Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 1

Assalamualaikum and greetings from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today is the beginning of a new life for 6 of us venturing into the unknown.

The information I am about to write is from our hometown to our destination and also what needs to be done during the whole trip. (Well, some things only actually)

It all began from my home in Air Putih leaving for the Airport at 6pm on the 2nd of November 2009 after all the goodbyes and I love yous. At the airport were Tuan Razman, Jusri, Nizam and Shamsani. Flight time on MAS was 7:15pm but was slightly delayed for take off. Arrival at KLIA was about 8:10pm where we met Arshad and Zulkfili. We began to exchange conversation as this was the first time some of us met. We were all going to the same destination, KSA.

Meeting Think+ only at 12 midnight, we sat at the cafes and lingered around the departure hall until the time was up. After meeting the rep from T+ and collecting the documents, we checked in on Qatar Airways for two flights, to Doha and then to Dammam. Just a reminder to those going later, please make sure you have transparent plastic bags for putting in liquids and pastes below 10ml for hand luggage. Otherwise, you can check them in. Baggage weight as stated is 20kgs by T+ but after asking the staff at the check-in counter, there is an allowance of 5kgs. Laptops and notebooks are not weighed but your hand luggage can only be up to a maximum of 7kgs.

As our flight was to depart at 2:30am, we went down at 1:30am just to make sure we did not miss this very important flight. (Important to us anyway) That was after digging in at Burger Kings first! I felt that I was eating all the time. Yup, at KLIA after arriving from Kuantan, then before departure then on the plane and again at Doha airport and again at Dammam airport. I just hope I won’t put on too much weight. Ok, gone with the food. Another thing is no drinks are allowed on during boarding and no sharp objects in the hand luggage too.

As the flight was a transit flight from Bali to Doha, the plane was packed! French, Malaysians and other mat sallehs. As I was seated in the centre, I did not really want to get up too many time as I did not want to irritate the person sitting on the aisle so, sleep and watching 2 movies was what I did. The interactive monitor was the time mover keeping me occupied and in such a short while, we were going to land.

From Kuantan to KLIA, then KLIA to Doha and on to Dammam. Total time taken was 16 hours! That is a lot of time used on air. Wow! Could not imagine that I had done it. At Dammam, you are givemnan entry form which you are required to fill and submit together with your passport. The top part is your Visa number beginning with E. (In boxes) Then fill in the other particulars, but if you have only two words for your name then fill in first and second and the last as your family name. Sponsor is the company you are working for. After completing all, you will have to queue at the immigrasion and your picture will be taken together with all fingerprints. And the picture will be used in all your documentation including your Iqama and licenses, therefore if you want your picture to look good then clean up and make up if necessary. (Not too much though) After getting your passport stamped, then proceed to the baggage collection.

The trip from the airport to the apartment took about 45minutes and the driver just dropped us and left without telling us what to do. Sheesh!? Then we had to call Mr Haitam but Mr Khalid came instead. But at least we got our rooms. Then we rested and refreshed ourselves to get ready to go around Jubayl town. Thanks to Fauzi from IBNU Zahr who brought us in his Honda Civic. We stopped at Al Manakh for their local nasi Briyani with chicken and was it delicious! Much better than Taj’s. (Sorry, pictures will be included later) After coming back to the apartment at about 5pm local time, I had my rest as Johan was to meet me at 7pm. He picked me up and where did he bring me? To a soccer field! Yup, he had a match on an astro turf field, a standard size field astro turfed. That was the first time I actually set foot on an international sized field. Cool! They played 25mins each half and the score was a draw. The final whistle blew and then it was off to buy my local prepaid sim card.

STC had an offer for reload, having paid SR100 for the new sim and topping up SR340 gave me a total of 766 worth of talk time. The expiry? The year 2012! After dropping me off at about 10pm local time, it was of to bed as the pick up the next day will be at 7am to the office.

Tusbih äalaa kahyr day 1. (Good night day 1)

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