Thursday, June 18, 2015

My 4th Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

A very Happy and Pious Ramadan to all my readers.

Well, things didn't go exactly according to my earlier plans, did they? I was rather hoping to exit last year, but decided to renew my contract as I did not have a clear direction for a new job or my MRCPCH at that time. Now, the time is approaching when my fourth year will also be ending ... inshallah. Ramadan has begun here today. With this, our hospital duty timings have also changed from a single duty in the day-time, to a split of morning (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and night (9.30 p.m. to 12.30 a.m.) ... and as I write this, I am preparing to go for my first of such night duties. 

A few things that I did after returning to Al Muwayh yesterday: I purchased some provisions and food items in preparation to start cooking my own food after a long gap. Today, I began this by making chana dal with turai (in English, that is chick-pea lentils with ridge gourd). The food came out delicious! 

I also bought a used TV set and set up my cable to re-start. I am just watching TIMES NOW after a long gap of over three months (although I did watch it sometimes when I was in India). 

I am hoping to get back my internet DSL connection into my house ... currently, it is with someone else, who used it for over 2 months while I was in India. Once this comes, I will have fast, unlimited internet back as well!

Finally, it looks as though I am returning to my old life here in KSA. There are a few restrictions, though. As I will be working alone, I will be unable to take leave and vacations in between - something that I have been doing the whole of last year with the arrival of Dr. Afzal (he left for his annual vacation a few days ago). Secondly, I have no car, as I sold mine before leaving KSA on my last emergency holiday. I have hired a car-taxi guy, a Sudanese by the name of Mr. Hasan. He will ferry me back and forth to and from the hospital every day for a princely sum of SR 300 per month. He has also agreed to offer his services for night and weekend emergency calls at no extra cost! Isn't that marvellous? Lastly, I am going to be unable to visit Taif to replenish my dwindling larder ... hence, on my last visit there a few days ago, I brought back as much as was possible so that there is no shortage of food and related items. 

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