Friday, November 22, 2013

The last week before the annual vacation: Sunday evening (17th Nov.) to Thursday morning (21st Nov.)

After my return from Turabah on Sunday evening, I started my preparations for the annual vacation coming up this coming week-end. I had expected our liaison officer, Mr. Ali, to bring my passport from the MOH Muderiya on Sunday and hand it over to my colleague Dr. Niaz Qureshi (OB-GY from Pakistan), but Ali did not oblige. However, he had assured me on the phone that he would hand me the passport on the next day if I went to Ta'if. I had no choice but to take permission from our medical director Dr. Shehab and request Dr. Yasser to allow me to go to Ta'if. 

On Monday, I received my passport from the Muderiya directly, as Ali had arranged with one of the employees to hand me the required document without him being present. I was greatly relieved to have my passport with a valid, stamped exit-re-entry visa. This is the exact moment when all my stress dissipated! Now, I was, for the first time, sure that I would, indeed, be going on Friday, the day of my flight to India. 

I then allowed Yasser to proceed on a two days' leave and said I would look after the work.  One of my other friends, Dr. Emaam Sayed, had co-ordinated his ER duties in such a way that he would be free to take me to Ta'if in his car. Things were finally going my way, I thought smugly. Yasser wished to return on Thursday afternoon, and I okayed this, since I was sure Dr. Emaam would not mind taking me in the evening. 

Then things again began to go wrong. Emaam said he would be going in the morning ... and when I tried to re-arrange my understanding with Dr. Yasser, he went into an incognito mode! His official cell number was switched off, and he did not pick up the other number, his personal line, which he has shared with me. As Tuesday turned to Wednesday and morning to night, my panic increased. I had to contact him and request him to join the next morning, or I would be left without any mode of transport to go to Ta'if. 

In the end, he never did pick up my calls, but, to my pleasant surprise, he turned up for duty on Thursday morning. Thus it was that I finally left for Ta'if with Dr. Emaam at ten a.m. on Thursday. 

My vacation had finally begun!

P.S. On Tuesday evening, my car again gave me some trouble. One of the belts that connects the engine and generator to the car battery had probably fallen off and the battery, therefore, was not getting charged. I managed to get the necessary belt replaced and rectified the problem on Wednesday evening.

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