Posted on a later day, 10.31.13, I chose to keep the dates in mark with their corresponding dates from our Hajj trip for convenience. You can see a link of all the post-trip posts by clicking here and scrolling down. Click here to see the previous day’s post and click here to see the next day’s post.
Monday October 21.
Freezing. Its freezing cold here in the masjid! We have controlled the temperature somewhat in our hotel room (my mom is always hot and I am usually cold so it’s a challenge), but it is SO VERY cold here in the masjid otherwise. I am literally getting the chills each time I enter. People have attempted to cover the vents with their belongings, chairs, etc. but it doesn’t seem to be doing much. I don’t know why they keep it so unbearably cold: I can barely concentrate. My cold has been self-limited to a sore throat and minimum coughing + runny nose and I hope the AC is not what makes it worse. Again, the mask has been of incredible help [I’ve been wearing it within the hotel too]. Although I don’t know if my breathing is worse with or without the mask. With the mask, it’s suffocating. Without the mask, I can’t breathe.
My parents and I went for tawaf this morning in the wheelchair zone, and alhumdulillah it only took 45 minutes from start to finish once we got there. Even at 8:15 am, however, it was hot and the sun was glaring. We got there at a good time because soon there was a wait line for the wheelchair lane as well. You can’t even imagine the crowd in the other lower levels. The crowd does finally seem to be diminishing, however, considering the top row is now no longer fully full all the time. Just most of the time.
On another side note, when did escalators become sensored? At least three times on an escalator in the hotel I have just gotten on thinking I will just climb them like steps (because the wait time for the elevator was too long/its proximity) and then they start moving and I almost trip. You would think I would learn my lesson after the first time…
We have also been taking advantage of halal american chain restaurants. We had Burger King yesterday and KFC today– neither one I would have back home because fast food is just not my thing (anymore). One of the things I miss most about home? My normal (light) food and my fruit salad. Oh, the simple things in life.
For the first time so far throughout the trip, we finally did a little shopping today. There just seems to be no time here. Getting to the masjid for the jamaat for each prayer literally makes our schedule revolve around prayer times. It’s amazing to think that for most on a regular basis, its the other way around– they try to squeeze/fit praying into their otherwise busy and hectic schedule… here it is vice versa. I think I have mentioned it before, but one of the largest perks of living in a dominantly Islamic country? The way people stop whatever they are doing and head towards the Haram to pray at each azaan (call for prayer).
While shopping earlier, I found “chilgosay” which are Pakistani pine nuts! Now if I could have gotten “falsay” (a fruit) I would have been set.
Reading back on my thoughts today, it seems to be a jumble of [very] random thoughts… but it is what it is. Plan for tomorrow is ziyarat (to see/visit holy places) here in Makkah, inshallah, so tomorrow’s thoughts should be more structured [hopefully].