Monday, 2 July 2012

When Is A Lizard Not a Lizard?

Why, when it’s a ‘Pog’ of course!!!

Before you think I’m losing my marbles, let me explain! This post is part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday’ over at ‘From High In The Sky’…a day late, but I’m hoping Sian will turn a blind eye to that!! This time Sian suggested unusual souvenirs as a theme for our nostalgic ramblings…& here’s what sprang to mind!!

Brunei B

  Back in July 1999, when
  these two munchkins
  were just three years old
  & five months old, we set
  off on a BIG adventure!

  Hubby had spent a large
  part of 1998 working in
  Brunei, on loan to the International part of the finance group he worked for here in the UK. When they asked if he’d go again in 1999, he said  “only if I can take my family this time!” So, off we went!

Hubby flew out to get settled & arrange our accommodation & we followed on a week later. Let me tell you that flying half way around the world with two little ones is an excellent way to overcome pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying!).

Brunei AAfter being in transit for over 24 hours we arrived in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, & hubby drove us to our temporary home…a beautiful & very spacious apartment on the tenth floor of a gated residential complex.  

As well as three large bedrooms, three bathrooms, a huge lounge/diner & three balconies in the main apartment, off the kitchen was a utility balcony & a suite of rooms intended as maids quarters.

Although I was totally jet-lagged & Nathan was happily napping, Alex was wide awake & set off to explore the maze of new corridors & rooms! He disappeared off into the maids quarters & we suddenly heard a wail of terror & a little blonde tornado came crashing into the main corridor shouting “Pog! Pog!”

When we finally managed to calm him down he took us back into the bedroom & pointed to the built in wardrobe. Once we opened it we saw a tiny & very scared lizard looking back at us, before it disappeared in a flash through a crack in the back panel! Never having seen a lizard before Alex had identified it as a frog!….& so from then on, the lizards we became very used to seeing all over the place were referred to as ‘pogs’!

Before we returned home at the end of November 1999, we bought some ceramic lizards from a craft shop in Bandar & we’ve had them stuck on our kitchen walls ever since! One peeks out from behind a mirror…                    

Brunei D

Brunei E






…& the other from behind a picture frame. When we moved house they came too & even when we decorated, they went back up as soon as the paint was dry!! Just a little reminder of our time on the other side of the world!

As an aside, the picture frame above holds a painting that Alex did while we were in Brunei…entitled ‘Trees’ (he was adamant about that even then!) & I thought it was an amazing  piece of artwork for a three year old…or is that just a Mothers blinkered view?!!

Brunei F

Brunei C





  I loved our time in Bandar & cried
  when our stay was cut short. We
  were hoping to be there for a year
  but something happened with the bank that meant all Brits had to return home before New Years Day 2000.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll get back there again one day…now that would be nice!!

Thanks for stopping by & do check out some of the other stories being shared over at ‘From High In The Sky’ too! You might even like to share one of your own…it’s not too late! Open-mouthed smile


scrappyjacky said...

Sounds like a fascinating little sojourn abroad,Sandi.
p.s. most of the stamps on my card came from a set by Artistic Stamper....I love them.

Ifa said...

Thank you for sharing. I love your story. Hope you get to go back some time soon. In Malaysia, we called those things chichak...they leave black and white souveniers that we call tahi chichak and if ever anyone wears black and know what they are called ? Yes, you guessed it.

furrypig said...

what a sweet story, I love hoe the funny names that children say continue to be used long after they invent them

heart.hearth.home. said...

So glad you had the opportunity to live abroad for a while and come back with such lovely memories. Pog is a great name for a frog.

Gem's Crafts said...

Aww children say the cutest things - I can't wait for my little girl to start making up words!

Chipper said...

'Pog' sounds much less scary than 'lizzard'!! Sounds like it was a lovely stay abroad.

Sian said...

Now I'm the one who is late! As I get stuck into my holiday unpacking, a fantastic travel story like this is just what I need to keep that holiday feeling going. I love it! Thanks Sandi for giving me a smile on my return :)