Monday, 21 January 2013

Flying Visit

I am currently in the middle of our nine day holiday in England, and I'm loving it. If it wasn't for the fact that it's f-f-freezing here then I'd be more than happy to stay forever.
We travelled first by Saudi Air from Riyadh to Dammam, which in case you're not familiar with Middle Eastern geography, meant we were still in Saudi Arabia, and therefore couldn't drink either on the plane or whilst waiting for our connection. Argh! The waiting was slow and painful but somehow I survived.
I particularly enjoyed take off from Riyadh- instead of doing the usual safety procedure routine, there was the following announcement: And now you will hear a prayer that the prophet Muhammed used to say before travelling.
OK, of course a prayer can be nice, but 1) Muhammad travelled mainly on camels so I imagine wasn't in much danger of crashing into the sea; 2) Isn't the safety procedure the very thing 'God' has given us as a means of staying safe, so shouldn't we use it?
It's the whole Inshallah thing again. Inshallah means roughly 'God willing.' The Saudis use and misuse it to excess, often as an excuse to do nothing about a problem. If God wants it to be so, it will be. But of course the major flaw here is that you still have to be proactive in order for things to happen!
Did you ever hear that joke about the guy who's drowning?
A lifeboat comes up to him but he refuses help, saying 'God will save me.'
This happens a second, then third time.
The man dies and goes to heaven where he meets God.
He asks, "Why didn't you save me?"
God replies, "I sent three lifeboats to rescue you, what more did you want?!!"

For me this applies to all aspects of life, even without God added into the equation. People can miss opportunities to do things they want to do, because the opportunities don't look how they thought they would.

I did, however, feel like maybe we needed a prayer whilst having the wings of the plane de-iced at Amsterdam airport. Not something nervous flyers would want to see!

Quite a fun job?
The view over England was so beautiful. It always is, above the clouds, and the joke is that I can't remember the last time I flew into England without there being clouds, sigh.

I've spent the last few days in a frenzy of spending time with friends and family, drinking too much (hooray!) and watching the beautiful snow fall. Although I really am an 'enjoy the snow from the safety and warmth of inside' kinda gal, because the reality of the outside is mainly a lot of grey slush.

The view from my bedroom

And now the question I'm asking is.... will we actually be able to get back to Saudi Arabia on Friday??


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