Wednesday, January 30, 2008

.: Reflections :.

Expecting the unexpected.

:: A few snapshots of Madinah Al-Munawarah ::

These were taken during the sight-seeing programme I supposed was organized by Tabung Haji . We went around Madinah by bus and the tour guides are in fact Malaysian students currently pursuing their studies in the University of Madinah. Evidently, I found out that the students there are fully sponsored by the Saudi government!* Unbelievable!* On the other hand, try not to rely fully on my facts as I may be wrong. Nevertheless, I do recollect reading about it somewhere in one of my books. At any rate, there is always the Internet. Simply Google for the website and presto! Answers galore! ~sigh... will miracles never cease to exist? *coughs*

Anyhow, do not be taken in by the photos. Throughout my stay there, I was *and still very much am* awfully astounded by the rapid development. There are massive constructions taking place all over the area adjacent to the Prophet's Mosque. Not too sure on what exactly are the expansions, although I’m certain that it includes the construction of hotels and commercial lots. What’s more, the vicinity reflects an upmarket area judging from the commercial centres and the branded labels it carries.

Shopping haven? Given that I barely shop at all *literally the words of a self-proclaimed miser here*, obviously I gave it a miss. As a matter of fact, most of my money went on FOOD! There can be nothing wrong in spending it on provisions. Obtaining food there is not difficult since Tabung Haji provided us lunch and dinner. *plus everything is halal* For breakfast, sometimes we have kebabs, sandwiches, bread, fast food, junk food and tonnes of other foodstuff that I have neglected to remember the names. At that point in time, it didn’t occur to me to note it down. Perhaps I was overwhelmingly engrossed with the immeasurable selections. *I am no glutton. I just love my food.*


So here is just one of the localities where we purchased our daily needs. Be it food, toiletries, household items and the list drags on. If my memory doesn’t fail me; there’s a:
  • pharmacy
  • money changer
  • fast food restaurant
  • Movenpick
  • Indonesian restaurant selling "Bakso Goyang Lidah" ---Roughly translated as: Shaky Tongue Meatball Soup?--- *What?*
  • convenience store called “Mona” *we bought tonnes of chocs. and biscuits here*
  • 3 kebab restaurants [inclusive of the Indonesian restaurant]
  • 2 restaurants selling “Broast” *???* and food like ice cream and sandwiches
  • plus some other establishments that I may have missed out.

Other than that, close to our hotel there are countless shops selling souvenirs, goodies, clothing and etc. There’s this particular shop where we bought our “Jubah”. It’s not a big shop but it has a nice selection and the owner is terribly pleasant! Apart from offering us discounts, we could try out the outfits in our hotel rooms and if we are not satisfied by it, it can be exchanged. Talk about admirable customer service! The number of wonderful shop owners or shopkeepers was aplenty that it’s simply not possible to relate them all. *I’ll just keep it to myself.* After all, some things are better left unsaid so as to preserve the impact it has on us.


11.21pm Malaysian Time


ilyani said...

I came here from your comment on my postcards blog, and OMG! you've been to Hajj!.. so have I! :)) uhm, I have always wanted to blog about Hajj experience this detailed like you did, but many things keep coming in my way since early this year and no mood, no inspiration, no time.. or in another word, MALAS :P but hopefully I'll get back to it soon probably this semester break.. thinking to publish some videos as well.


Hajar Alwi said...

As'salaamualaikum imajica :: Shoot! I totally missed this comment! Anyway, thanks a lot for popping over to my blog. Really hope you managed to blog about your hajj experience. Videos would be uber awesome!