I got all packed up and made pizza dough/pizza for dinner while Mohamed and Erica went to a back-to-school night for Abdu. I had brought Abdu home after going to the Island Rec Club my last day, and Erica took Mauski for the second day of trying to get her fingerprinted. The kids and Erica helped when Mauski and Erica got home. Dinner turned out great. Erica and Mohamed ate after they got home while the kids and I were upstairs watching a movie.
Later, I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. The last couple hours before my cab came to take me to the airport (at 2:30 am), I spent just lying in bed and resting beside Mauski. My flight was at 5:15 am and I arrived back at LAX at 10:45 am the same day. Wow.
For any of you who have traveled a lot, this photo journal will probably be boring. But there are a few things that even you may not have seen. I flew on Saudia Airlines, the official airline of Saudi Arabia. They had the only nonstop flight to and from Jeddah from LAX.
Abdu… the master of dressing in layers
In the back of the cab on the way to Jeddah. The cab driver was nice and asked if I would like to live in Saudi Arabia. I said no, that I liked where I live. But I like to visit. He was quite talkative.
This is the gate for my flight. These guys were just lounging there until about half an hour before our flight was supposed to leave. The mens’ line is on the left with the traditional metal detector like we have in the US. I’m in front of the women’s entrance. I had to put my carry-on and my purse on the x-ray conveyor belt, then go into the enclosed area where there were several women waiting. One had a metal detecting wand and asked that I put my arms out to the sides while she went over every inch of me with that thing. When it beeped, she would check to make sure it was jewelry under my scarf, or whatever. Same thing turned away from her. This was the second booth I had to go through like this. They had me start up my laptop computer when I got out of the booth and they checked my Nikon as well. Any security check in the airport didn’t have the ‘no liquids’ symbols and the like… they had symbols for ‘no handguns’… ‘no bombs’… that type of thing. It was pretty strange.
This was the glass enclosed area we were to wait in until they were ready to transport us to the plane. At that point, we were all herded down the escalator and ONE guy was there to check to make sure we all had a certain stamp in our passports that we were to have received at an earlier stop in the airport customs area. We then got on to a tram and were driven out to our plane.
Out the window of the plane before takeoff
Awhile after they served breakfast, they brought around these hot ‘cheese sandwiches’ and wee muffins. Of course there was no alcohol served on the plane.
Some of the rotating views on my monitor
Some of the censoring shown here in a movie I watched. Any time there was cleavage or short skirts/shorts, that area on a woman would be pixelated. Profanity was also censored.
The cabin interior. The flight was maybe one quarter capacity.
Yes, it was a VERY long flight… over 16 1/2 hours long via the polar route, but thankfully a non-stop. No point in making it even longer!
For dinner, I had the massoud… a type of fish served with spicy basmati rice. There was also a ‘seafood salad’ that looked like I might get food poisoning (the mayo looked old), but I did fine. I didn’t eat the lettuce in the salad. It was awful. Or the tomato. That is some kind of white bun, a date and walnut cake for dessert, and tea.
It looked better on the menu, but then generally airline food is universally bad. I couldn’t wait to get home to fresh produce!
Snow on the Rockies… feels good to be in the US again.
A successful landing at LAX. Customs was a breeze (electronic declaration machines) and a ‘welcome home’ from the customs officer. Happy to be home. And although it was hot when I landed, it has since cooled down. Glad I didn’t miss all the cool weather!