Tuesday, December 22, 2009

“I have a friend name ‘Bra’…”

Yesterday my second son, Afiq saw a bra hanging at the drying hanger. And, out of nowhere, he suddenly asking “This is bra kan Ummie?”

Not really giving too much attention, I just “hmm.. hmm..”

He then continues.. “I have a friend name Bra…”

Moved by his last remark, I started to giving him attentions. “Oh, really?”, I asked him with a really an interest to know.

“Yes, I have a friend name Bra.”, he reiterated.

“A boy or a girl?”, I further asked him, wondering..

“A boy….”

“What is his full name?”

“I-BRA-HIM… thats his name…. BRA right, Ummie?”

“Ha ha ha…” i really exploded with a laugh..

Afiq as usual, just smiling with a bit blushing knowing that something he said has made his Ummie laughing, that much..

That short “bra” incident make my day that day…

And as a token of remembrance for this ‘special’ incident, I presented some special pictures of bra below.

image A beautiful red bra.

image Bra fence in New Zealand

image Giant bra in Tokyo? May be its belong to Ultrawoman, hooked off while fighting the giant monster that attacked Japan.


Many functions of bra.. hands free and also give a better signal receptions.

image USB Keyboard Bra anyone? You can have this geek wannabe fashionable item for about USD130, only.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

34 Must Go Places in Saudi Arabia

Not sure from where it originally comes, suddenly we’re thinking about setting a target while we’re here in Saudi Arabia, to take the fullest chance on it. To set a target to visit and/or doing activities before our days in Saudi ended.
The numbers that come to our minds is 34. We need to go to 34 places  and /or doing activities in Saudi!! Why 34? We just don’t know ;-)
And now we have the numbers, but do we have the places?
These are the list of the places and/or activities:
  1. Makkah (of course)  - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  2. Madinah (of course) - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  3. Jeddah - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  4. Edge of the World - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  5. Graffiti Rocks - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  6. Diamond Hunting - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  7. Desert Roses - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  8. Fossils Hunting – tried, unsuccessfull. Will try again soon.
  9. Old City of Dir’iyah - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  10. Camel Market - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  11. Iris Flower of Tumayr – achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  12. Shui’ab Luha Pool - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  13. Wahba Crater - achieved May 14, 2011 (Alhamdulillah)
  14. Abha - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  15. Jizan - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  16. Furasan Island - tried, almost there, re-planned
  17. Al-Ula and Madain Saleh
  18. Taif - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  19. Khobar /Dammam – Half Moon Bay - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  20. Hofuf – Cave of Laila and Majnun –achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  21. Ar-Ragbah – see the ruined city and 120 years old Marqab Tower achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  22. Al-Qassab – salt lake and salt factory achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  23. Al-Shagra’ – Al-Subaie Heritage Palace and fort achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  24. Yanbu
  25. Domat al-Jandal - is one of the Kingdom's many little-known gems. This modest town boasts two of the country's most interesting antiquities - the ruined Qasr Marid and the still-in-use Mosque of Omar, both of which are a short walk from the Jouf Regional Museum.
  26. Rawdhat Khuraim – one of Saudi government forest reserve, greens all year round, very beautiful & flowery during spring - (achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  27. Tabuk
  28. Sharktooth hunting – tried, almost there. Will try again soon.
  29. Al-Habalah – hanging village, once only accessible by rope - achieved (Alhamdulillah)
  30. Lake Kharara & Nisah Waterfall - achieved (Alhamdulillah)

Achievements Index: 23/34 (67.6%)
See, it’s not easy to achieve it. The places and activities are still open. Any suggestions are most welcome.
[Last updated: May 17, 2011)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tegukan Susu Unta Yang Pertama

This is the land of desert. And here, the king of desert is camels.

Camels are even-toed ungulates, meaning 'hoofed animals'. There are several groups of ungulate mammals whose weight is distributed about equally by the third and fourth toes as they move around. Camels are native to the dry desert areas of western Asia and central and east Asia. The name camel comes from the Greek kámēlos from the Hebrew 'gamal' or Arabic 'Jamal'.

There are two main species of camel, the Dromedary Camel sometimes called the Arabian Camel which has a single hump and are warmer climate dwellers and the Bactrian Camel which has two humps and are rugged cold-climate camels.

Fossil evidence indicates that the ancestors of modern camels evolved in North America during the Palaeogene period (a period of geologic time that lasting 42 million years and is a time when mammals evolved) and later spread to Asia.

Originally, the camel came from North America some 10 million years ago, where it became extinct about 2 million years ago. All Arabian camels are domesticated from a process that started about 5,000 years ago. Now there are no wild Camelus dromedarius in North Africa and the Middle East.”

Ok, enough story about camel before this blog turn to another wikipedia page.

I have been hearing about the camels milk drinking activity since I 1st came here about a year ago. But, I never have a chance to try it myself, or actually.. drinking fresh, warm bobbling bubbling milk not really my taste of cup.

Anyhow, last weekend together with my friend, Mohd Raznan and his family (his father was also here for short visit),we went to this small open place  near to Dammam highway road that said to be selling the milk of this amazing animals.

And, here we are.. having the first sip of camels milk…

IMG_3828 Camels at the “Camel Milks Market” near to Dammam highway.

IMG_3830 Sipping his mother’s milk while he can..


Milking the camel not much different than milking your wife cow, you just need to squeeze, pinch a little bit, pulling gently or.. roughly, as you like, hmm.


Fresh and warm bubbling camels milk!! Dare to have a sip?


“Whooaaaaa…. why you’re taking my milk?!!!”

IMG_3839 Kids are trying it too…

IMG_3842 They put a “bra” to the mother camel to prevent the calf having a milk.. kind of cruel for me.

 IMG_3850 Up close and personal with one of the unfortunate camel calf.

 IMG_3836 It is said that drinking camel milk can improve men virility.. more power!!!

IMG_3848That’s may be why this man is buying 5 gallons of camel milk when we were there. He said “Susu unta ada umphh…..” 


Overall, this is a good experience for us. The taste of the milk is a bit tasteless, and I’m supposed not to have any problem drinking it if only I do not see and imagining and know the fact that the milk that I’m drinking coming directly from ..errr… the breast of she-camels? Not to mentioned with the surrounding areas, with the strong smells of camels and their … hmm.. liquid and solid waste, makes my cerebrum corpus callosum  couldn't really translating the signal it received into something nice!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Graffiti Rock

Trip No: 4
When:  15th Oct 2009

Where:  Musyaqirah (110km from Riyadh), Saudi Arabia

GPS Coordinate:
Kambing Rating:
Total Trip Time:

Graffiti Rock near Musyariqah, said to be 2000-1000 BC old

We just about 2 weeks back from Malaysia.  We need to start exploring what we can have here to make sure we won't get bored.  Also, to ensure we able to explore as much as possible as to make our life interesting to us and the kids.

After a few days of browsing over the net for interesting places in Riyadh, our next target is Graffiti rock as the distance not that far from home and we got the GPS coordinate though not sure whether it is the exact location.

The journey should take us around 1 hr 45 mins which is around 110 km from Riyadh. Packing some food, tea, snack for breakfast, we move at around 7:45 am.  The road is quite easy.  From Mecca Highway, follow the road to Diplomatic Compound, drive straight until you see exit to Musayqirah.  Take the exit.  From the exit to the graffiti is quiet tricky as we’ll be on off-road.   The coordinate that we get from the net is only until the road site.  So...we decided to gamble in finding the rocks based on the description that we get from few websites.  It should be 4 km to reach the graffiti.  When we were halfway and scared that we might get lost trying to find the road, we save the first stop point coordinate to ensure we can get out of the desert because once you're in the middle of the desert, everything looks the same. 

Driving forward, following tracks of other cars that we assume going to the place we target, we move on.  At the end we found rocks that looks like the picture we saw on the net but still not sure of it.  Driving our attention, we saw some kind of animal which runs so fast climbing up the rocky hills.  We guess it might be a roadrunner. It was reallyyyy fast.  My husband guess was an Ostrich but with smaller size.  In just a few seconds the animal was gone between the big rocks, wondering what kind of food they can get in a very deserted place like this.

We parked our car near some big rocks while my husband walked to the rock to ensure that it is the right one.  On the sands we saw trailing on animals going to the place where we head to.  There were to kind on animal trace..one is as big as my 3 yr old son and the other trail is like gliding..but not a snake cause got dot2 on it.  We’re not sure whether we want to bump into any of these animals caused we do not know what to expect. At around 5-10 mins, my husband came back and he told us that we are at the right place. Alhamdulillah. We decided to have our breakfast first before exploring the place.  As there are no trees around, we open the bonnet of our 4x4 car, push the seats down and ate inside.

It was 9.45 am already.

The exploration began.  It was great to see many types of drawing.  I told my kids that graffiti means a drawing  or scribbling on a flat surface.  It is originally referred to those drawing in Roman architecture. These  petroglyphs over here are said to be after 3000 BC!  True or not..I'm not sure myself .   I just remind my kids not to do graffiti on our house wall ;-).

We climb on the rocks to get better pictures.  Satisfied with what we want, we decide to head back home and now is 11.55 already.

This is just one part of the great graffiti.  Now come to another part of the story.....


As we headed back, we can see a road from where we park seems not that far.  So..we decided, why not try taking a shortcut instead of following back the same trail.  We move about 15 minutes.  The sand here is very soft like those at red sand dunes.  Surrounding us is like a small dump of sands that we need to go over to get near the road.  With half confidence, we drove fast to drive over to small sand hill.  Halfway, my husband breaks as he lost confidence we able to make it over the small sand dump.  Pressing the gas paddle but not moving...now we knew that we are in trouble!  The kids were shock asking "Are we trap? are we trap?".."Kita tak bole balik! (cannot go home)!.

First attempt of ‘coming to the rescue’

Rescue the rescuer.

 Building up the muscle from lottsss of digging

Both me and hubby went out to see the damage.  The front tyre was quite deep in the sand.  Okay, now we are really stuck with no gears to start digging or lifting the car.  Using both our ‘strong’ hands we start dingging out the sands out from the tyre.  Wow, now we knew how unfit we are.  So many times short of breath.  We need to get something better as it starts to get windy.  We decided using the tupperware we store our meehoon earlier on for digging.  Wow..there goes my beloved tupperware!  Continue digging, trying to move for about two hour..still fails.  Now..we knew that we need to call for help.

At around 3 pm, Raznan arrived with Arief. Yeah…our hero came for the rescue.  Hubby and rescuer continue doing the digging with the newly scope Raznan brought with him.  We then tied his car to our  car . With eagerness and anxiousness, we watch with hope.  Sadly to say, it turns out to be RESCUE THE RESCUER!  Haha.. I guess now our simple trip has became more interesting.    The attempt even caused Raznan’s car front bumper halfly fell apart.  We felt even more guilty as both Raznan and Arif was fasting today and it’s their last day of 6 days Fasting of Shawal.   

Again doing more digging of Raznan’s car, doing a reverse, we able to save the rescuer car.  Not to give up, we tied up again our car with Raznan’s with his car at a different position.  Again, with anxiousness we pray for success of our second attempt.  Alhamdulillah, seeing the car move makes us smile to our ears!  

Enjoying the time.  No pressure for the kids, no headache to mom.

The kids had no complaint though they’re stuck in the desert. 

The kids shout with excitement.  Yeah…now we can go home as we knew it will be dark soon and we are sooo tired.  Ok…that’s not the end of the story yet.  As we move on we need to go through another sand hill.   It felt like our heartbeat stop.  Again, we are STUCK and we are only about 1 km from the main road!  That was a bigger frustration as you can see the road ahead.


We had to stop for prayer.  Hopefully, we’ll succeed after our prayer.  Alhamdulillah, the kids doesn’t complaint at all.  THey even enjoying themselve as if they’re playing sands by the beach.  At least one potential problem is solved. 

So we continue shovel and trying moving but with no luck.  Then, came 3 kids driving not far from us, playing around i guess.  They came near us and offer their help.  The eldest who did the talking i guess maybe at the age of 15.  Good thing we have Arif, Arabic literate who able to communicate with the kids else it will be chicken and ducks.  Before that, very fast and with confidence, he took out the air from tyre….a LOT!  As we not used to it and our first experience of stuck in the sand, we got panic.  As the boy try to drive out our car, well…sad news, still fail.  He told us he’ll go back and try to get help.

It’s getting dark and our troat gets dried up as well.  We are out of water to drink.  The wind also starts to blow harder getting in our eyes.  We can felt the sand sticking to your skin specially your face.  Your lips also gets very dry, outer lips felt like as if you’re just ate chilly.  As it was Maghrib already, Raznan went to buy some drinks as both him and Arif need to break their fast.  So..it was a special fast breaking for them!  May Allah bless them with sincere and sacrifice in helping us. 

At the end we decided to head back home with Raznan’s car and leave our beloved car back in the desert.  With sad feeling, we watch our car left behind.  On the way back to our house, we bought Pizza and 1951 sausage to feast our hunger specially to the hardworking men.  As to rescue our car, we decide to get help from Indonesian friend of hubby and Raznan.  So…it will be 2nd rescue attempt.  At around 10.30, hubby went to meet his friend with Raznan at Takasushi street.  So part of the family are home already to take some rest.

Problem should be solved this time as we knew hubby’s friend car is equipped for rescuing stuck cars.  As they reach there around 12, it took only few minutes to pull out the car.  A little digging at the front to hang the puller and as easy as ABC..there you go!  A big applause to Pak Zafar, PAk Budi and Pak Joko.  May Allah bless their kindness.  To celebrate the success and the beautiful nature, they had kapsa to enjoy.   Chit chatting under the light of the stars and the moon.  Hubby reach home at around 4 am that day.

Enjoying kapsa after the ‘hard’ work :-).  Thanks Pak Zafar, Pak Budi and Pak Joko

Masyaallah…how beauty is Allah’s creation.


A great experience as hubby said.  One of the wonderful stories of our life in Saudi that will always stays in our memories.  Getting to know the nature and having great friends at good times and bad times.  

Lesson learn :

1.  If you plan on offroad to desert, better to have at least one more car with you in case any problem occur.

2.  Do equip yourself with gears in case your car got stuck.

3.  Make sure you know your way in the desert.  Save coordinates at a few check checkpoints.

4.  Have extra food/drinks to bring along the way especially when you have kids with you.

I guess that is all i can think of now.  One great memory to be kept in the heart -:- tw

Monday, October 19, 2009

Afiq’s First Day of Schooling [181009]

Another exciting and memorable day.  Afiq first day of school in Riyadh entering kindergarden, KG3.  Abang and kakak has started their school yesterday.  They are both excited like me as well for Afiq as we’re wondering how their brother will react on his first day of school outside the country.

He won't be joining Kakak and Abang on the bus today so I didn't rush him up to dress up but as he is excited as well, he woke up on his own at around 5:30 am preparing to take bath.  All dressed up and patiently waiting for the bus as today is the first day the elders are taking the school bus in the morning as well.  The bus arrive at 6:20 am which I have made them waiting since 6!  So pity of them until both got stomachache of waiting.

Now starts the day for Afiq..handsome in his school uniform :-).  You're one big boy already.  For today, we will be sending him to school.  As for girl section and KG section, man are not allow to enter.  So.. mommies is the one to bring in for those wanted to send in their kids on their own.  They are put into separated buildings.  As entering Afiq school, I tried to find his name on the board.  Yes...there he is in Peppermint class with his class teacher Ms Sarah.  Someone asked me of his class and told me that they will bring him to class.  I told the teacher that took him of his bus number as he will be taking the bus and the teacher wrote the number next to his name on the list.  I guess it should be ok then.  He was cool as usual kissing me goodbye.  His big day now started...GOOD LUCK MY BOY!

At 3 pm, the doorbell rings.  I was so excited waiting for their stories of their first day of school.  When I opened the door, I was so shocked to see only Abang and Kakak was there!  Where's Afiq???  I knew something is wrong.  Without my abaya on, I quickly shouted out calling the bus.  The bus has went about 50m from my house.  They left my son at school!!!  How could they after I trusted the school to manage them and he's only in KG!  I already mentioned to the teacher that he'll be taking the bus and providing her as well with the bus number.  Alhamdulillah, the driver notice I was running after the bus.

"Mana Afiq?". I asked the driver in Malay as he is Indonesian ( that was lucky or else I don't know how to ask if the driver speaks only Arabic!)
"Saya enggak dipesan apa2 oleh guru. Saya bole ambilnya kembali setelah abis menghantar anak2 ini"..so the driver doesn't know anything as the teacher didn't mention a thing to him.
So..I got back home, called my husband to ask the school as my phone cannot make call out.  Cut the story short..yes my son is still in school and the teacher didn't even bother to call us asking why we aren't picking our kids when it is 3 pm already! My husband rushed to get him at school.
As they reach home, Afiq was furious why he was left alone the last one at school and he was hungry.  Poor him.  Alhamdulillah..this does not stop him from wanting to go to school again.
What an experience of an 'international school' in Saudi.
Well...never expect the assumption that we always have when you are in Saudi.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kambing Ku Lari Laju

Aku sering mengidamkan untuk mempunyai seekor kambing. Tapi, kambing impian ku bukanlah sebarang kambing.

Kambing itu mestilah kambing yang mempunyai tanduk yang panjang, bulu yang lebat, janggut yang panjang sepanjang janggut mutawwa di Saudi ini, dan yang paling penting.. mestilah yang handsome.

Kambing tu jugak mestilah mempunyai asas-asas agama yang cukup, agar nanti dia dapat merealisasikan impian untuk mencapai wawasan 2020.

Marilah sama-sama kita nantikan kemunculan kambing impian ku ini...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

One Iftar in Saudi to Remember

Imagine, its Ramadhan and  you’re alone in Saudi, without your family. Do the sahur alone, do the iftar (breaking fast) alone. And, you’re not the ‘species’ that love to cook. (May be after one month of fasting, you will be a few kilos lighter ;-))

One day, my Saudi friend who is also my office mate, knowing that I’m all alone, make an offer, to breaking fast together, at my house. And, the unique thing about it is, he will bring the food. At first, I do not really take it seriously because I think he is not really serious. “It’s not fun to breaking fast with someone else, in his house, only with him, and yet I need to bring the food. I would rather do it at my own house with my family.”, that’s what I thought.

But, he is serious. So, one day August 26 2009, about 10 minutes before adzan, he was in front of my house, bringing variety of foods, which could feed 4-5 people:

  • Qahwa (Coffee)
  • Soup
  • Juices
  • Kapsa
  • Salad
  • Kurma
  • Dumplings
  • Samosa

At my side, I just need to prepare the plates, drinking water and … my stomach ;-)

IMG_2901Can you see how many food are here? This is for 2 persons.

IMG_2902 This is the man responsible for the day, Yazeed Al-Rashed.

IMG_2903 All the foods are delicious, I like it.


It has been a tradition here ,to breaking fast with water and kurma, go to Maghrib prayer and come back to have a full meals. The Isya’ prayer azan is adjusted to be exactly 2 hour after the Maghrib azan, but the iqamah is also adjusted to be 5 minutes instead of the usual 20-25 minutes.

IMG_2905 Actually, he purposely brought extra food for me to have it for the next meal (sahur). It turned out to be the food has ‘saved’ me for the next 2 days of my iftar, Alhamdulillah.

Thank you Yazeed for your kindness. This of course has added up another good episodes in Saudi (out of so many ‘bad’ one) that I’ll remember on. Another proof of Saudi Hospitality.

Barakallahufikum to Yazeed for his willingness having Iftar with me, and to his family for letting his son to be with me that evening; and for the foods.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Iris Flower Trip

Iris flower blossoming in Tumayr, picture courtesy of Dr. Othman 
Trip No: 3
When:  26h March 2009
Where:  About  140km from Riyadh 
GPS Coordinate:
Kambing Rating: 9/10
Total Trip Time:  One day 

After browsing interesting places to visit on our weekends, just at a very early in the morning we decided to head for Tumayr, maybe we have our luck to see the beautiful Iris flower which is very well known for its beauty.

From the net, it was said that the flowers only blooming once in a year between Mid January till Mid March. We knew that probably the flowers are finished but our gut feeling tell us to just go. After all, at least we have another day spent together somewhere.

At around 11 am, we start driving North of Riyadh heading for Tumayr. It took us around 1 and a half hour to reach Tumayr and start going off-road into the desert. Tips: Before going off-road, you'll see a replica of a gun, If you pass this, means you need to turn back and find the place where you can make a corner to the off road.

Once we reached Tumayr, we could feel the air is more relaxing caused more greeneries view can be seen here. It is like when you go back to your hometown in suburb areas. Once we start driving into the deserts, we bypassed some purple grass trees. At first we were excited cause we thought that the purple grass trees were the iris flowers. Then, we went out from our car and take a close look at the flower. Haha..this is not it! We all were laughing but still great to see flowers in the desert.

We kept going on until we saw a dam which should be the landmark that tell us we are getting closer. We keep on going until we saw a yellow field which is pretty and attract us to get closer to it. However, the field was inside a gate. Could it be the place where someone is taking care of the Iris field? After a while, we decided to go in.

Chicken and Duck
This is the best part. Once we get into the gate, two persons came out from the house near the field. Now, we knew we are at the wrong place. This is a private property! We start to turn back to get out of the property but the two guys are getting closer. If we drive fast out, we will look like a criminal. Then, my husband decided we should meet the guys and tell them we are sorry. My husband went out from the car and approaching them.
My heart is beating fast..wondering how can my husband tell them our mistake as we for sure can't speak Arabic, while they most probably couldn't speak English. Its going to be a war between chicken and duck!!! ;-)

As I was watching the guys were exchanging smiles and shaking hands, I was very relieve. My husband headed back to the car, smiling. He told me that they invited us for tea and can perform prayer at their farm house. We are making a very bad assumption thinking we are going to be scolded! My husband told me that one of the guy who approached us just now is a Vice Dean in King Saud University. He has been in US for a few years for his PhD study. His name is Dr. Othman.

As we parked the car near their farm house and get out from the car, I was told to go into the women section with my daughter while my husband goes to the man section. I guess this has been a very special experience for me and my family. Once we enter the house, everyone was welcoming us...from grandma, the mother, nieces, their aunts and children! Wow..so many of them. I was told that they are gathering at the farm every Thursday. Funny thing is all of them can't speak English and I can't speak Arabic as well. Just a few words that I just learn from the school I went for 3 weeks which is only twice a week. So.....challenging and funny! I talk in English + Malay + Arabic...hoping some of the words matches with Arabic words.

At first they serve me with Arabic coffee. The taste is quite funny. It has some herbs taste and without sugar but they serve it together with dates. The dates is to complement the unsweetened coffee. After the coffee, I request to perform my prayer. My kids kept on following me as they were shy with so many people looking at them and trying to talk to them. Once I started my prayer, suddenly I heard a loud knock on the rooftop and outside.It was raining, but I just wondering why the sound is too loud. I continue praying though my sajadah starting to get wet caused the rooftop where I was praying got holes.

Raining Ice

Once I finish praying, I rushed outside to see what causing the loud sounds and the havoc outside. It was raining ice!


   The small ice cubes are all over the ground.

What a day! Small round cube ice were everywhere. The kids and the teenagers were busy collecting the ice. You never seen ice rain and suddenly you experience it is the middle of the desert! I'm so grateful to Allah for this opportunity. I was wondering how my sons react to the rain at the other side. 26032009(001)

   Ice cubes they collected.

As it was raining, we can't go anywhere so they ask us to stay for lunch. I was serve now with tea and salad. My kids were looking at me as we never had salad for our appetizers. They eat salad leaf like eating crackers! It's the big size salad leaf type. The Arabic kids were all happily eating it. I took one leaf and eat it as well though I'm not used to eat like that but not bad! The other appetizer was onion leaf. This one I can't try as I knew I can't eat it. I politely resist. They tried to entertain me and making me feel comfortable by still talking to me and asking me questions. It was so funny and we laughed many many times when we knew that we do not understand each other. I heard the other kids telling my kids "I Love You"". That's the English words they knew..haha.

Once the rain stop, they were busy preparing for lunch. It was 'kapsa'...an Arabic dish made of rice cook with ghee, onion and so on with whole chicken. 3 small boys age around 8 or 9 came to take the tray with kapsa. The smell was so good. Then, they invite me to go outside eating our lunch. It was quite cold outside with the rain just pass by but refreshing. We all sit around the tray and start eating. This is how they have meal here. No plates given..so no need to was dish after this :-). I ate with their elders in family. Beside the 'kapsa', they also had their salad which is tomato, cucumber, parsley leaf and salads mix with lemon juice. The cucumber and tomato were slice in cubes. The salad is nice. I finish 1 bowl of it. Afiq and Azim was really enjoying the kapsa. They eat more than usual. Actually, the kapsa was really nice..better than what we ate in Riyadh which I though it was the nicest kapsa I ever ate since I reached Riyadh.

I asked them the recipes but it was quite hard understanding them though I knew they are trying their best to explain and as usual we laugh when we all trying to guess the words. After a full stomach, the owner sister brought me going around their farm land. They have goats, camel and chicken beside the wheat field which attract us at the first place to enter the farm. My kids has started to become friends with the other kids. They tried to play to together.

At the Men Side

DSC00414 Having the ‘kapsa’ lunch with the family.

DSC00415 Dr. Othman, at the left most (barely see his face). On his left is the father, in his 80’s.

DSC00418 Among the goats they had in the farm.

There was a guy who look after the farm everyday where the family only came to the farm once a week on every Thursday. Most of the family stay in Riyadh. It felt very short when we realized we must headed to what we were coming at the first place, the Iris flower. Dr. Othman, will bring us to where the actual Iris field is. Before heading off, the women packed us with dates, snacks and cakes. We are so honored and grateful to be treated so nice by the family. I was very touched with their hospitality. It is time to say goodbye and they make me promise to come back when I have learned Arabic. This inspires me to learn Arabic faster at school.

Went off to Iris field
As we finished saying goodbye, we headed to the Iris field by following Dr. Osman’s pick up truck. But the only thing left is the stem which is dried as what has been told by them. I tried to imagine when the Iris flower is blossoming by seeing the dried stems were a lot. My husband says his big thank to Dr before he headed back home to his farm. They also will headed back to Riyadh tonight after Isya' prayer.


The dried Iris flowers… if its blooming, it should looks like the title picture above, very beautiful.

We took pictures and enjoy the scenery there. InsyaAllah, we will surely come again next year to see the Iris flowers and come again visit the wonderful Saudi families which we just make friends.

 DSC00477 DSC00489 DSC00492 IMG_1703

This is what you say God will. All things that happened in your life, there must be a reason behind it. There is always 'hikmah' to Allah qada' and qadar. The unintentional and lost has given us the experience getting to know Saudi people, their life, knowing the people and most importantly their hospitality; Saudi hospitality, two words that are very rare to be found together, well at least that is the common assumptions towards Saudis, which is proven to be not true at all. We are grateful to what happened to us today. Although we didn't get to see the Iris but we get an even more 'beauty' than the flower beauty. The beauty of the heart!

Till meet again...ma ‘assalamah!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Camel Market

Trip No: 2
When:  6h March 2009
Where:  About 20km from Riyadh 
GPS Coordinate:
Kambing Rating: 6/10
Total Trip Time: 2.5 hours 

It’s will never be complete if you’re in Saudi, but never be up, close and personal with the animal that symbolize the desert which forming 85% of the country size, the camels.

Last weekend, Mar 6 2009 we decided to pay a visit to the camel market located about 20km from Riyadh on the road heading to Dammam. Our kids are very excited, no less for their mother as this is the 1st time for them to get closer to the animal. Before this they just have a chance to see it from far, the closest was on our way to ‘Diamond Hunting’ trip last week.

According to my Saudi friends,  the camels price could be from a few thousand SAR to as high as a few millions SAR. Imagine… you’re chewing 1 million SAR camel meat.. but no, that kind of camel of course not for eating. Its for ‘modeling’ and ‘humping’!!

The camel in Saudi is of dromedary type, or also known as Arabian camel, which has one hump. The one hump camels could weigh up to 650kg. The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years. Camels can run at up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph), wauu…

IMG_1227 Piles of dried grass, the main food source for the camels here.

IMG_1228 Proud faces, 1st time taking picture with camels ;-), now can show off to uncles, aunties, grandpa, grandma, villagers, cows, goats and chickens in Malaysia.

IMG_1230 Very friendly animals… peramah?

IMG_1231 Another proud face.. (just now he need to take our picture).

IMG_1232 Hmm.. welcoming position??


Having a good time..

IMG_1237 ‘This is dromedary camel, camel that have one hump. Long time ago camel are coming from North America, during the Palaeogene period, before its spreading to most parts of Asia. Bla.. blaa. blaa..’


One of the biggest camel we saw that afternoon (well, it doesn’t look big in the picture, but it is. Usually the owner will separated the prize camel from the other camels.


IMG_1253 They also have small size camels..;-P

IMG_1257 The champion, may be could fetch SAR 1 million? The tallest and most ‘handsome’.

Camels are very vengeful animals. One friend told me a story about the camel. There is one guy got in accident with a camel with his car. The camel is dying, but the man is lucky, not having any major injury. So he went down to see the camel’s fate. As he get nearer, the dying camel bite his neck… and he died because of that. In the end, both were dead. What a tragic accident. So, beware of camels my friend.

We went back that afternoon with pictures to show to cows and chickens in Malaysia as the testimonial that we already passed our camel get together sessions… may be they will get jealous…