Sunday, June 9, 2013

Journey To The Middle East

After 2 weeks been in this new company, I got a job order to the middle east. Just about time I completed my basic training for the compressor and turbine. I never been to middle east before, hence the excitement. My destination is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The process of applying visa begins. My first application got rejected due to in-similarity between letter of invitation and my background study. The letter specified Engineer but my field study was Bachelor of Technology, it has to be engineering study. I don't know the arabs can be this picky. So we asked the customer to amend the letter and replace the word engineer with consultant. After slightly over a week, my visa approved. Almost 3 weeks to apply the visa, it much more easier to enter Europe than KSA, even for a muslim like myself.

2nd April was my departure date from Singapore to Doha, Qatar which took about 7 and half hours flight. I flew with Qatar Airline. I supposed to transit at Doha for 3 hours before embark on another flight to Dammam, KSA. What happened was, we already boarded the plane but it had been grounded and delayed because the captain of the flight has noticed the engine warning light blinking on the panel. So the ground staff started to check what went wrong with the engine. We were inside the plane for one hour and half before they decided to actually grounded the plane. So we get off of the plane to board another. While waiting, the airline staff provided us with some snack for lunch. Maybe to ease our frustration. Alhamdulillah, the next plane was good and finally we arrived at Dammam Airport around 2pm local time, after 6 hours transit at Doha.

The mechanic tried to find out the problem at the engine

I thought I had been through all the hard part..and I thought wrong. I spent another one hour and half at the immigration, queing for my turn to come. I spent more time there than in flight from Doha to Dammam. I started to have this bad impression to Saudi people. Not heart feeling to Saudian though.

My habitat for this couple of months

At 4.30pm I arrived at the hotel..The Sharq Hotel in the heart of Jubail City. Poor driver, he was waiting for almost 5 hours!

Jubail City at the a.m. Taken from rooftop restaurant.

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