Sunday, August 14, 2011
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
This official card (BN-1139) came from China in an envelope from a user who later got banned for hacking a way to have his sender address (Brunei) different from his receiver address (China). Given that, I have to wonder if this isn't a hoax card. It certainly looks like a real, commercially-printed postcard, and it has a stamp and a postmark, but it wasn't sent in the mail. I guess he could have gone on a trip to Brunei, bought a bunch of postcards and had them postmark them at a post office, then brought them back to China to send at his leisure... I guess I think that's the most likely scenario. Anyway, I can hardly argue with a written and stamped card from this rare country!
It shows the Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in the capital city of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan. According to the back of the card, "with its intricately ornamented minarets and shimmering golden domes clearly visible along the main route into town from the airport, the Kiarong Mosque, as it is locally known, towers over landscaped terrain dotted with fountains." Tourists who enter the mosque are asked to remove their shoes and wear black robes while on the tour. They are also prohibited from taking pictures of the place of prayer.
Brunei is a little country located on the island of Borneo, surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak except for its coastline on the South China Sea. It is a predominantly Muslim nation and the official language is Brunei Malay.
Brunei isn't a member of the UPU and their postal website only has images of 2 stamps on it, so I can't verify that this is a bona fide postal stamp, but it looks like it to me.