“Yes!”

I looked at Amir and smiled at him and said “We are 90s kids! We will surely love this!”

Then the host called the dance club and I wished Mimi some luck. She smiled at us.

…then, the dance started…

All the girls are charming. I think most of the Bruneians are. They really danced gracefully with the tune of Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and NSYNC. Not to mention that they were all wearing their Hijabs. The things happening around me that time made me smile. I had some paradigm shifts with our Muslim brothers and sisters. It was a good shift because I realized that we all have our own tastes and styles without compromising anything about our faith and beliefs. We are very much alike. We have so much in common.

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