With a lot of friends having gone for Hajj, and watching the Hajj coverage, naturally it puts us back there and we can’t help but keep talking about the memories. I thought I’d share a entertaining, yet slightly freaky story from during our Hajj.
It was after ‘Isha on the 11th Dhul Hajj, and we were still in Makkah, trying to find ourselves a way out. The taxi cabs either were too full or they were over charging. We finally got a Nigerian driver who we bargained down slightly, agreed that he’ll be taking us only and no other passengers and we were happily on our way back to Mina. Or so we thought. Ten minutes later, we see the Masjid al Haram minarats again. Err, we’re supposed to be going to Mina, and I see the Haram again? 😕 He stops along the way to tell people his price for taking them to Mina, and we’re sitting in the back seriously baffled wondering if he missed the fact that we agreed to be his only passengers! We spend several more minutes driving around Makkah in circles, and then he decides…he wants some tea and a sandwhich! With his sandwhich in his hand, he drives down a street, and lo and behold! Its a checkpoint! They make him pull over, and now we really panick. They start asking him for his iqaamah (Saudi residency permit) papers, and he gives them a blank look. They ask him who are the passengers? He turns around and stares at us like…wow…who are these people and why are they in my car?! At that point the police officers start really yelling at him, and we get really freaked, what are they going to do to us?! What does he say to try to stop the yelling? He says that “They are my family!” LOL…not that we would have minded being African…but we aren’t!!! My oldest brother is sitting there going, “okay maybe the girls next to me can pass for his relatives, seeing as how they are covered in black, so perhaps he got seriously confused, but how did he confuse me?!” Not too surprisingly the police aren’t impressed with his theory, and they open the back door, calmly telling us we can get out. We get down and stare at the scene between the driver and the police officer for a few minutes more before heading down our way.
Crazy things like that only would happen during Hajj. Thats what makes Hajj so interesting, and I suppose stressful for some. 🙂