|After Thawaf Ifada, just in time before the crowd rushed in|
When people talking about hajj, I was reminded by the times I took the journey. The spiritual journey makes me longing so much to do it again. But the physical part is so exhausting, and I think it's better to give my place to other brother and sister who has never perform the hajj before. My post this time is about the physical part of the journey with the local operator.
My first hajj was with local operator who is Indonesian, and the group was also consisted of Indonesian. My second one was with the real local people, meaning that it was operated by Saudi hajj operator, and the participants were local Saudis from different regions. Apparently, it was quite a large operator. I came to know this group because my teacher was one of the guide.
Compared to the first one, my second one was so smoothly organized. From the transportation from Jeddah to Mina and back to Jeddah, to the accommodation for the 5 days of my stay, they were all set neatly. We were picked up in Jeddah, and dropped in front of our tent door. On the way back, we were picked up again in front of our tent and dropped for a while in Makkah to perform Thawaf Wada, before continuing the journey back to Jeddah.
We have 2 big tents (maktab) instead of 1, one for ladies the other for men, with two separate doors. From my mom's story, I learnt that the Indonesian hajj group has only 1 maktab for each travel operator and the maktab door is for both men and women. So the division between men and women was inside. Each person got a chair bed that can be folded during the day. The tent was equipped with AC, of course. Some of the people who were our bus mates, were nice to us, although their English was limited, still they were trying to make some conversations, but some people thought that we were somebody else's maid and treated us quite "differently".
|Small portion of the tent just to show the height.|
After the Arafah day, we went back to our maktab, and since it was in the Muzdalifah area already, we didn't have to go out of our tent to perform the ritual of Staying in Muzdalifah (mabit in Muzdalifah). And because the shaf (row) of our tent from Mina wasn't broken, then we were still eligible to stay in the tent during the 3 nights of Staying in Mina (mabit in Mina) ritual. Back to the Maktab in the morning, people were lining up in the toilet/bathroom to get some shower. What a long line for a quick unscented shower! Yes, we were still in the state of Ihram, so we were not allowed to use scented stuffs (including soap, lotion, toothpaste, clothes, anything...) before performing first Tahallul (the ritual of releasing the Ihram state by cutting small part of our hair or shaving the head for men).
|Kabsah rice with big roasted lamb...yumm|
|on the upper door of the metro|
|The metro from below the station|
|Upper band: Metro ticket, |
Lower band, ID tag
|The Jamarat site taken from the Metro station|
While the Indonesian group usually were going together in groups, guided by their teachers, quite unfortunate for us, that we didn't get such privilege of going together with a guide like them. Before performing the Aqabah stoning and Thawaf Ifada, after the day of Arafah, in the morning, my teacher as the guide gave small lecture in the tent about how to perform the hajj as a reminder. And on the day after that, after some small lectures, usually in the morning and afternoon, she made some small quizzes about hajj. Yeaaah...prizes for winners hehehe...But after that we were on our own. So that was why we were given the metro ticket...
Well, of course the whole hajj journey was quite exhausting. As one of my teacher said, it is mostly a ritual for the body. So we have to prepare our body for this journey. I took multivitamins and took a power walk for a week before coming, preparing my feet for the long walk. Those walk brought down my sneakers who had served me for 8 years. My dear shoes were rest in pieces. But in overall, I was satisfied with the service given by this operator, neatly organized.
Lastly, I am just praying, that all our ibadah are accepted by Allah ta'alla. Taqabalallahu minna wa minkum, brothers and sisters.