Travel in Saudi Arabia: Delayed Flights, Playing Cards and a Kitty…

Delayed Flights, Playing Cards and a Kitty



Every special journey must come to an end and the trip to Maida’n Salah went by way too fast.  At no time did it feel like time just stood still.  Even the long trip from Maida’n Salah back to Medina went by quickly.  We arrived at the Medina airport two full hours before our flight was due to depart.  However when we entered into the secure area to wait for our flight it was at that time we learned that our flight would be delayed for four hours.   Some of us were told it was due to a mechanical problem and others were told it was due to a sandstorm in Riyadh.  It was likely delayed to a combination of both in my view.



We took advantage of the delay to get to know one another better and make sure email addresses were exchanged.  The friendly American in the group made more new friends among Saudis who were also taking our same flight.  For me and three others, we continued our friendly rivalry playing cards.  Although none of us had a deck among us, the Saudi ground crew were great in locating some playing cards for our entertainment.



I thoroughly enjoy playing cards but at one point I had to take a quick break since nature was calling.  On my way to rejoin the competitive card playing team I stopped to chat briefly with some others from our group who were relaxing in chairs.  However, while chatting with them I became distracted for I noticed in front of them was the distinct shape of a cat carrier.  Hmmm…could it really be someone traveling with a cat in the Medina airport?  I will never be shy when it comes to cats so I popped up to the next row of seats.  To both my delight and surprise it was a Saudi family whose young son had recently acquired a kitten in Medina.  He was now taking it back to his home in Abha.



The young man who appeared to be maybe 9 years of age spoke very good English.  He was exceptionally polite and well-mannered.  He answered all my questions about his new kitty with pride.  I think I found a kindred spirit in spite of the age differences who loved cats as much as me.  I also knew that one of my competitive card team members loved cats as well so I asked the young man if I could show his kitten to my team member…if his mom said it was okay.  That’s when I discovered his mom also spoke excellent English and responded with a smile of course it would be fine.  The young man and I went and introduced his kitty to more of our team members.  As we ooohed and ahhhed over the beautiful and well-behaved kitty our flight was finally called.  We bade the young man and his kitty a fond farewell.



And all too soon the trip came to an end although the friendships and bonds which were created during this foray will continue.



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