Monday, 27 January 2014

The Not So Lonely Traveller to Khartoum Sudan...

Yup, That's me. I'm talking about me and my experience. It was a very long time ago when I first have to go for a business trip. The date is 23 February 2011. I have nothing much to complain but I guess I'm about to start Now! Ha ha ha!

At that particular point of time, It was my very first time traveling outside the Asian Region. But the real issue is the fact that it was my first time travelling alone. And it was FAR. I mean really FAR! My Journey begins when my dearest officemate have this Idea of his that he wants to serve the people (to become a politician). As the Big Boss couldn't leave the office empty, he choose me to go and with a mixed feelings, I accepted the task with heavy heart. How ever, I start to accept it when I'm thinking of the experience that I could gain next. And... also because of other reasons which I could not disclosed here and should be kept as secret by me (He he he! Alaaa~ everybody should know why~)

So, let me start with the Checking In. One-Abang-Gemuk suddenly tells me " You can't fly to Sudan because you don't have a Visa".

"Hell No Man!!! My Boss told me that I don't need one! All my colleagues are there Man! What nonsense are you talking about?!" Well, at least I wish I actually said that out loud. Unfortunately that was only inside my head. Instead, I told the One-Abang-Gemuk politely that "No, We don't need one and I'm very sure of it". One-Abang-Gemuk called his Superior in charged for the night. Then come one Annoying-Mean-Man-with-Serious-Face starts telling me that " No! You show me the Law or Rules or the Regulations!!!". Panicked, I called my subsidiaries COO (I Know i should have called other colleague. But, I'm in a panic mode you see) to confirm the fact. He confirmed that we don't need a Visa because we are Malaysian, and Sudan's Government does not require Malaysian to do a Visa. I also called Kak Mariani, a helpful lady who manage my flying tickets and also my stay in Sudan. She also confirms the same.

I did force One-Abang-Gemuk to call his working mates about the Visa. He did, and I can hear his whisper (his voice is loud unfortunately) to Annoying-Mean-Man-with-Serious-Face afterwards. "Can fly without Visa".

But, that superior of his, still force him to make me sign a form with the big Title: TRAVELLING WITH INCOMPLETE DOCUMENTS. Only upon signing it, I could check in. Kak Mariani suddenly called after I text her on what happened to me just now. She said that she can change my flight from Qatar Airways to Emirates tomorrow morning. So, I'm kind of accidentally repeating what Kak Mariani told me loudly and suddenly, One-Abang-Gemuk and Annoying-Mean-Man-with Serious-Face panicky letting me checking in. Hurm~ May be I should have said that earlier... Or are they waiting for me to give them something before letting me go? I'm not so sure~

What Ever it is, I'm checking in and his instruction was I have to go to C22. So, I queue with a bunch of people who looks like Sudanese to me as I'm going to Sudan you see. So, people can see me quite strikingly as:-

a) I'm the only Girl and not yet a Woman there;
b) Fairer; and
c) Shorter.

Suddenly, one rather cute and handsome Abang Imegresen come and Pull me out from the line that I queue. Wow! PTPTN nak tahan aku ke Ape hie? Damn!!! I'm so doomed! I felt guilty! And then the Officer asked "Is your Passport RED?". $#!+!!! One after another! I looked up at him and node as innocent as I could and still wondering whether Malaysian Government has changed the Colour of our Passport. And it turns out to be that, Malaysian Passport is still Red. and PTPTN did not stop me from travelling. I did not do anything wrong...except for the fact that I', queuing at the wrong lane.  The officer smile "Sis, that is evacuatuion lane. Malaysian Passport holder is here". Phewwwww~ I am so relieved! Where is my eyes and head just now?
RED Malaysian Passport. No Change of Colors Okay~

Usually, I don't help anyone to carry their bags in the Airport. For safety purpose. Not because I am Selfish or what not. But that day, I help one Friendly Auntie who loves to smile. She's struggling with her Milo, Sweetened Milk, Horlicks, Maggie Laksa etc. I help her and talk with her along the way while waiting for the gate to be opened. She is on her way to visit her daughter who works as Stewardess in Doha. While she will end her journey in Doha, I have to transit there for 7 long hours. When I'm in the plane, I sit next to the window. I purposely asked for this seat as I don't like to go to the Loo or even have to get up because someone's need to. And I love to seat next to the window because, I love to look outside (although I am actually afraid of heights). How ever, It is very dark there's nothing great about it for tonight.

Next to me is one Lovely-Arab-Lady and her Grumpy-Husband. She loves to smile and she makes you feel welcomed. And she smells like yeast. I mean Bread, No Yeast... freshly baked bread. Ok... I think Yeast. She asked me "Malazi? Malazi?". I said yes and she wants to call her son using my mobile phone to tell him that they are safely inside the flight. I don't usually let people to use my phone (please don't do this with a stranger), but I guess its because she looks so desperate and sincere. After calling her son, she keeps saying Syukran, Which means thank you. I wish I could remember Afwan (Welcome) at that particular time. Unfortunately, I forgot. this is when you body language plays it roles and so I guess my nods and smile will make her understand. So, this Lovely-Arab-Lady who smells like yeast sits right next to me for my Long 8 and a half ours flight from KUL-DOHA. I can't read while I'm traveling with car, bus or train. But I can't help myself to watch Perfect Wedding (Cantonese Movie) and for that i have to read a subtitle and Alamak... I got dizzy because of the bumpy flight and bad weather. So, I choose to sleep instead. But, this Lovely-Arab-Aunty wakes me up when the stewardess offered sweets, wakes me up again when they offered a drink...and wakes me up again when they offered a Dinner (one big portion of Grilled Chicken with mixed vegetables and baked potatoes, Dessert orange yogurt cheese cake, Fruit Juice, Mineral water, Kit Kat, Papaya and Manggo Salad) and then supper (one big portion of Chicken Shawarma and Coffee. I'm telling you, Qatar Airways is trying very hard to make you one fat Flyer. The thing is... I actually put a sign that don't wake me up for Food...because I want to sleep. But, its okay. The Lovely-Arab-Aunty means no harm after all. Food are delicious and it is a waste not to enjoy it.

So, I land at Doha International Airport. I don't know the where about of My Friendly Aunty nor the Lovely Arab Aunty who smells like Yeast. Alone again, I looked at my phone and the time is 12.00am. I'm so Mamai, and confused with the time! That was a verrryyyy looonggg 3 hours with stomach full journey mannnn~ But then I realised... its a different time line.
Inside Doha International Airport - Source Google

My next flight to Khartoum is in the next 7 hours. Darn! My shoes bites me pulak! Damn Sembonia shoes! I should bite you First! So I walk around the duty free shops to kill the time and just look at the cheap perfumes and stuff and holding my lust to shop with my aching feet. Nothing much interesting as I'm looking for souvenirs and not so much on personal stuff. I then go around to look for Musollah to perform my Ishaa'. I ask one guy and he showed me the Musollah. But... that was a gent's Musollah. I left with no choice, so i just perform my prayers and I can see the Gents are looking at me with full of question marks when I'm done. Darurat! And I'm Praying not killing, So please stop giving me that weird look.

Again, just to kill my time, I used Doha International Airport FREE WIFI, charged my Laptop, replying emails related to work, skype-ing at the end of a corner until Subuh around 4.40am as the sunrise around 6.00 am. I make my way to the Musollah again and one Indian Cleaner yelling and shouting with the broom in his hand saying "No Woman! No Woman!". "No Woman No Cry Huh??!!!" I shouted back at him. Okay! fine... I don't shout back at him though. I keep thinking where am I suppose to perform my prayers. Suddenly he showed me one place. NOt far from the corner where I sat and Wifi-ing... And I read... "Mosque Woman". Malu, Shy, Embarrassed! It was hand written by someone with a small heart as the hand writing is soooo small and no human being with a perfect could actually read it unless you are standing 100cm away from the sign. And on my defense, the sign is written on a piece of A4 paper with the font no more and no less than 20. Thank you very much!
So I proceed with my journey to Khartoum approximately 7.15am and sat right next to the window (as usual). As we flew up... I can see the whole Doha! And my camera is not with me! $%^*?!#. My description would be this:-

In Malay: Cantik Giler Babeng Hokey! Bandar Doha dengan simbahan Cahaya Mentari Pagi. Laut yang biru berkilauan bak Berlian Biru di Cincin Tunang Kate Middleton... Bangunan Tinggi berwarna metalik memantulkan cahaya lembut indah tak terperi!

In English: Bloody Beautiful Crazy Piggy Hokey! City of Doha with a Splash of Morning Twilight. The Deep Blue Ocean's sparkling like Edward Cullens! Ooops! I mean, like Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring. Metallic Sky Scrapper Building reflecting the soft light with undescribable words to explain its beauty.
City of Doha - Taken after Google Search. Please try to use your imagination as if you are looking from the sky

Qatar Airways never fails to satisfy my tummy and fattens me up with their Scramble eggs with Cheese and Dice Potatoes. Serve it with Black Pepper Chicken Sausage and Pour it with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce. I also had Humus with Olive Oil, Strawberry Jam and Butter together with the Hot Fluffy Bread. Also POur some freshness inside my tummy with a Fresh Fruits with White Cheese, Apple Juice, Orange Juice and Milk Tea... Burp! Sorry, excuse Me! While having breakfast, I enjoyed watching Bewitched Series, Everybody Loves Raymons and I Laugh as I please because I'm sitting alone right next to the window. They also have National Geographic Channel and I watche Japanese Hidden Secret (Please-please! I always wanted to travel here) and also played Zuma. Yess, I don't Sleep yet because I can't.

When I reached Khartoum, itis almost 11.30am and I line up with a bunch of people who do looks like Sudanese to me, when suddenly their Officer approached me and say "Madam, Indian?". "Erkkkk... No~ Malazi". Hailaaaa~ Where di I got the Indian Look man. Ops... Wait a second~ Did I? He then showed me a Big Yellow Signboard with a RED font "Non-Sudanese". Chaittttt! Not Again! Not the wrong queue again!!! I quickly give my passport and WITHOUT VISA~ I'm safely arrived in Khartoum! FINALLY!!! African Region!
Khartoum International Airport

Things that I learn the most - Please look for the Sign and Please READ it!!!

Yes, I'm Not travelling 5 stars... but the experience is more than 5 stars... At least for me~


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