..queuing for ice-cream..
...pakmat did not socialise much whilst in the Holy Land...in truth there just wasn't time...for from the time he arrived to the day he left for the plains of Arafat, he spent most of his time at MasjidilHaram..it was a routine that he try to maintain with his wife... wakes up at 3.00 in the morning, walked the distance to the Grand Mosque, walked back after Subuh, a quick breakfast, a short rest and by 10.30, a leisurely walk back to Haram for Zohor..
..new arrivals gathering in front of Maktab 93 and 92 for their
first march towards Haram..
..for Muassasah pilgrims, breakfast was not provided....which was just as well...we used it as an opportunity to try out all those fares available, which could be anything from rice, to bread to pizza...once we even had ice-cream with roti...
...lunch, provided at the Maktab, was not provided at Haram..( I wished the board would go that extra mile and provide distribution point for lunch at Haram, seeing that the hotel is 2 km away)...and so it was anything goes...but sometimes, feeling strong and daring, we walked back for lunch, braving the noon sun...followed by a short rest before hitting the road for Asar...even though the surau at the hotel looked tempting, we told ourselves, no..we came too far..and we were too near Haram to solat anywhere else..
..pakmat tried fried mee with sardine for breakfast once...yeecch..
..the combination did go too well...
...the daily trek to and back from the maktab to the Grand Mosque made most golden couples into endearing couples...the tendency was to walk side-by-side, to watch out for each other and to even hold hands, awkwardly at first but more relax as they got used to walking together...pakmat mentioned this, because I knew that these couples would never display such intimacy back home in Malaysia...it also made them fit...along with knotty calves...and cracked toes...
..pakmat's cracked toes and heels..a cream, aptly named
Crack, bought at Safa Supermarket was more effective than
those sponsored cream..
...it also made pakmat missed his wife...after 3 weeks pakmat had enough of this 'look but cannot touch' abstinence and queried the board about 'bilik berkat'...it was the same personnel who asked pakmat to solat at the surau....and was quickly told, almost in a rebuff, that the room was heavily book by citizens more senior than pakmat...oh, well...
..the walk back after isyak, a few days before Arafat..
..lunch at Hilton Towers
..but in the beginning, we had the street
almost to ourselves..