When Titts told me her brand, dUCk is collaborating with Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Sarah of Brunei, I had the horrible task to keep my cool and not tell a soul. I told myself, "You can do this Toots, it's no biggie - just the Brunei royalty...you know, only the richest royalty in the world!" Hehe.
And as she tells me more about the progress of the collaboration, and how warm the royal family are my respect for them just grew everyday. In my head, I imagined The Princess, Titts, Asma' and I as best friends already, exchanging stories over cakes and coffee. SAVA doesn't sound so bad after all.....
So of course I was determined to make it to the launch of The Royal Duck in Brunei - a collaboration between my real best friend and my best friend in another life 😂
But going to Brunei was not without its fair share of challenges.
First of all, my dad got admitted five days before my flight. We had a scare, he was in CCU for days and even though I have bought my tickets, never would I leave my dad's side until he has stabilised. Praise be to Allah, a day before the event he got better and I decided, yes Brunei is happening.
Then, the night before the flight I realised I forgot to book an infant seat for Musa. I even bought tickets for my MIL and Embak...what's Embak gonna do in Brunei if Musa is not there??! I was hyperventilating, especially when I realised you cant book an infant seat online with Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA). Their call centre only opens at 9 am the next day and I have to leave for airport by 10.30 am....gosh my pregnant heart couldn't take this!
Lo and behold, Zen Toots stepped in. Okay2, keep calm Frantic Toots. Just pack and get all the other documents ready and try to get a decent sleep and you will deal with Musa's tickets tomorrow, when the time comes.
Zen Toots is so wise guys, I like her already!
And so I packed. It was barely 5 minutes when I realised my passport and Musa's are not in the usual pouch where I usually keep all our passports. Asked my mom, rummaged the whole room and yet the passports were no where in sight. It was 2 am, and my eyes could barely open.
Zen Toots stepped in yet again. Maybe, just maybe....you've missed a spot when you checked the whole room so just wake up early tomorrow and check again. It'll be there!
Sighh..what would I do without Zen Toots....
Had a decent sleep despite the worries in my head and woke up bright and early, positive that I would find my passport this time around.
Two hours went by, and still no passport. 90 minutes to go before I need to make a move to the airport...and Zen Toots is no where in sight. I slumped on my bed, certain that Brunei isn't happening.
A knock on the door, and I meekly said "Come in." In came mom, and in her hand were two little red books that could only be our passports! "I thought you said you didnt have them!" I exclaimed "Oh apparently, they were in my safe."
Thanks mom, these eyebeds were totes worth it -___________-"
To cut a long story short, RBA managed to secure Musa's ticket but they told me Musa could not board the plane without a return ticket home. Our return ticket is with Airasia and they dont have a local call centre, only this Live Chat that's not really the best option when you're in a rush.
I literally had to queue three times and by the third queue, I gave up because everytime you queue, you're back to number 75 in line and have to wait close to 45 minutes. I don't have 45 minutes, so I drove to KL Sentral, purchased Musa's ticket at Airasia Sales Counter and rushed straight to the airport.
Dad's moved to normal ward, passports found and Musa's return tickets are confirmed. All within 24 hours. Brunei was finally happening!!
I had the best time in Brunei with my partner in crime, HRH Princess Asma' of TTDI 🤣 Seriously, Bruneians are so warm and friendly, I instantly felt at home and promised myself this country deserves another proper visit in the near future.
The Empire Hotel we stayed in was amazing and hugeeee, you literally need a buggy to get around. Most things are complimentary including the minibar and in the short span of time, I was able to sneak in some quality time swimming with Musa and enjoying the private beach during sunset.
They even have cinemas exclusive for the guests. Like, real life cinema theatres you see in Richie Rich guys! Who goes for in-room movies anymore these days, sheesh other hotels of the world!! Hehe.
To top it off, The Royal Duck launch went well as well, and I'm sure everyone had so much fun. When I saw Titts and HRH laughing together, I could almost see myself next to them, laughing away as well. Except that in reality, I was 7 rows behind, trying to zoom my phone camera to catch a better glimpse of the Princess 😂 😂 😂 #commoners
Honestly, I can't pen down just how proud I am of Titts. I know how much efforts she and her team poured for this event and she just keeps going, with a permanent warm smile plastered on her face despite the sleepless nights and settling a thousand things in one night. I almost teared listening to her speech (seriously a hormonal machine on the go....). Came home feeling so proud of her and how far she has come with dUCk and FV. And really glad that Allah opened the doors for me to make it to the event despite all the potential mishaps that could have happened. The gorgeous scarves are open for pre-order starting today at Fashion Valet, so if you like them, go get dUCked! Since I was seated in the second last row, my pictures really are of no use hahaha. Here are some pictures from the event from @theduckgroup instagram:
Now, to being best friends with HRH. Where do I even start? 😂