....Luat Al-Tawheed, a 14 storey hotel in Misfalah district, was to be our abode for the duration of the haj...at the briefing held on the morning after our arrival, an official from Tabong Haji told us that, 'It is 1000 meters from MasjidilHaram,' He smiled as he said that and added,'Yes, One kilometer..'
...but later as we marched on our maiden march along Ibrahim Khalil Road to MasjidilHaram for our tawaf umrah, 7 times around the Kaabah and saai, a march between Bukit Sofa and Marwah, I noticed that it took us 25 minutes to reach the Grand Mosque...it was a purposeful march, whilst reciting the talbiah - 'here we are, Lord, at Thy service'..
..the march back after isyak prayers along Ibrahim
Khalil Road..1.92km from this point to the hotel..
...too many minutes for a kilometer, I thought...later, upon checking, I found that it was 1.92km, from the steps of our maktab to Gate 79, MasjidilHaram...it was Alhamdullillah from pakmat and wife...Praise be unto You, Lord., for, indeed, You have prepared us for this...for the past year we have been jogging 2 to 3 kilometers every morning along Pantai Irama Beach...we were more ready than we thought...sometimes when we left the hotel at 3.30 am for our daily brisk walk to Haram, I have but to close my eyes...and I could almost see the beach of Pantai Irama on my right...and the coconut trees on my left...
..street pedlars with their battle cry,'10 rial..10 rial'..
..but on the way back after isyak, the wife saw only the rows of shops that lined the 2 km road to Misfalah...and the street pedlars who lined the street...wisely, she chose to shop early...'Before every one else are here'..and pakmat agreed...wtihin a week, our limited resources ran out..but we had our debit card..or so we thought...