Thursday, February 09, 2012

Day 80, Friday, 3rd February, 2012

Over the last six days, I have had one of the most busy emergency on-call weeks since I landed here in Saudi Arabia. Readers, I am sorry that I was unable to update the blog for these six days. I have had several calls to go to the hospital, some of them in the darkest hours of the night (before dawn), and this has caused a fair amount of tiredness and a sleep deficit that I will try to compensate for during today and tomorrow, the weekend days. I think the spurt in work was due to the sudden reversal of weather from pleasant and cool to a biting cold with gusts of wind that made children acutely ill, most of them coming with a sore throat or episodes of wheezing (like the wheeze of an asthmatic older child). Quite a few of them needed to be hospitalised to make them recover early.

Okay, so having cleared that from your mind, let me proceed to tell you about my last day of the last week. As you may have already read, I was in Jeddah, and on Friday, I had to return to my place in Al Muweh. My cousin Juzer and I had visited the SAPTCO (Saudi Arabian Public Transport Co.) bus stand on Thursday evening itself and we had already purchased a ticket for a morning bus to Riyadh (which would drop me off at Al Muweh). 

Thus it was that on Friday, I finished all my personal tasks by nine a.m. and got ready to leave Juzer's house. Being a weekend, Juzer and his family were still sleeping when I decided to leave. I had to inform him that I was going, so I gently called out to him across the door of the hall into the living room and beyond. He was still in his pajamas, and I offered to go alone, but he said he would come with me to leave me at the bus stand. So nice of him! We hurriedly left the house by half past nine. (The bus was due for a 10:00 a.m. departure, so there was no time for me to drink tea or have a breakfast.)

Once inside the bus, I went out to buy a cup of tea and also some snacks in lieu of the breakfast. We set off exactly at six (and I was one of the last passengers to board, having arrived at just six minutes before it started on its journey).

The journey itself was quiet and without any excitement. We bypassed Mecca, halted at Ta'if, and finally at the restaurant just before Muweh. The entire trip consumed nearly 7 hours (including the almost 1 1/2 hours used up by the two breaks). I finally landed at the SAPTCO stand behind Al Muweh at 4:50 p.m. During the journey, I did not have a full lunch since the only food available at Ta'if was rolls and chips at the snack stand. Although a full lunch was available at the last halt near Al Muweh, it was nothing but broast chicken with rice - not one of my favourites. Also, it did not make sense to have it here as I would be reaching hone fairly soon. During the trip, I watched "The Untouchables" - a 1987 Hollywood movie I had downloaded in Jeddah - on my laptop. This is one of my all-time favourites, and I remember watching it three times when it was first released in India. It is based on true events of the rise and rise of the Chicago Mafia of the 1920s and 1930s, but it is a fictionalised account of how it was finally controlled by a team of policemen that worked night and day to capture the kingpin of the Mafia (Al Capone). Do see it ... I do not want to be a spoiler by revealing any more. It is crisp, taut and full of unexpected turns. Check it out here. I also slept, listened to music, explored my new mobile, and did this and that during the long journey.

After getting off at the Al Muweh bus stand, I walked home, unpacked, ran the washing machine to full capacity to wash all of my journey clothes, ran it once again to wash the ehram clothes, and cooked some basic food for the night. 

Nothing more to add here, so I will end this entry. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

MUHBEEN said...

congrats taher u are doing excellent. as i have mentioned earlier except for missing ur family u r living a very relaxed and enjoyable life ( Masha Allah ) at the same time repeated umrah - subhan Allah. May Allah give u the best in life. I am sure one day ur family may love to join u in Saudi Insha Allah