My Selfish Diary: A Flight to Dammam


My work is my decision and my division is my provision. Multitude of harkness or gratitude of happiness. I am not familiar with ‘my selfish diary’ or ‘e-notebook’ but one thing I know about me is I am too awesome in O TWADDI (desi FML).

I borrowed a peace of time from my local librarian of colorless books and informed them my plan for almost a week stay in Dammam-Khobar with my fellow colleague of justice league.

First reaction: What? -_-

Second reaction: Why? -_-

Anyhow, things went right for me and my fellow. Packed the bag and off we go. Good morning at King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah and goodbye to my brother (who dropped me). When I go to airport, I have a special feeling. Walking around and wandering hither and thither. Emotional faces all over (specially South Asians :P ). We witness to see different class of people related from all walks of life altogether. Travelers like business class and some professionals never have more than a luggage but families (specially South Asians :P ) travel with dozens of luggage (roughly taped and using marker to write their address), with a f***ed up radio tuned to baby’s 99th symphony and scores of zamzam cans.

There are two groups usually to be seen in my almost every short-stay at airport. A) Bunch of beautiful and ugly air-hostesses B) Indonesians :P Admittingly in my case, I see a decent staff when luggage is to be thrown for cargo but a three-cent staff when I and my handbag are about to be scanned. I am not a lot into the airport daily/regular affairs but for me is a hiccup of ‘What’s next?’. I feel like if I am desi version of Viktor Navorski in Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’.

Last time the man who checked me this January (when I was going to Riyadh) told me to off my shoes and keep my belt on. This time, my shoes were not penalized but the belt was crucified :S The guy who checked me wore a Ted-Turner moustache and eyes staring on every passenger like a complaint letter. There was no thin red line on the floor to statue before my turn. He rudely stopped me thrice to wait for my turn (3rd STOP! he looked pretty stupid because I never moved even an inch, probably his English slipped from Move to Stop).

Moving from a bookstore for me is like scent of a woman. But witnessing a Justin Bieber book in that collection is like a sudden heart attack in public place. Then comes the sitting area which I had a second thought because it was like a sleeping area where most of travelers had their faces bent down. Then I realized that they all were committed to their toys.


My colleague and I did our breakfast at a French restaurant La Cuisine with a chocolate donut and espresso. Such a quiet place and waited for our turn to come. Then gates of heaven opened to meet our virgins. I was the last man to enter the bus. With all men standing and all women in black sitting. I unintentionally had a glimpse of a fatty for a second or two. In response, she in veil was like if she recognized the rapist :S Witch please!

The chosen aircraft to destination was A330. I knew my seat because I had done the boarding pass work last night. As usual, I began staring air-hostesses. Most of the products were Manila but not Vanilla. Few non-Manila (Arabs) were surprisingly aged with a make-up more than a clown. I always thought if PIA (Pi**ed In A**) were the only to recruit such aged ladies with a death certificate. A330 began moving like a roller-coaster going towards the top.

All air-hostesses began a Marcel Marceau. To be honest, when they were giving instructions, they looked like a fade-up constable. They had no facial expressions and body language. Poor Manila babies! I always expect them to give instructions by dancing on ‘One Night in Bangkok’. The plane flew with ease. It was my first traveling when mobiles were allowed to use while touching the sky. So I began playing words-finding game app.

All of a sudden from the back, 2 demons came with an offer of forbidden tree. The trolley was full of Caesar juices. The Arab air-hostess with a huge nostril and Groucho Marx eyebrows asked me my choice. It took me less than couple of seconds in choosing until her eyebrows grew more hair and reached to the nose tip :S Before I launch my new FML chapter of getting embarrassed by a lady shouting at me in front of all, I politely asked for a cup of Caesar juice of orange. Next question by Hatima Tai was about sandwich. The options were flora and fauna. I swiftly chose cheese instead of tuna. What a rude rodent!! she never smiled on any traveler and duration service to every person was like approx 15 seconds because she took a lot of time in picking a cup from the packet and placing tissue paper below it.

I noticed the a-hostesses in both rows and calculated an unmatched comparison between an Arab a-hostess and a Manila one. The Arab one had began serving the travelers way before her but ended up 2nd to her with a huge-margin. It was not like if Tagalog beauty was quick to end serving every traveler by throwing and attending the next. She served every traveler mere 6-8 seconds with pluses like smiling and “enjoy your breakfast”.

Ahh leave it!! let me concentrate on my breakfast. Vowww what a breakfast!! This sandwich wasn’t kept in an oven or warm place but my guess is Greenland’s igloo -_- The bread had just arrived from the Robben Island, produced 40 years ago to serve the prisoners (even ignored by that time). What’s inside? aah yes! how come I forgot what I ordered? exactly ‘Cheese’ that’s it -_- nothing else. Every bite of this sandwich, chewing and crossing my esophagus literally took 5 minutes -_- I felt I was deceived of the unexpected service (‘trolled’ is an applicable word here).


Book reading was my hobby which now has become my weakness. Had somehow finished reading the remaining half of Andrew Crissell’s “An Introductory History on British Broadcasting” in last couple of days in Jeddah because I made up my mind to start a new book in my new destiny. Now in plane with half destiny reached, I began reading ‘Zaviya’ by Mr. Ashfaq Ahmad. Ashfaq sahab is one of Pakistan’s finest writer, philosopher and critic, hugely responsible for writing memorable stories and plays in Pakistan Television’s golden era like ‘Man Chalay Ka Sauda’. This is my first experience of reading an Urdu-language book.

Time to lose eardrums with 3rd degree pain -_- I tried to focus on Zaviya stories but minute after minute, a curmudgeon angel hit a needle on my eardrums -_- The children began crying in pain -_- We landed safely and got unseat with ease when most of travelers had left. Reached King Fahd International Airport (min 25 kms away from the main city). A very quiet airport with no busy routine like Jeddah’s one. Took our luggage, bought a 15-Riyal-ticket for bus to Al-Khobar. I knew it will take minimum an hour in reaching the spot with a bitter truth that the driver was a Filipino, so I began reading ‘Zaviya’ where I left.

Driving at max 100 kph, he was listening hits of Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. The ticket I got from the conductor had four blanks to fill with no idea what the ticket asked me to do. So I filled this way…


Depending on my limited resources of the whereabouts of popular place Al-Rashid Mall, I kept staring at many of malls crossing from my sight. The bus kept going for 40 minutes. After that, I told my colleague to speak in his Tagalog to his kaibigan (friend in tagalog) to make him understand. The moment he spoke to the driver, all kept staring at him (don’t know why). One thing is good about the Filipinos, their nature is very friendly and well communicative to everyone. In their first encounter, they get in touch with their fellow natives so deep that ‘rude’ is not a word in any dictionary then. I used the word ‘Rude’ because mostly in my fellow Pakistanis, I don’t see that coming. In first encounter, they will ignore you at the time of knowing where actually you from. Rudeness is harked when the two don’t meet at the smallest point in agreement.

If you really want to see the cultural difference between Pakistanis and Saudis here in the Kingdom, just witness the minor vehicle accidents. If two Pakistani vehicles get hit here, the national assembly (of Pakistan) will establish without a speaker. The two parties will blame each other, begin shouting and respecting each other’s mothers and sisters, cursing and sparingly coming on for a one-on-one. As contrary, many incidents occurring between the two locals first meet with a proper handshake and exchange of regards, smiling and calling the traffic police to finish the matter with ease. Besides few of incidents of extreme heated exchange of words, you usually will see them apologizing and talking politely.

And now we reach the spot, off from the bus but the luggage door is not opening from us -_- Anyhow we have reached our destiny, got the hotel opposite road to the Mall. It is a comfortable place. Alhamdulillah for a safe flight, nice hotel and a lovely weather. Nowadays, it usually is not more than 25 degree by day. Nights are cold like approx in the 10s. The ordered food has arrived with the doorbell ringing now. Time to eat and burp…


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