An explanation and a TUMI luggage epiphany

The main reason I haven’t been blogging is because anytime I feel like I want to write something, I scare myself out of it because I think… Well I have to commit time and effort into writing something really long and thoughtful and well-structured (like before). I used to craft each one of my posts the way one would an essay, I suppose. I’d think about what it is I wanted to say, how best to say it, and I’d enjoy the process of selecting accompanying clipart (the more cartoonish and exaggerated, the better) to illustrate my points.

In general, I used to take maybe a day or two per post… With the exception of the extra-long ones back when I was tracking the drop in oil price and the ripple effects on government budget[k I just randomly linked two old posts, not sure if I linked the most relevant ones haha]

But I realize I shouldn’t have to see things that way. It’s so easy to let the trepidation of starting (or restarting) something new, or something big, or something big and new scare you off.  And then nothing gets doneEver.

When I started this blog I did it for myself more than for other people. I had a lot of ideas, a lot of thoughts that I wanted to put down on paper because I’m very aware of how difficult it is to find even the most basic references in Brunei (what credit cards are, how to do routine stuff). It’s an even greater challenge to find insightful pieces of writing that stand the test of time. A lot of articles that go viral have a tendency to be deliberately provocative pieces addressing specific controversial incidents (e.g. a Ministry reshuffle, a policy change). Sure, these inflammatory articles erupt into a raging fireballs and get people talking for a while but they extinguish and become irrelevant, outdated, and forgotten just as quickly.

When I write, I hope to spark ideas and insight, to fan the flames of thoughtfulness and learning. The stuff written here isn’t meant to be sensational or particularly ground-breaking. I wanted (and want) to be able to get myself and my readers thinking differently about the more boring, every day stuff like personal finance, what it means to be financially independent (especially against a backdrop of a welfare society that’s unintentionally grown complacent and severely reliant on government handouts). Y’know, the ~general economy~ and just ~general life~ in Brunei. My tagline still rings true – I write about adult stuff, and that’s essentially what I want to do.

At the height of my blog, I had a lot of free time. I held a full-time job (and still do) but work was manageable and I did a lot of side reading about the stuff I eventually began writing about. I’m not going to lie – some days I had enough free time that I was drafting posts at my work desk, haha. It’s been two years since then and a lot of things have changed. One thing that has surprised me despite the ensuing inactivity is that this blog has sustained a pretty strong readership.

And every time I log in and see that I still get views – some people still stumble upon my blog on Google or who knows where and go on to read through pages or pages of old posts – I feel a pang of guilt and regret that I haven’t been able to keep this going.

People are looking for good things to read, heck even I am. I suppose I’m “lucky” (?) in a sense because I also like to write, I genuinely do. Life got busy and I got scared because I thought aw nuts I can’t commit to a two day post, maybe some other time. But now I realise… Y’know if I wanna write just write. I don’t have to commit to writing a book (which I’ realize I’ve almost done), just sit down for a couple of minutes gad dammit and say whatever it is you want to say! Taking actual baby steps is more important than telling people you plan to run a marathon.

So that’s my going-in attitude right now!

And how this started was today I was doing some online window shopping and I happened to also notice some advertised vacancies and I was hit with an epiphany… And I thought to myself damn I need to blog about that and I decided to just tell you what it is instead of scaring myself off again.

So I need a cabin bag bah.

I’m not even gonna bother looking for non-watermarked hahaha

The 4-wheel spinner, lightweight type cabin luggage.

I travel a lot – that’s what’s keeping me busy half the time, it’s work – and I don’t have a good bag for a 2-3 day trip. I lug around a duffle but it gets pretty heavy and my old cabin trolley bag the wheels ilang sudah the rubber cos it was old so it’s kinda rusak.

And I was looking online and saw a TUMI one for sale at about BND $450 (discounted from $800). I thought to myself hey that’s pretty “cheap”, I’d casually looked at the TUMI ones at KLIA yesterday (I just got back on work trip where I was lugging around my aforementioned duffle bag) and they were crazy expensive – upwards of $1200!

And well the cabin bag is pretty, sturdy, light, has four wheels, is a good investment etc. $450 is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong…. But market price is double that, and I’m a sucker for steals. Plus I travel a lot and would be looking for a good brand which will last years. TUMI is designer though and I’ve never owned anything TUMI but…. Maybe just this once? (I thought to myself).

So I added the bag to my cart to mull it over.

About half an hour later (cue dramatic video montage about national unemployment rates not improving, government emphasis on entrepreneurialism and SMEs, underpaid i-Ready apprentices: the new manpower reality) I stumbled upon a list of vacancies, which included:

  • Waitress (full-time)   $300/month
  • Tailor (full-time)  $400/month
  • Tuition teacher (part or full-time)  $160/month
  • Account Officer (full-time, 1st degree required)  $800/month
  • Music teacher (full-time)  $1000/month
  • Tukang gunting (full-time)   $300/month



I removed the item from my cart, closed the window, and decided I’d be okay to lug around my duffle bag for now.