..among my family circles and close friends, I am known for my fear of flying..during my hey days I rather drove to the capital rather than fly...it was a standing joke..and so it was that when it became known pakmat would be making the haj, the incredulous reaction would be, 'What?!..and how is he going to go there?..by boat..?'....and as it sank in, and knowing what I am capable of, "Surely he is not going to drive there?!'...even my ex-wife in KL posed the question to me through her mother...and my daughter in London queried her siblings for confirmation.....hah, I retorted, ...there is still some gum in this old coot yet...
..my luggage and hers..hardly
40 kilos between us..
..yes.... I am going to fly there like everyone else..for in the haj, when you stepped out of your home to start the journey, you are prepared for all eventualities, including death...and pakmat started with overcoming his fear of flying and his fear of being confined in narrow spaces, claustropohbia..
..the farewell at Sultan Mahmood Airport, Kuala Terengganu..
..much to his surprise, he survived the flight...he went on to enjoy the food served, bantered with the air-stewardess, with the chief steward offering him a prayer mat and a place to pray normally, instead of in the seat... he even peered through the window and took shots with his camera-phone, HTC Aria, which was to be his constant companion in the Holy Land..
..pakmat first view of Jeddah..
...later, I was to learn that I have been prepared for the journey unknowingly to a certain degree...and later, I was to learn that the rest was up to me...Praise be unto You, Lord..for You know what I know not...