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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Car exchange - How things happened PLUS my DHA exam details

I went to Jeddah for 3 days about a fortnight ago, when I had to appear for the Dubai Healthcare Professionals Licensing examination. The center was located within premises of the Al Khaleej Education center and was run by Prometric, who would be administering my exam. I reached an evening prior to the exam, and tried to locate the center by following clues on the Google Maps interface on my Note 3 Samsung Mobile. There was no exact location for Prometric for Men, but the map located some place called "Direct English" which was supposed to also serve as the Prometric center. Accordingly, I managed to reach the place, but found that there was no such thing there! The location was a commercial building, but searching all its four floors turned out to be futile as there was no Prometric there. I was getting a bit frustrated, and hailed a cab. I asked the driver if he knew where the center was located. This guy, a young Pakistani driver, confidently said he knew where the center was, and would I please follow his car ... he then took me down many turns and lanes to bring me in front of the exam center for Food and Catering Employees of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!

Dejected, I then got into his car so that we could search afresh. I had received some telephonic guidance a week ago when I had engaged with an employee by telephone. We used those messages and finally discovered the center. Having confirmed where it was, Tanveer, the driver, then offered to take me to a nearby hotel, and it was thus that I booked a room in Deyouf Watan Hotel at SR 150 per night for 2 nights. Tanveer agreed to fetch me for breakfast the next morning, and be with me through the day as I had expressed a desire to sell my old car and buy another one from Jeddah. 

True to his word, Tanveer came to fetch me and took me to a Pakistani restaurant to have breakfast. He then left, and I returned to my hotel to catch up on last minute reading. He returned after an hour to take me to the Prometric exam center, and went away after dropping me there. I gave the exam ... a computer-based MCQ exam consisting of 70 questions asked over 2 hours. I finished the exam within an hour and a half, then called Tanveer to pick me up again.  We first went to lunch at Hotel Mehraan on Prince Majid Street (Street # 70), where I had Paya ... which was delicious! After this, we went to his room, where he rested for an hour and a half. 

At half past two, we left his place, and he asked one of his friends, a new-comer to KSA to drive my car while he invited me to sit in his taxi, and we drove to the car market about 25-odd km away. We began our search for a buyer, and a Yemeni youth by the name of Ahmed offered to buy out my car for SR 3000. It would pinch me financially, but I agreed to give it to him for this amount. He and I went to an agent to complete the formalities, and then I officially sold it to that guy. Next, we began to look for another car to buy, and a long 2-hour search finally culminated in my selecting a sea-blue Hyundai Accent 2010. We agreed on the purchase price of SR 14000, and the formalities of insuring the car for third party, getting the new vehicle registered on my name, and getting a PUC certificate on it took another few hours and cost me SR 1100. By half past nine in the night, we finally drove out, me in my next car, and both Tanveer and his friend in the former's cab. He came to leave me at my hotel, and I agreed to buy them both a dinner from the Al Baik outlet right opposite my hotel. I paid Tanveer SR 1000 (yes, 1000) for his day-long services and also SR 150 to his assistant for his help. 

On the third morning, I checked out and returned to Al Muwayh.

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