Lim Teh In The Sultanate.
Since we are looking at Brunei, let’s visit a Chinese kopitiam in Pekan Seria, Brunei. The shop was even more authentic than the many found in Malaysian towns. .
It featured old school coffee shop chairs and real marble table-tops from the 1950s or 1960s. There was also the quintessential bored cashier or proprietor sitting behind the counter. There were no big candy jars on the counter however,
At the time I was at Universal Cafe, the country had a reversed and practical system of halal certification. Since non-halal food outlets are few, non-halal shops are required to display a sticker or sign declaring Muslims are not allowed.
The are many Indian and Mamak eateries in the nanny state too, if you know where to look. Seria the coastal district and Chinese town was fascinating. It had a frozen in 50s or 60s look. Many of our kopitiams were once pristine like this. If authentic, the original shop ought to have the disgusting spittoon containers since the early patrons were refined tin mine workers. If you are unrefined, you just spit on the floor. Haha.
The majority of the Chinese speak Hokkien (Fujian dialect) here and were happy to converse in the mother tongue if you engage them. .
I still think Pekan Tutung, also on the coast, is the real Chinese town where Chinese schools and Chinese temples are found.
Chinese Bruneians are said to form 15 % of the Sultanate’s population and have considerable presence and clout in commerce and the economy. A characteristic of the worldwide and far flung Chinese diaspora.
There are many oil refinery ‘flare stacks’ visible from Seria and you can photograph the dramatic flames shooting up. A nice reminder that Brunei is an oil rich state.
Only one good hotel in Seria and it is the modern Roomz Hotel.
#documentaryphotography #streetphotography #travelogue #chinese #tutung #chinesekopitiam #kopitiam #coffeeshop #chinese #brunei #seria