Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The Immigration Gentleman very kindly let me back into KSA yesterday, after just a 4 and a half hour wait, which for them is pretty speedy, and worthy of note.
I wasn't however particularly interested in watching just how far up his left nostril he could stick his finger, which was his trick of the day for that Tuesday. Its somewhat disconcerting to be standing in front of an alleged official, and watch him stare back at you, as he gently slides his finger into his nose for about 40 seconds....however, i was counting my blessings that a) it was his nose, and b) he hopefully wasn't planning to stick his finger anywhere else, and more importantly, into me.
Anyway, i can report that he got to the 2nd knuckle, which he was pretty pleased about, his delight of which, being increased further by a fairly bountiful harvest appearing on his finger when he eventually finished rooting around. Needless to say i have just finished spraying my passport with Spray disinfectant (soft linen scented), and we didn't bother with the shaking hands routine.
After that, it was onto the mini buses and the 1 hour journey to Ras Tunarra, followed by a further 3 hours of hanging around while various Port authorities/Custom Officials pulled apart the paperwork, or our bags in the relentless search for drink and porn, both of which if found they would destroy...... oh yeah !
After they had finished their fruitless search, it was then onto our crewboat for the 10 hour sail to our Seismic ship, upon which we embarked in the early hours of today.
Its the height of summer right now, which essentially means heat and wind for another 6 to 8 weeks. So as i stare at the screen I see that we are recording 46°C as an outside temperature with winds of 25 knots. Of course with the shamal wind comes the sand, so the whole vessel is turning dun coloured in front of our very eyes.
Only another week, and then hopefully we will be out of here, but as everyone knows, in this Country, nothing comes easy, so it will be an interesting few days ahead while we try and extricate ourselves, and move to Dubai.
I will keep you all posted on the adventures ahead.



  1. It all sounds absolutely terrible, and yet I'm dying to see some photos. Not that I mock your pain - it just seems like this experience is so...weird.

  2. Yeah... me too. I'd like to see photos. Not of the nose miner though...

  3. 4.5 hours? a customs record! there's just something about uniforms which brings out the tyrant in people, the smaller the job the bigger the snot i guess!

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    PG and Ms TB - unfortunately there really are no photos to speak of in KSA, as we are not technically allowed to carry cameras, so what you see, are hastely and quietly grabbed...
    Niamh - you are so very very right, they are just like kids, and need to be treated as with guns unfortunately !

  5. Rather you than me, take care