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...