Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Royal Birthday Celebration

His Majesty in one of his many Rolls Royces
We got up bright and early to attend the Sultan's birthday celebration. We and a few thousand other people waited around until the three Princes (the Sultan's brother) came through in their Rolls Royces (preceded by motorcycle police and trailed by special trucks with security officers sporting traditional dress).

His Majesty was the last in the parade and entered the parade grounds where there were speeches, military marching, and medals presented to the bigwigs (the hoi polloi, such as the likes of us, were not admitted to the park). There was a 21-gun salute with cannons that rattled your teeth and made babies cry.


Matt stuck out in the crowd (because he's tall and Caucasian), so we got interviewed a few times and appeared in the local papers (here and here) and even the local TV station (near the end).

Girls dressed for the occasion with their lattes

The grandeur must have gone to our heads because we splurged on a sushi lunch at the top-rated restaurant in town (still pretty reasonable). Then we had high tea at the Empire Hotel. We were under-dressed for the occasion because the decision to go was last-minute. Otherwise we would have dusted off the tuxes and high heels.

Mark comporting himself as you would expect--like a crazy person.
In less hoity toity and more alarming (for us) news, we almost had a fire the other day. We were watching a family movie, when our monitor turned itself off. Matt went over to the navigation station to investigate, when a bunch of smoke started to pour out from behind it (where the wiring for various instruments and equipment lives).  He lifted the lid and saw a red hot glowing wire through the smoke.

We quickly turned off the master breaker for the boat and, when the smoke had cleared, Matt investigated. The culprit turned out to be the power wire for the router. The wire was very thin since the router doesn't pull many amps and must have developed a short. The thin wire became very hot and melted the insulation off, but because the wire was so thin, the short was still not pulling enough amps to trigger the breaker. Fortunately, only the router wiring was damaged (and a bit of the Ethernet cable it was lying against). We got a new router in Labuan, which is duty-free. This one has a shorter power cord, which we will be sure to inspect regularly.

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