Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tumair's Iris Field

This roadtrip was almost cancelled when we received news about a shooting incident near Madinah.
Sunflora called me to ask whether I still wanted to go, and I asked her if her husband still wanted to go. He did, so we did too. I had expected that there would be only 2 cars, but it turned out that there were other people who were unperturbed by the shooting incident (even though some of the victims were their neighbours).
We drove about one and a half hours north of Riy@dh to Tum@ir, then about another twenty minutes off-road at Tum@ir to reach the Iris Field.
The moment we got there a sandstorm started, and a herd of sheep passed by, almost trampling the tiny iris plants. Being tourists, the first thing we did was rush over to take pictures of the herd.. heh heh.
We parked right by the edge of the 'field', to wait for 1pm, when the flowers should bloom.

While we waited, we prayed for the sandstorm to die down and chowed down on food brought by the other better prepared folks. I only brought some fried meehoon that Zura and I made that morning, while other folks brought roti canai, dalca, kuey teow goreng, nasi goreng, mexican bread, chicken wings, ice cream, tit bits and teh tarik. adusss... malu seh.
After we got tired of eating delicious dishes with sand on the side (and inside), some of us started picking out our own clump of iris to monitor. At around15 past 1pm we began to see some flowers starting to bloom. I grew impatient of waiting for my clump to bloom so I started wandering around from clump to clump.
Taking pictures was quite a task coz the wind was blowing so hard and from unpredictable directions, we didnt know which way to turn to avoid getting sand in the exposed orifices of our equipments and bodies.

Satisfied, we finally left around 2 something, to head to one of the ladies' house to resume the picnic, sans sand.
Cleaning ourselves up, we found sand everywhere! My white headscarf had turned beige and even my booger was a shade of reddish-brown (the color of sand in that part of the desert).

All in all, it was a good trip. Even though the irises were small and the 'field' wasn't as big as I thought it would be, I was still amazed by the beauty and magic of God's creation. I also made new friends, yay!!!

Sunflora, please do tell Anis, Salinah, Nora and Kak Saadiah that if they are ever in Khobar, they are most welcomed to come over to my place! (You included lah of course!)

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