Tuesday, September 6, 2016

On Arrival

Big test of patience arriving at Jeddah Airport last night. Our flight arrived around 8.30 pm local time, but we didn't get through immigration until something like 3.30 am. I'm not sure of the exact time we got through as I gave up checking my watch. Fortunately the first few hours were spent sitting in a waiting area until the Singaporean pilgrims were called to go down to Passport Control; unfortunately the next few hours were spent standing in a huge crowd, which gradually turned into queues, and generally not going anywhere.

Amazingly there was a general air of calm despite the crowds and delays. And the young guys on Immigration were polite, welcoming and cheerful. It certainly helps to be in a situation in which patience is demanded of everyone.

We're now ensconced in our quarters at Shisha - I'm rooming with Ustad Haron and two other guys - and wondering when we can go to the mesjid to do our first umrah here. We're waiting until evening when the temperature is likely to be somewhat more bearable (but not so the crowds, I'm guessing.) More tests ahead, but that, of course, is the point.

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