Random Play by Graham Reid

9

With a little help from my friends . . .

The ticket isn't exactly in my hand, but in less than a fortnight I am going to be traipsing around various parts of Malaysia, and I need your help.

Somewhere between going up-river in Sarawak and going jungle in Sabah (or to the beach) I want to spend a few days in Brunei -- and I am openly soliciting for advice/contacts/ideas and so on.

The other day I spoke to someone at The Asia New Zealand Foundation who said they had never had an approach from a New Zealand journalist about going to Brunei -- and that they had no contacts in the country.

That has made me even more interested in going there.

Given the paucity of information here about Brunei (many people seem to think it is in the Middle East in my experience) I would like to do a serious piece of reportage (for some outlet) on its economy and so on, as much as just enjoying whatever delights it might have to offer.

So I am asking for help: Know anyone? Got contacts in government and/or business there? Advice on necessary courtesies and protocols?

Obviously I am going to be working the phones in the next few days, but any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated. I think we need to know a lot more about Brunei.

Maybe even just something at all.

And in other self-serving matters: tomorrow night (Monday 27th) I am giving a free talk at the Auckland City Library on my experiences of rock'n'roll travel (with images, music, readings and humorous anecdotes). It's from 6pm so feel free to drop in: there is wine and coffee available and I will also have copies of my book for sale.

And finally: Lou Reed talking about the Velvet Underground in 1967? The as-yet unreleased albums by Steve Earle and Jose Gonzalez? Wonderful music from a Sheffield ballader, and the bellydance clubs of the Middle East? Poised Chinese sounds and luvverly stuff from the Cape Verde Islands? And more???

Yep, it is all right here
Plus recipes/essays/stories/and other newly added stuff. Enjoy -- and doubtless there will be punk rock from Brunei in about three weeks.
Ho ho ho!

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